Beneath Ms Beatrice Yeo’s professional demeanour lies a feisty firebrand lawyer, unafraid of paving her own path in the legal industry.
That was how she received prestigious law awards and accolades as a young lawyer and was recognised as a rising star of family law early in her career.
Now, at 40, Ms Yeo recounts her experiences as a rookie lawyer of heading to clients’ homes “to stop violence from happening, or find shelter for my clients and their children”, and even taking them to the hospital or police station if they needed help. “I was so passionate about divorce and family law,” she says.
While her clients were appreciative, the opposing parties were not. However, that never stopped her from standing up for justice and going out of her way to help her clients.
The same drive inspired her to set up law firm Yeo & Associates LLC in 2009, specialising in matrimonial and divorce law. The firm’s growth has been exponential — it now has 10 specialist family lawyers and eight legally-trained legal managers.
With a dedicated team handpicked by Ms Yeo, the firm has consistently won awards in the best family lawyer category, and has been named a top Singapore divorce law firm more than 20 times.
Champion of her cause
The managing director, who has handled more than 20,000 divorce cases to date, believes she is a pioneer in championing fixed costs for divorce cases in Singapore.
She says: “Family law needs to be charged on a fixed costs structure, instead of an hourly charge which commercial lawyers usually do.”
This cost structure gives her clients the confidence to go through the legal process to achieve justice and fairness, without worrying about hourly fees. She notes that with her “fixed costs structure”, the firm has been able to enjoy phenomenal growth in size and clientele, mainly through word of mouth.
Yeo & Associates LLC also constantly identifies new ways of assisting clients. It invested a six-figure sum to set up portal divorcebureau.com.sg in 2018, which helps clients complete divorce applications in the comfort of their homes in 30 minutes or less.
The portal, which took two years to develop, brings in at least 50 cases a month. Using technology also saves time and costs, adds Ms Yeo.
Putting clients first
More importantly, the portal ties in with the firm’s goal of encouraging clients to resolve their marital disputes amicably. Clients who are on talking terms are encouraged to negotiate and discuss matters before reaching an agreement for an uncontested divorce, instead of having to incur excessive legal fees.
Ms Yeo notes: “If there is a chance of settling marriage in a friendly manner, especially where the couple can still communicate with each other, there is no reason to come to lawyers to file for a divorce. But if clients need legal advice before they proceed, they should approach us.”
The portal provides templates with terms and wording “painstakingly formulated through my
years of experience, and are what the court would accept”.
Today, she has chosen to focus on grooming younger lawyers with her wealth of experience, although she still has a burning desire to handle difficult situations and take on complicated cases.
Ms Yeo recalls her legal journey: “It took me many years to develop the necessary skills to be equipped to handle all facets of family issues and disputes, and to advance my clients’ case in the best format possible.”
Yeo & Associates LLC's main office is located at: 101A Upper Cross Street, People’s Park Centre #12-13, Singapore 058358. Its branch office is located at: 2 Havelock Road, Havelock II #01-23, Singapore 059763. Contact them at: 6220-3400, 9030-3239.
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