SMU law dean among 3 appointed as senior counsel

(From left) Professor Goh Yihan, Ms Kristy Tan and Mr Abraham Vergis were appointed as senior counsel yesterday. Their appointments bring the number of senior counsel in Singapore to 91.
(From left) Professor Goh Yihan, Ms Kristy Tan and Mr Abraham Vergis were appointed as senior counsel yesterday. Their appointments bring the number of senior counsel in Singapore to 91. PHOTO: SINGAPORE ACADEMY OF LAW

The dean of Singapore Management University's (SMU) School of Law was among three individuals appointed as senior counsel at the opening ceremony of the new legal year yesterday.

Professor Goh Yihan was a justices' law clerk who later became the first senior justices' law clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore.

He was appointed an assistant registrar in 2008 before joining the National University of Singapore as an assistant professor in 2011.

Prof Goh moved to SMU in 2014, and was appointed the dean of SMU's School of Law in 2017.

Started in 1997, the senior counsel scheme recognises lawyers who possess outstanding ability as advocates, extensive knowledge of the law and the highest professional standing.

They also have the right to suffix their names with the initials "SC".

The three new appointments bring the number of senior counsel in Singapore to 91.

Also appointed yesterday were Ms Kristy Tan of the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) and Mr Abraham Vergis, managing director of Providence Law Asia.

Ms Tan was an equity partner in law firm Allen & Gledhill before joining the AGC in 2018.

She now serves as the head of the advocacy group in the organisation, dealing with litigation matters involving civil, commercial, criminal and public law.

A lawyer with more than 21 years of legal experience, Mr Vergis handles both local cases and international arbitration matters.

He has also served as the chairman of the Law Society's Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Committee.

Mr Vergis was part of senior lawyer Lee Suet Fern's defence team when she faced a disciplinary tribunal over the role she played in the preparation and execution of the last will of her late father-in-law and founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

The hearing ended with a Court of Three Judges last November finding Mrs Lee guilty of misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2021, with the headline SMU law dean among 3 appointed as senior counsel. Subscribe