Shaun is a partner in the litigation and arbitration team.Shaun Leong, FCIArb, is an international arbitration specialist with more than a decade of experience in complex cross border commercial disputes across a myriad of sectors including technology, blockchain, cryptoassets, infrastructure and energy sectors. He focuses on developing and employing successful strategies to achieve clients' objectives in cross jurisdictional disputes. Awards and accolades include:
Upon graduating with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore, Shaun served in a judicial capacity as a Magistrate and Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court for five years, where he published several notable written judgments on international arbitration law. The decisions include Firstlink Investments v GT Payment on the applicable law governing an arbitration agreement as endorsed by the English Court of Appeal, and Titan Unity, endorsed by the Singapore Court of Appeal, on the threshold to determine the existence of a valid arbitration agreement. He was the Head of the Court of Appeal Section of the Supreme Court Registry, and was involved in the establishment of the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) as Secretariat of the SICC committee.
Shaun is a panel arbitrator with the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), and with premier international arbitration centres across Asia-Pacific including China and India:
Shaun also helps organisations develop and implement effective crisis management programs. His defining experience in this area was in his representation of a global healthcare company in a crisis management case in South Korea, where he was substantially engaged in all aspects of legal and strategic work around the case; including work on mass class action civil claims filed by victims, mediation, settlement and compensation, forensic investigations work in cooperation with Korean authorities, criminal defence work in relation to charged individuals, and strategic, legal advice regarding communications with media and political stakeholders.
Me in a minute
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I've selected law as my career really, and I suppose the genesis of it all would probably be due to my love for reading cultivated since young. My mum would bring my sister and I to the old MPH bookstore at Parkway Parade, and we would spend half a day reading books and she would then “force” to buy a few books each time. I went on to do literature at high school and that's when my passion for knowledge & books really accelerated. I started reading widely.
I think at the end of it all, a key essence to being a good advocate is to tell a good story, your client's version of the story. A good book (or movie, for that matter) is often open to multiple interpretations. It's really the same for the best kind of disputes, where top jurists are asked not so much as to interpret what the law says, but to interpret what the law ought to say, when the express legislation, rules and contracts have gaps that need to be filled in.I couldn't have asked for a better start to a legal career. It was an immense honour and privilege to be a Magistrate and Registrar of the Supreme Court at a young age, but with that comes an understanding of responsibility and duty. I learnt a lot - primarily, it was significant to understand the decision-making process of a Judge (or arbitrator), and know how the Judge would view different perspectives and balance different arguments.
I suppose in terms of most memorable judgments, one of it would probably be Titan Unity, where I felt very proud when the Court of Appeal endorsed the decision. Another memorable judgment would be Firstlink Investments v GT payment on the law governing an international arbitration agreement, which was recently endorsed by the English Court of Appeal.What I enjoy doing the most for my clients would be to develop an effective cross border strategy for my clients faced with a dispute. Most clients come to me with a binary mindset, obviously obsessing on the merits of the case and desperate to know if they can win, or if they would lose. More often than not, however, it is important to apply your mind to all relevant jurisdictions at hand, with focus on where the assets are. Developing and employing the correct strategy could achieve a fast, cost efficient, and decisive outcome that would be more important than anything else to achieve their objectives. I get a tremendous satisfaction doing that for my clients.