Prominent lawyer Joe Grimberg dies, aged 84

SINGAPORE - Prominent lawyer Joe Grimberg , a mentor to many legal minds including Senior Counsel Davinder Singh, died on Thursday (Aug 17) at Mount Elizabeth Hospital Orchard.

He was 84.

A Senior Counsel and former Judicial Commissioner, he presided over a wide and long spectrum of general and commercial cases after being called to the Singapore Bar in 1957 when he joined Drew & Napier.

He served as Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court from 1987 and rejoined Drew & Napier two years later as a consultant.

Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon said in a tribute last night: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Mr Joseph Grimberg. Joe was a dear friend and colleague to many of us on the Bench.

He described the late SC Grimberg as "the finest of his time and quite frankly he was peerless".

He added: "I saw him appear as an advocate from time to time and could only watch in awe and admiration. He spent a time on the Bench and I recall my appearances before him as some of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had as an advocate. He was kind, courteous and blessed with a fine intellect and loads of patience.

"As one of the first to be appointed Senior Counsel in Singapore, he lent his stature to building up the prestige of that accolade."

CJ Menon said when he became a Judicial Commissioner in 2006 and later when he was appointed Chief Justice, "Joe took the trouble to send me extremely kind and encouraging messages. I have the highest respect, admiration and affection for a great lawyer, who was truly inspiring to so many of us".

He added: "He will be long remembered for his remarkable contributions to the legal history of Singapore. My colleagues and I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his loved ones and his colleagues and friends who will all miss him very much."

SC Singh, Drew & Napier's executive chairman, said last night: "I am heartbroken. I have lost a dear friend and mentor who taught me everything I know.

"Drew & Napier has lost a family member who was loved and admired by all. In life, as in the law, he won all the prizes for integrity, humanity and humility. Our thoughts and prayers are with Joe, his family and loved ones."

Law Society president Gregory Vijayendran described SC Grimberg's passing as a sad moment for the legal profession.

"Joseph Grimberg SC was a gentlemanly lawyer; the likes of which the profession has rarely seen. He epitomised the finest ideals of the legal profession."

A passionate sportsman, SC Grimberg played cricket and rugby at the highest league level for the Singapore Cricket Club and served in the past as Singapore Cricket Association president.

SCA president Mahmood Gaznavi led the tributes describing his passing as a great loss to Singapore cricket.

"It is sad that he has passed on at a time when cricket is on the ascendancy through no small measure because of his care and concern."

The funeral will be held at 4pm, Sunday, Aug 20 at the Jewish Cemetery, Chou Chu Kang Road.