Disciplinary Tribunal Reports
In the Matter of Lee Suet Fern (Lim Suet Fern) (Respondent)
Advocate & Solicitor
The present proceedings against the Respondent arose out of information referred by the Deputy Attorney-General to the Law Society that the Respondent may have “potentially breached Rules 25 and 46” of the (the Professional Conduct Rules 2010 Edition)”. On the application of the Society, on the 13 of February 2019 the Chief Justice empaneled a Disciplinary Tribunal to be presided by Mr Sarjit Singh Gill SC and Mr Yee Kee Shian Leon as Advocate member. The complaint related to the preparation and execution of the Last Will of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew (Mr Lee) on or around 16 and 17 December 2013.
Two charges were preferred against the Respondent:
1st Charge – Breach of Rule 25(a) and/or (b) of the PCR in that the Respondent failed to advance Mr Lee’s interest unaffected by her interest or the interest of her husband, LHY by preparing and arranging for the execution of Mr Lee’s Will where a one-third share in Mr Lee’s Estate was to be given to LHY and such act amounting to grossly improper conduct in the discharge of her professional duty within the meaning of s 83(2)(b) of the Legal Profession Act (the Act).
2nd Charge – Breach of Rule 46 of PCT by acting in respect of significant gift (a one-third share of in Mr Lee’s Estate) that Mr Lee intended to give by Will to LHY and failing to advise Mr Lee to be independently advised in respect of this significant gift, such acts amounting to grossly improper conduct in the discharge of her professional duty within the meaning of section 83(2)(b) of the Act.
Other than the aforesaid main charges, alternative charges, based on the same facts as the main charges but referencing improper conduct and or practice as a solicitor under section 83(2)(b) of the Act (DT refers to these charges as “Charge 1A” and “Charge 2A” to distinguish them from the main charges and further alternative referencing misconduct unbefitting an advocate and solicitor as a member of an honorable profession or as an officer of the Court under section 83(2)(h) of the Act (DT refers to these charges as “Charge 1B” and “Charge 2B” to distinguish them from the main charges were also preferred against the Respondent.
The Disciplinary Tribunal hearings were conducted over five hearing days with written submissions filed and on the 18th of February 2020 the Disciplinary Tribunal issued its report. The Disciplinary Tribunal found the Respondent guilty of all charges and determined pursuant to section 93(1)(c) of the Act that there was cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action exists under section 83 of the Act.
Pursuant to the findings of the Disciplinary Tribunal and section 94 of the Act, Council determined to apply pursuant to section 98 of the Act for the Respondent to show cause why the Respondent should not be made liable to suffer the sanctions pursuant to section 83(1) of the Act.
To access the full report click here.