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24 year old case Higlights JRO

In a complex litigation spanning over 24 years in Courts both in Singapore and in London, Ms Jane Rebecca Ong was awared the London property from her husband's estate according to the original trust


Higlights JRO

Jane Rebecca Ong and Others v Ong Siauw Ping [2015] EWHC 1742 (Ch)

The complex litigation spanning over 24 years in Courts both in Singapore and in London, between Ms Jane Rebecca Ong (“Ms Ong”) and her estranged mother-in-law the late Madam Lim Lie Hoa (“Madam Lim”), resulted in numerous landmark decisions on various areas of the law including the Singapore High Court endorsing the definition of ‘disbursements’ (see [2008] 3 SLR (R) 189; [2008] 3 SLR 189; [2008] SGHC 44).

Pursuant to an Anton Pillar Order by the Singapore High Court, voluminous documents comprising over 72,000 pages were seized from Madam Lim. Engelin Teh Practice LLC were instructed by Ms Ong to conduct the legal proceedings in Singapore. The said documents were meticulously studied and reviewed. On 29 June 2010, Mr Andrew Ho (senior consultant at ETP LLC) discovered three pages of a trust deed executed by Madam Lim on 14 December 1985 and he alerted Ms Ong.

Following the digitalisation of all the Anton Pillar documents in 2011 and further digital searches, references to the trust deed were discovered in correspondence by Madam Lim’s UK solicitors. Pursuant to an application by Ms Ong in the London Court, it was Ordered on 17 August 2012 that the original executed trust deed be disclosed to Ms Ong. Ms Ong and her children subsequently obtained disclosure of the trust deed in its entirety.

The significance of the trust deed is that the same was executed by Madam Lim before any of the legal proceedings were commenced in either London or in Singapore, and Madam Lim had repeatedly denied the existence of the said trust deed.

In a 78-page judgment released on 17 June 2015, the Honourable Justice Paul Morgan found that the trust deed was duly executed by Madam Lim. In determining that Madam Lim’s evidence in Singapore Court proceedings was a ‘deliberate lie’ and that she obtained several London Court orders against Ms Ong by ‘knowingly repeating her untruthful evidence’, the said London Court orders were either set aside or stayed.

Justice Paul Morgan noted that “The Anton Pillar documents did not contain a full copy of the trust deed and the three pages from the trust deed (found by Mr Andrew Ho) were confusingly beside a different agreement so that it was not obvious that those three pages related to the trust deed.”

When asked by a reporter from the Straits Times newspaper as to how he managed to find the three pages, Mr Andrew Ho replied that “It’s just part of the job.”

The Straits Times report on the decision was published on 9 July 2015.

Our Senior Consultant, Mr Andrew Ho who can be reached at +65 6411 5819 (DID) or at andrewho@etplaw.com.


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