John’s practice in Christopher & Lee Ong consists mainly of general litigation with emphasis on commercial, shipping and employment disputes.
- Acted for an oil and gas company in the termination of an agreement for the supply of gas and demineralised water where the issue of force majeure was applicable.
- Acted for directors of a company in resisting a claim from the Employees Provident Fund for unpaid contributions. The legal issue involved was whether Section 46 of the Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 creates any strict liability against directors of a company who fail to make contributions to the Employees Provident Fund.
- Acted for a company and a shareholder in setting aside an injunction and thereafter successfully dismissing the Originating Summons filed by another shareholder. The legal issue involved was whether a shareholders’ meeting was held in accordance to the Articles of Association and the Companies Act 2016 (i.e. notice period for the notice of shareholders’ meeting, the right to exercise a casting vote, the manner in which a simple majority is achieved to carry an ordinary resolution, etc.).
- Acted for a company in defending a claim for alleged defective construction work. The legal issue involved was in a situation where time was not of the essence, would delay in completing the work disentitle the delaying party to full payment.
- Acted for suppliers and vessel owners in maritime claims (arising from the provision of supplies, collisions / allisions) which involved the execution of ship arrests/releases (i.e. conducting hearings to obtain a warrant of arrest, renewal of a writ, leave to intervene in an existing suit, etc.).
- Acted for a bondholder in resisting an application by a debtor for the recognition of a scheme of arrangement under the then Section 176 of the then Companies Act 1965.
- Acted for creditors in a judicial sale of a vessel and the subsequent distribution of the proceeds of the sale.
- Acted for vessel owners in matters involving the detention of vessels by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency for various offences under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 (i.e. to procure the release of the vessel).
- Regularly represents employers in constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal matters in the Industrial Relations Court (i.e. conducting hearings and trial).
- Experienced in drafting employee share option schemes for a leading private equity firm.
- Employment advisory work; drafting/reviewing employment contracts, advising on areas such as redundancy/retrenchment, transfer of employees, termination on grounds of misconduct/poor performance, employment passes and general employment issues
As Assisting Counsel
- Acted in a Singapore High Court legal proceeding involving claims by over 1,000 investors in respect of a ponzi investment scheme emanating out of Canada including investigating into and prosecuting fraud claims against the perpetrators.
- Acted for an industrial manufacturing company involved in the MRT project in a dispute arising from a consortium agreement and a construction contract. The legal issue was whether in a situation where a consortium member assigns its contract proceeds under the consortium agreement to a third party, would that third party (albeit a non-party) be subject to the terms of the consortium agreement.
- Acted for palm oil estate owners in an assessment tax dispute against local authorities. The legal issue was whether in a situation whereby no services were provided by the local authority, would the palm oil estate owners still be liable to pay assessment tax.
- Acted for a minority shareholder of a privately held company in a shareholder oppression suit. The legal issue was whether in a family-held company, is there a legitimate expectation for a shareholder to be a director of a company.
- Assisting in an international arbitration dispute before the SIAC concerning a contractual dispute relating to a business sale agreement (involving the sale of a casino and hotel) causing losses upwards of USD190 million. The matter involves a breach of non-compete agreements by the seller subsequent to the business sale agreement by setting up a similar business within the vicinity and the poaching of junkets.
- Acted for an Indonesian timber company in a USD50 million SIAC arbitration over agreements relating to the sale and purchase of logs where Singaporean and Indonesian laws apply. The novel issues include whether a barter agreement is valid under Indonesian law and the time in which the risk as to the quality of the logs passes to the purchaser.
- Acted for P&I clubs in matters involving the disposal of abandoned cargo at the port of delivery.
- “Directors’ Liability and Protection”, The Sun (2nd September 2014)
- “Third Party Funding for Litigation / Arbitration”, The Sun (1st October 2018)