Partner

Yong Seng acts as lead counsel in a broad spectrum of commercial disputes, including the areas of employment, supply-distributorships and joint ventures. His clients include global financial institutions, multinational companies and government bodies.

In the High Court, he has particular expertise in commercial and employment litigation. He has successfully acted for top trading companies like BGC Partners, Itochu and Maersk in complex injunctions that pushed the boundaries of Singapore law. He also has significant experience in handling large-scale industrial accidents and product failures, having defended leading MNCs in the power-generation, automobile, chemical and paper industries.

In the Court of Appeal (Singapore’s highest Court), his experience lies in arguing novel and difficult points of law. His successful cases as lead advocate include a landmark 5-Judge decision on defamation, and leading decisions on insolvency/trusts law and tort law.

Yong Seng also has a busy international arbitration practice, representing heavy industries, power generators, airlines and media companies. He successfully acted for a Japanese MNC in one of the first arbitrations under the 2016 SIAC Expedited Procedure, and subsequently defended the award in the High Court.

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific has recognised Yong Seng as one of his department’s “key partners”, noting that he is a commercial litigator and “employment disputes expert” who “is a real joy to work with, is really smart and fights your corner. He is a rising star and punches well above his weight."  Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific has recognised Yong Seng as a “Litigation Star”, noting feedback that “Yong Seng not only has expertise in law but also knows what the business needs of the client are… Thorough research and preparation, detailed explanations, building up strong arguments, and lets us win the case on the most important issues.”.

Yong Seng has Government experience as an Assistant Director in the Ministry of Law in 2009/2010. He is also active in academia. At Singapore Management University (SMU), he teaches as Adjunct Faculty on Commercial Remedies in Litigation. He is also on the Practice Advisory Committee of the School of Law at SMU. At the Singapore Academy Law (SAL), he serves as Subject Editor for SAL Practitioner (Employment Law), and Co-Editor of the SAL Annual Review of Singapore Cases (Equity and Trusts). He currently also sits on the Board of Governors of Nanyang Polytechnic and is Honorary Legal Adviser to the Singapore Table Tennis Association.

Yong Seng was educated at Oxford University. He took a B.A. (Hons) in Law in 2003 (converted to M.A. in 2013), and a B.C.L. in 2004. At Oxford, he was an Exhibitioner and a College Book Prize winner at Pembroke College. 

Work Highlights

High Court Litigation

  • Acted for GFI Group (now part of BGC Partners) in enforcing a worldwide non-compete covenant in its employment contracts (Mahina Woon v GFI Group (OS 4 of 2015)).
  • Acted for Itochu Singapore in enforcing a two year international non-compete (Tan Kok Yong Steve v Itochu Singapore [2018] SGHC 85).
  • Acted for Maersk Trade Finance in enforcing a worldwide “Mareva” freezing injunction in relation to the Agritrade commodity collapse (Maersk Trade Finance v Ng Xin Wei, (Suit 189 of 2020)).

Appellate Advocacy (Court of Appeal)

  • Successfully argued a landmark 5-Judge Court of Appeal decision on defamation law (Goh Lay Khim v Isabel Redrup [2017] 1 SLR 546).
  • Argued a ground-breaking decision on tort law and res ipsa locquitur (Grace Electrical v Te Duem Engineering [2017] SGCA 65).
  • Successfully argued a complex leading Court of Appeal decision on company and insolvency law (Seah Teong Kang v Seah Yong Chwan [2015] 5 SLR 792).

International Arbitration (SIAC)

  • Successfully acted for a top Japanese spa chain in one of the first Expedited Arbitrations in the SIAC under the 2016 Arbitration Rules, and defended the award in a setting aside application in the High Court (Mary Chia Beauty v Slim Beauty House, OS 849 of 2017).

Publications