Three lawyers appointed senior counsel for new legal year

(From left) Mr Edmund Leow Hock Meng, Second Solicitor - General Mr Kwek Mean Luck and Mr Francis Ng Yong Kiat.
(From left) Mr Edmund Leow Hock Meng, Second Solicitor - General Mr Kwek Mean Luck and Mr Francis Ng Yong Kiat.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

SINGAPORE - Three lawyers were appointed senior counsel on Monday (Jan 9), joining 77 others who have been called to the top ranks of Singapore's lawyers.

They are Mr Edmund Leow Hock Meng, 54, Mr Kwek Mean Luck, 43, and Mr Francis Ng Yong Kiat, 41, whose appointments were announced by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the opening of the Legal Year 2017.

The accolade - Singapore's equivalent to Britain's Queen's Counsel - is given to outstanding lawyers who have extensive knowledge of the law and the highest professional standing.

Mr Leow joined law firm Dentons Rodyk as senior partner on Jan 1, after three years as judicial commissioner of the Supreme Court.

He heads the firm's tax practice, with almost three decades of legal experience. His expertise is in cross-border tax planning, transfer pricing and tax disputes.

"It's a great honour. I am humbled by it and it means a lot to be receiving this recognition from the bench as well as my fellow lawyers," he said.

Currently Second Solicitor-General of the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC), Mr Kwek will take on the role as Solicitor-General from Saturday.

Mr Kwek began his career in Singapore's legal service and moved up the rungs rapidly. He served as a justices' law clerk at the Supreme Court and then became district judge in the then-Subordinate Courts (now State Courts) and senior assistant registrar in the Supreme Court.

He has held various appointments in the Administrative Service, including deputy secretary at both the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Public Service Division of the Prime Minister's Office.

In October last year, he successfully argued the high-profile appeal that led to the conviction and sentencing of a transgender woman to 10 years in jail for sexual abuse of a girl.

On what he hopes to achieve in the future with his appointment, he said: "I will continue with my litigation - that won't change. But this honour will give me great impetus and a keener edge to develop the next generation of litigators."

Mr Ng is currently the deputy chief prosecutor of the AGC. He was previously director of the Legal Policy Division at the Ministry of Law. After graduating from law school at the National University of Singapore in 1999, he began his career as deputy public prosecutor until he joined the ministry in 2009.

Outside of his law practice, he is active in National Service and he is currently the commanding officer of an infantry battalion. He is also a former national kayaker, who now contributes to the paddling community as vice-president of the Singapore Canoe Federation.

The senior counsel scheme started in 1997. They are appointed each year by a selection committee including the Chief Justice, Attorney-General V K Rajah and Judges of Appeal.