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WongPartnership LLP

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12 MARINA BOULEVARD, LEVEL 28, MARINA BAY FINANCIAL CENTRE TOWER 3, SINGAPORE 018982, SINGAPORE
Tel:
Work +65 6416 8000
Fax:
Fax +65 6532 5711
Email:
Web:
www.wongpartnership.com
Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Dubai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai and 2 more

Swee Yen Koh

Tel:
Work +65 6416 6876
Email:
Web:
www.wongpartnership.com/index.php/wongpartnership/partner/koh-swee-yen
WongPartnership LLP

Work Department

Dispute Resolution

Position

Koh Swee Yen is a Partner in the Commercial & Corporate Disputes and International Arbitration Practices at WongPartnership.

She has an active practice as counsel, with a particular focus on complex, high-value and cross-border disputes across a wide spectrum of matters from commercial, corporate, fraud, trust, energy, international sales, trade to investment. She regularly appears before the High Court and Court of Appeal and in international arbitrations under the major institutional rules, including ICSID, ICC, ICDR, SIAC and UNCITRAL.

Swee Yen graduated with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore (NUS). She was awarded the Singapore Academy of Law prize for being the top student in her final year, and won subject prizes for Evidence and Procedure and Intellectual Property Law.

Swee Yen served as a Justices' Law Clerk to the Chief Justice of Singapore before entering private practice. She also received appointments as Law Clerk to assist the Competition Appeal Board in the first and subsequent appeals lodged against the Competition Commission of Singapore’s Infringement Decisions relating to price fixing matters.

Swee Yen was appointed as amicus curiae in Huang Danmin v Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board [2010] SGHC 152, and was commended for her "clear and crisp thoughts on the issue assigned to her".

Swee Yen is the incoming vice-chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee (2019). She is also a council member of International Law Association – Singapore Branch and member of the Editorial Board of the ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin and the ICCA-ASIL Task Force on Damages. Swee Yen is the co-chair of the YSIAC Committee, formed under the auspices of the SIAC, and the former co-chair of IBA Arb40, a sub-committee of the IBA Arbitration Committee.

Career

Koh Swee Yen’s investment arbitration practice includes successfully acting for the Independent State of Papua Guinea in defeating an ICSID claim brought against the State for expropriation of mining assets, acting for foreign investors against Laos PDR in investment treaty claims arising from the misappropriation of gaming investments, including securing a ground-breaking victory on the applicability of PRC bilateral investment treaties to Macau SAR based on state succession principles, and acting for investors against the Kingdom of Lesotho’s application to set aside an investment treaty award finding the State liable for denial of justice in relation to its role in the shuttering of the Southern African Development Community Tribunal. As part of her commercial arbitration practice, she has also acted as counsel in energy disputes, including for an affiliate of a leading Nigerian oil and gas conglomerate against a PRC state-owned oil entity for breach of an international sales contract for crude oil valued at over US$60 million and for investors in a dispute concerning a US$80 million petroleum exploration and production project.

The litigation matters that Swee Yen has been involved in include acting for a State in ongoing proceedings concerning the management of US$1.5 billion of assets, defending the shareholders of an oil trading company against the international arm of Yukos Oil in a US$55 million fraud and asset-tracing multijurisdictional claim, acting for a family office in proceedings concerning investments in private equity funds and hotel development valued at over US$127 million, acting for various corporate entities against their former management and employees for breach of non-compete and non-solicitation clauses, breach of fiduciary duties and confidence and obtaining and executing search orders against these individuals, and successfully arguing a landmark decision which laid down the guidelines for representative actions in Singapore before the Court of Appeal.

Swee Yen is recommended in various legal publications, including The Legal 500: Asia Pacific – The Client's Guide to the Asia Pacific Legal Profession for Dispute Resolution, Chambers Asia-Pacific Guide – Asia Pacific's Leading Lawyers for Business for Arbitration and Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific. Regarded as "exceptional", "in a league of her own", and "an especially good courtroom advocate", sources also praise her for a "keen sense of strategy" and "great ability to quickly grasp her clients' perspective and understand their commercial issues". She is known to "fight tooth and nail for her clients" and regarded as one of the "outstanding members of the next generation" under the age of 45 in Who's Who Legal: Arbitration – Future Leaders 2017. She is the only Singapore law firm lawyer to make the Chambers Outstanding Young Partners list for Singapore (2017).

Languages

English, Mandarin.

Member

  • Vice-chair, IBA Arbitration Committee (2019)
  • Co-chair, YSIAC Committee
  • Member, AIAC Panel of Arbitrators
  • Member, HKIAC Panel of Arbitrators
  • Member, Casino Regulatory Authority Patron Dispute Committee
  • Member, Civil Justice Commission; Rules of Court Working Party
  • Member, International Law Association, Singapore Branch
  • Member, Public Entertainment Appeal Board
  • Editorial Board, ICC Dispute Resolution Bulletin
  • Member, ICCA-ASIL Taskforce on Damages

Education

  • LL.B. (First Class Hons), National University of Singapore (2004)
  • Admitted to the Singapore Bar (2006)
  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England & Wales (2008)


Singapore

International arbitration

Within: International arbitration

WongPartnership LLP has an 'outstanding' track record in investor-state disputes, commercial arbitration and construction cases and 'has accumulated genuine international arbitration knowledge'. The 'superb' team is regarded as 'more international' than many of its Singapore rivals and often receives referrals from international firms; 'its preparations and planning are very thorough and its advice and strategy are meticulous'. Its international standing has also led to engagements in arbitrations seated outside of Singapore. Alvin Yeo SC's 'wisdom and powers of persuasion are phenomenal' and he is 'very articulate', 'very intelligent' and 'impressive'. He led the team that represented Swissbourgh Diamond Mines and related parties in court proceedings relating to an investment treaty arbitration against the Kingdom of Lesotho. Swee Yen Koh is 'a local star', 'meticulous over detail and has an instant grasp of the key issues'. Wendy Lin is 'responsive', 'displays maturity and acumen that are well beyond her years' and 'is a very good strategist who always thinks several steps ahead'. Construction specialist Christopher Chuah, Andre Maniam SC, Tan Chee Meng SC and Chan Hock Keng are also recommended.

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Singapore: Dispute resolution

Dispute resolution – Local firms

Within: Dispute resolution – Local firms

WongPartnership LLP remains at the forefront of big-ticket disputes in Singapore and continues to leverage its sizeable senior bench in headline cases. The 'excellent team' is 'responsive, collaborative, nimble and has a great depth of resources and offers top-notch court advocacy at a good price'. 'The level of service is exceptional and client-oriented without losing out on any professional excellence and legal competence'. Alvin Yeo SC is 'one of the best in a court room and offers his clients sound advice when navigating challenging strategic issues'. He led the team that represented Swissbourgh Diamond Mines and related parties in court proceedings relating to an investment treaty arbitration against the Kingdom of Lesotho. Alongside him at senior counsel level are Tan Chee Meng SC and Andre Maniam SC. They are supported by a sizeable team of top litigators including the 'brilliant, decisive and fearless' Koh Swee Yen and Chan Hock Keng, who is 'unparalleled in his forward-thinking abilities' and has 'an exceptional ability to understand the actual issues that matter'. Wendy Lin is 'a highly distinguished litigator who fully understands and is able to manoeuvre comfortably in commercial aspects that are highly technical and complex'. Lim Wei Lee 'offers excellent client service and is extremely persuasive and thoughtful in giving counsel'.

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