Deborah Barker SC

Partner, Withers KhattarWong* | Singapore

*Withers KhattarWong is a Formal Law Alliance between Withers LLP and KhattarWong LLP. Deborah Barker SC is from KhattarWong LLP.

Deborah is the managing partner of Withers Khattarwong and a partner in the litigation and arbitration team.

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 regularly acts for banks, financial institutions, insurance companies and multinational corporations in a wide range of matters, and is instructed to act in various complex corporate and trust claims, property related matters and cross-border disputes. She also conducts both local and international arbitrations.

Many of Deborah’s cases have been reported in the Singapore Law Reports and international legal guides have named her as a leading practitioner in both dispute resolution and employment law. Her areas of practice include Arbitration; Civil and Commercial Litigation; Corporate and Commercial Law; Property Law; Employment Law and Labour Relations; Banking, Finance and Securities; Estates and Trusts, Landlord and Tenant, Hire-Purchase, Leasing and Factoring; and Bankruptcy and Insolvency.

Deborah has been cited for her expertise in dispute resolution and labour and employment law in various publications, including Asialaw Leading Lawyers, The Asia Pacific Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal Singapore.

Secretary Kirin Azhar

Track record





Ong Han Ling and another v American International Assurance Company Ltd and others [2017] SGHC 327 (Ongoing): Conducted a lengthy trial against a leading insurance company on behalf of two individuals claiming damages in respect of a non-existent insurance policy with a premium of USD 5 million purchased by them as a result of the fraud of an insurance agent. The case involved complex issues of fact and law. The plaintiffs made claims based on, inter alia, vicarious liability for the agent’s fraud. The insurance company lodged a counterclaim for conspiracy alleging complicity of the individuals in the agent’s fraud. This counterclaim was roundly dismissed. The Court reviewed the law, ruled that the insurer was vicariously liable for the agent’s fraud and awarded substantial damages.

CA 1 of 2017 and CA 189 of 2016: Acted as counsel on behalf of a BVI company and an individual in cross-appeals from a decision of the Singapore International Commercial Court relating to a S$ 150 million claim pertaining to the disposal of shares allegedly intended to be used as collateral. The case involved novel and complex issues relating to the loan agreements and examined the disposal of the shares and the share prices. The issue whether parties to an international joint venture agreement should be treated as dealing on an arm’s length basis or owe fiduciary duties to each other was considered. The decision of the Court of Appeal is pending.

High Court Suit 2017: Acted as counsel on behalf of a Singapore company and its directors in a dispute with two other companies in relation to breaches of confidentiality and fiduciary duties. This dispute involved an Anton pillar order (or search order) being carried out at the residential premises of the directors and the business premises of the company and was settled in mediation at the Singapore Mediation Centre.

Singapore, 1977

Author, "A Guide to the Termination of Employment in Singapore", 1st Ed (2003), LexisNexis (SG)

Author, "A Guide to the Termination of Employment in Singapore", 2nd Ed (2008), LexisNexis (SG)

Contributor, "Employment and Labour Law - International Series" 4th Ed (2012), Sweet & Maxwell

Principal Mediator of the Singapore Mediation Centre

Singapore Academy of Law Lecture

Committee of the Asean Law Association

‘My Property and the property of others: Acquiring and disposing ownership of land (including HDB flats) and acquiring and defending other property rights’, Grassroots Club on Me - 16 March 2013, lecturer



  • English







80 Raffles Place,

#25-01 UOB Plaza 1,


View Office

Regularly works with...