Ivan Cheong

Partner | Singapore

Secretary Aisyah Mdnoh

Operating as Withers KhattarWong LLP in Singapore.


Track record

Landmark adoption High Court appeal

Acting as co-lead counsel in landmark High Court appeal (as well as at first instance) which is the first reported contested adoption case where I co-led the team in which we successfully represented a gay man seeking to adopt his own biological child in Singapore who was conceived through surrogacy. The man who is in a long term same sex relationship with his partner of over 10 years and desired to have a child to care for and call his own. The child was conceived via commercial surrogacy procedures in the USA and after birth, returned to Singapore. The reported 105 page judgment is UKM (applicant) v Attorney-General [2018] SGHCF 18.

Landmark maintenance order High Court case

Successfully representing client as lead counsel in landmark High Court case where client's appeal against an interim maintenance order was allowed. The case is seminal as it set out guiding principles for what the Court must consider before awarding maintenance. In this case, the Court held that neglect by a party to pay reasonable maintenance must be established before the said party may be ordered to pay interim maintenance and that applications should not be unnecessarily taken out. Reported Judgment in TCT v TCU [2015] SGHCF 3

COVID and relocation cases

Acting as lead instructed counsel in the High Court appeal case of UYK v UYJ [2020] SGHCF 9 which was the first reported judgment that the Court had to consider the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the welfare of the child and the implications this would have on the left behind parent's access to the child as well as the approach taken by the Court for the COVID situation for relocation cases. The case has become a leading precedent for how the Court balances children's issues with other considerations in the midst of the COVID pandemic and also sets out key principles that a Court must consider in any application for leave to relocate the child to a foreign jurisdiction.

Single Income marriage

Acting as lead counsel in High Court case where the judge expounded on a seminal Court of Appeal decision (TNL v TNK) that clarified that the ‘structured' approach in ANJ would not apply to long Single Income marriages. The judge gave helpful guidance on when a marriage may be regarded as a Single Income marriage and the helpfulness of past precedent cases as a guide for division of matrimonial assets. This case has been cited with approval for the legal principles therein by the Court of Appeal. Reported Judgment in UBM v UBN [2017] SGHCF 13

Family matters and privately owned companies

Acting as lead counsel in a High Court appeal which expanded the applicable principles of discovery in family matters pertaining to privately owned companies. Reported judgment in ACW v ACX [2014] SGHC 53. Acting as lead counsel for the same client whose shares in his group of companies valued at over S$40 million constituted over 80% of the pool of matrimonial assets to be divided. A key consideration for the case was how the Court would award an equitable division of the assets given that the client's shares, which formed the bulk of the assets to be divided, were illiquid. Reported judgment in TYU v TYV [2017] SGHCF 8

UHNW client SMC mediation

Acting as lead counsel for UHNW client with matrimonial assets of over S$200 million in contentious ancillary proceedings that was successfully resolved on a global basis at SMC mediation.

Application for return of child

Successfully representing client as lead counsel in urgent application for return of child situated overseas back to Singapore and resisting the defendant husband's appeal which was dismissed.

Mother's appeal for leave

Acting as lead counsel in a successful High Court cross appeal case (HCF/ DCA 53/2019) for the mother who was appealing against the lower court's decision to refuse her request for leave to relocate the children back to their home in UK. The father was appealing against the lower court's decision to award sole care and control of the children to my client. The lower court's judgment is reported in UXT v UXU [2019] SGFC 79. On appeal, the High Court allowed the mother's appeal for leave to relocate the children to UK and dismissed the husband's appeal against the care and control orders.


  • Guest on CNA938 where Ivan shared his thoughts on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on families and how families can keep together while being apart, 2021

  • Speaker and Panellist, ‘Court Annexed Mediation', Family Mediation Symposium 2019 jointly organised by the Family Justice Court and Hague Convention on Private International Law

  • Panellist, ‘Surrogacy & Family formation', 4th LGBT Family Law Institute meeting 2019, Melbourne

  • Moderator, Family Conference 2018, Family Justice: A Therapeutic approach

  • Speaker, ‘Divorce Process and Procedure' hosted by Maintenance Support Central - SCWO, 2016

  • Guest on Radio 938Live (Now CNA938) where Ivan spoke about Maintenance and the need for equality, 2017