Deborah Barker SC

Managing Partner (KhattarWong)

  • Education: University of Singapore, LL.B (Hons)
  • Admitted: Singapore, 1977
  • Languages spoken: English
  • Year joined: 2015
  • Year became partner: 2015


Deborah joined Withersworldwide in 2015, following the Formal Law Alliance (FLA) between Withers and Singapore law firm KhattarWong LLP. She has worked for more than three decades in the areas of civil and commercial litigation and she has extensive experience in both trial and appellate litigation.

Deborah has acted for banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and multinational corporations in a wide range of matters, and has handled various complex corporate and trust claims, property related matters and cross-border disputes. She also conducts both local and international arbitrations and has acted as counsel in various arbitrations under the ICC and SIAC Rules, including representing foreign banks in cross-border disputes. Her cases have been regularly reported in the Singapore Law Reports and international legal guides have named her as a leading practitioner.

Recently, she has been listed in the 2016 IFC Powerwomen Top 200 by Citywealth.


  • TMT Asia Ltd v BHP Billiton Marketing AG & Anor [2015] SGHC 21
    Acting in the High Court in disputes relating to market manipulation and freight forwarding agreements, and involving violations under the Securities and Futures Act (Cap. 289) and successfully resisting a striking- off application
  • Lim Meng Suang, Kenneth Chee Mun-Leon & Attorney-General [2014] CA 54/2013
    Acting in an appeal involving constitutional issues of public importance, namely, whether Section 377A of the Penal Code infringes the constitutional rights to equality, life and liberty
  • Wee Chiaw Sek Anna v Ng Li-Ann Genevieve (sole executrix of the estate of Ng Hock Seng deceased) and another [2012]SGHC 197/[2013] SGCA 36
    Acting in the High Court and the Court of Appeal on behalf of an executrix of an estate and defending a claim for a share of alleged matrimonial property based on fraud, breach of trust and unjust enrichment 
  • Firoudin Aliev v Kon Ying Tong the joint and several liquidator of Agrosin Pte Ltd [2013] SGHC 128
    Acting in the High Court and the Court of Appeal on behalf of a former employee of a Company in liquidation to challenge the rejection of his proof of debt claiming salaries and other monies.

Publications and speaking engagements

  • Author of A Guide to Termination of Employment in Singapore published by Lexis-Nexis, currently in 2nd edition
  • Contributor to a chapter of Employment and Labour Law produced by the European Lawyer, 2012
  • Lecturer to the Grassroots Club on Me, My Property and the property of others: Acquiring and disposing ownership of land (including HDB flats) and acquiring and defending other property rights, 16 March 2013


  • Military Court of Appeal
  • Committee of the Asean Law Association
  • Inter Pacific Bar Association
  • Organising Committee for the Singapore Academy of Law Lecture 2014

On a personal note

Sailing is one of Deborah's main interests (when practising law permits this). She is the Vice Commodore of the Changi Sailing Club, a member of Raffles Marina and sails a taipan and a trimaran. Her other leisure activities include reading, walking her dogs and singing.

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