Lee Chee Wei v Tan Hor Peow Victor and Others and another appeal

CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Judgment Date09 June 2008
Docket NumberSuit No 488 of 2005 (Notice of
Date09 June 2008
Lee Chee Wei
Tan Hor Peow Victor and others

[2008] SGHC 88

Choo Han Teck J

Suit No 488 of 2005 (Notice of Assessment No 8 of 2008)

High Court

Damages–Assessment–Whether damages in lieu of specific performance should be assessed at date of breach or date of judgment

The first, third and fourth defendants failed to purchase the plaintiff's shares in a company and were found in breach of contract. The plaintiffs claimed specific performance and, alternatively, damages. In the assessment proceedings, the plaintiff and his expert witness testified but the defendants called no evidence. The plaintiff argued for the date of judgment instead of the date of breach to be taken for the purposes of assessment of damages and for the net asset value method to be used for valuation.

Held, awarding damages from the date of breach:

(1) Because the plaintiff pursued his claim for specific performance all the way to the end of the trial and only weakly pursued the alternative claim for damages, damages should be assessed on the basis of the value of the shares at the date of breach: at [2].

(2) The defendants failed to discharge the burden of proof to show that the discounted cash flow method ought to have been used instead of the net asset value method, which the expert witness testified was the most reliable method: at [3].

Ho Kian Siang v Ong Cheng Hoo [2000] 2 SLR (R) 480; [2000] 4 SLR 376 (distd)

Lee Chee Wei v Tan Hor Peow Victor [2006] SGHC 116 (refd)

Lee Chee Wei v Tan Hor Peow Victor [2007] 3 SLR (R) 537; [2007] 3 SLR 537 (refd)

Philip Fong, Evangeline Poh and Samantha Ong (Harry Elias Partnership) for the plaintiff

Ng Lip Chih (Ng Lip Chih & Co) for the first defendant

Second defendant absent

Third defendant in person.

Choo Han Teck J

1 The facts of this case have been dealt with in the main judgment on the question of liability [see Lee Chee Wei v Tan Hor Peow Victor [2006] SGHC 116, [2007] 3 SLR (R) 537 (CA)]. This judgment concerns this court's decision on the issue of damages assessed as a result of the breach of contract by the first, third and fourth defendants in failing to purchase the plaintiff's stake, amounting to 2.5% in Distribution Management Solutions Pte Ltd. In the assessment proceedings the plaintiff and his expert witness Mr Vishal Sharma (“Mr Sharma”) testified whereas the defendants called no evidence, and only the first defendant had filed a submission challenging the...

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