Pro Bono Practice

As a practice, one of our core beliefs is that it is both our privilege and duty as lawyers to give back to the community.

The firm has demonstrated its commitment to serving the community in many ways over the years. Our lawyers regularly contribute pro bono hours to the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences, Community Legal Clinics, and by serving on voluntary committees and supporting various charities.

We have also partnered with worthy charitable causes, including the Singapore Disability Sports Council and Justice Without Borders to offer ongoing legal support where required.

In 2014, we were one of the first firms to sponsor a CLAS Fellow, a lawyer who works at Pro Bono SG exclusively to defend clients granted aid for non-capital criminal cases.

In 2021, the firm became one of the first Singapore law practices to appoint a Pro Bono Advocate, a lawyer within the team who works on pro bono matters and growing the firm’s pro bono practice full-time.

Under our dedicated Pro Bono practice, we provide legal advice and representation for select causes which the Firm determines are meritorious and worthy of assistance, and in which the Firm is able to make a significant difference to the outcome. We seek out and take on cases for individuals or groups who cannot afford representation and yet do not qualify for the existing formal legal assistance schemes in Singapore. Causes include criminal defence, civil claims, administrative and public law issues, and matters of public interest.

Pro Bono Highlights:

  • Represented a mentally incapacitated woman as instructed counsel in a highly complex and document-intensive 31-day medical negligence trial in the Singapore High Court against a neurosurgeon and a hospital in relation to a failed brain surgery. The trial involved 8 expert witnesses in the fields of neurosurgery or neuroradiology.
  • Successfully defended man charged with six charges of rape and sexual assault offences against a minor-aged complainant at High Court and Court of Appeal on the basis of major inconsistencies in the complainant’s account of the offences (see Public Prosecutor v Mohd Ariffan bin Mohd Hassan [2019] 2 SLR 490).
  • Secured a favourable settlement on behalf of a domestic helper in a District Court claim for unpaid wages in partnership with Justice Without Borders (read their write up about it here).
  • Acted in the landmark appellate decision of Chan Kum Hong Randy v Public Prosecutor [2008] 2 SLR(R) 1019, where the accused’s jail sentence was reduced from 5 years to 2 days. The High Court held that a substantial sentencing discount ought to apple exceptionally on account of prejudice suffered due to inordinate delays by the prosecution.
  • Persuaded the High Court exercising its appellate jurisdiction to exceptionally set aside a conviction and a 9-year jail term in Yunani bin Adbul Hamid v Public Prosecutor [2008] 3 SLR(R) 383 on the basis of a vitiated guilty plea. Went on to successfully defend the accused in a 8-day trial that immediately followed suit and secured a full acquittal.
  • Acted for Sri Lankan domestic helper charged with culpable homicide. Successfully persuaded the High Court to strike out 7 police statement for TIP.
  • Acted for a patient in a permanent vegetative state in a medical negligence claim against a neurosurgeon and the hospital in a 31-day trial involving 8 expert witnesses in the fields of neurosurgery or neuroradiology, and 10 other neurosurgeons and radiologists from NUH.
  • Acted for a disbarred advocate in his application for reinstatement to the Bar after 10 years of being struck off the rolls. This was the first case in over 20 years where a reinstatement was granted by the Court of Three Judges.
  • Representing two migrant workers facing criminal prosecution for false declarations of salary under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.
  • Pursuing a claim on behalf of a domestic helper against her employer for abuse.