Lee Min Jai v Chua Cheow Koon

JudgeChoo Han Teck J
Judgment Date22 December 2004
Neutral Citation[2004] SGHC 275
Docket NumberDivorce Petition No 501 of 2004 (Registrar's Appeal from the Subordinate Courts
Date22 December 2004
Published date22 December 2004
Plaintiff CounselJames Chia (James Chia and Co)
Citation[2004] SGHC 275
Defendant CounselColin Kang (East Asia Law Corporation)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Subject MatterWhether application on grounds of trial solicitor's failure to render appropriate advice should be allowed,Matrimonial assets,Family Law,Petitioner wife appealing against district judge's dismissal of application to rescind part of consent order in decree nisi relating to transfer of her share in matrimonial home to respondent husband for certain sum of money,Matrimonial home

22 December 2004

Choo Han Teck J:

1 This was an appeal by the petitioner (wife) against an order by the district court judge dismissing her application to rescind part of a consent order in the decree nisi granted on 27 July 2004, and to substitute a fresh order in its place.

2 The petitioner, a Korean national, married the respondent, a Singapore national, on 16 October 2000 when they were about 32 and 33 years old respectively. The couple had lived together for about three years although the marriage lasted four years before the decree nisi was granted. They have no children.

3 The part of the decree nisi that the petitioner sought to rescind was cl 3(b) which reads as follows:

That upon full payment of $50,000.00 by the Respondent to the Petitioner, the Petitioner shall transfer her share to all title, rights and interest of the matrimonial flat known as and situate at 27, Paya Lebar Road, #12-06, Singapore 409042 entirely to the Respondent. That the Respondent do bear all costs and expense in the said transfer.

The petitioner’s grounds for this application were that she consented to the orders without realising that she was a joint owner of the matrimonial flat. Mr Chia, her counsel, on appeal before me, submitted that had she known, she would not have consented to the sum of $50,000. She should have been, and ought to be given, at least half the value of the flat, valued at $520,000 as at 13 August 2004. He conceded that the petitioner was represented by a solicitor and that she had told her (then) solicitor that she had a share in the matrimonial flat. But she did not know the nature of her interest and so did not mention this aspect. Mr Chia argued that the solicitor ought, in those circumstances, to have made a search of the register because, had he done so, he would have known that she was a joint-owner and would have advised her accordingly. Mr Chia submitted that the solicitor was thus in breach of his duty to the petitioner. He argued that any reasonable solicitor would have caused a search of the register to be made in those circumstances.

4 Mr Chia referred to the authority of Wee Ah Lian v Teo Siak Weng [1992] 1 SLR 688 at 698, [39] and [40], in which Karthigesu JA held that:

The matter does not end there. We must still decide whether in the exercise of our discretion under s 106 of the Women’s Charter (Cap 353) we ought to uphold the settlement. Section 106 does not specifically provide for the validation of agreements honestly negotiated by the parties but it does give jurisdiction to the court to order a division of matrimonial assets when granting a decree of divorce. The section provides for two distinct situations. Sub-sections (1) and (2) deal with the position where the matrimonial assets were...

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29 cases
  • Aoo v Aon
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 29 September 2011
    ...(folld) Evans v Bartlam [1937] AC 473 (refd) Livesey (formerly Jenkins) v Jenkins [1985] AC 424 (folld) Lee Min Jai v Chua Cheow Koon [2005] 1 SLR (R) 548; [2005] 1 SLR 548 (refd) Mercurine Pte Ltd v Canberra Development Pte Ltd [2008] 4 SLR (R) 907; [2008] 4 SLR 907 (refd) Siebe Gorman & C......
  • WGM v WGN
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 26 September 2022
    ...taken an unfair advantage over the other in negotiating and settling the terms of a consent judgment (Lee Min Jai v Chua Cheow Koon [2005] 1 SLR(R) 548 at [5]); (d) fraudulent misrepresentation or non-disclosure (AYM at [30]; AOO at [22]). Fraudulent misrepresentation or Regarding this cate......
  • VMA v VMB
    • Singapore
    • Family Court (Singapore)
    • 23 October 2020
    ...Consent Orders in particular, to the cases of AOO v AON [2011] SGCA 51, UMV v UMW [2018] SGFC 60 and Lee Ming Jai v Chua Cheow Koon [2004] SGHC 275. In citing the case of AOO v AON, the Wife’s Counsel submitted that the absence of full and frank disclosure by the Husband, could be ground fo......
  • BMI v BMJ
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 22 May 2017
    ...taken an unfair advantage over the other in negotiating and settling the terms of a consent judgment (Lee Min Jai v Chua Cheow Koon [2005] 1 SLR(R) 548 at [5]); fraudulent misrepresentation or non-disclosure (AYM at [30]; AOO at [22]). The present case is concerned with ground (d). Delay by......
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2 books & journal articles
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2012, December 2012
    • 1 December 2012
    ...42 LawNet searches did not yield such decisions at the time of writing. 43 See Debbie Ong, “When Spouses Agree”(2006) 18 SAcLJ 96. 44 [2005] 1 SLR(R) 548 at [5]. 45 TQ v TR [2009] 2 SLR(R) 961 at [75]. 46 Relevant circumstances may amount to duress or may fall just short of duress, such as ......
    • Singapore
    • Singapore Academy of Law Journal No. 2006, December 2006
    • 1 December 2006
    ...n 11, and Khoo Meng Huat v Chin Seah Ha, supra n 11. 27 Supra n 11. 28 [2003] 3 SLR 474 (“Tan Siew Eng”). 29 Ibid, at [42]—[43]. 30 [2005] 1 SLR 548. 31 Ibid, at [5]. 32 See supra n 15, and Cretney, supra n 14. 33 Supra n 14, at 692. 34 [1994] 1 FLR 775. 35 Ibid, at 780. 36 Supra n 11. 37 I......

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