Re Lee Chu Ming Martin QC and another application

JurisdictionSingapore
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Date07 June 2002
Docket NumberOriginating Motions Nos 600028

[2002] SGHC 319

High Court

Lee Seiu Kin JC

Originating Motions Nos 600028 and 600029 of 2002

Re Lee Chu Ming Martin QC and another application

Davinder Singh SC and Hri Kumar (Drew & Napier LLC) for the plaintiffs in the suits

Defendant in person, on behalf of the applicants

Jeffrey Chan and Leong Wing Tuck (State Counsel) for the Attorney-General's Chambers

Yang Lih Shyng (Khattar Wong & Partners) for the Law Society.

Caplan Jonathan Michael QC, Re [1997] 3 SLR (R) 412; [1998] 1 SLR 440 (folld)

Nicholas William Henric QC, Re [2002] 1 SLR (R) 751; [2002] 2 SLR 296 (refd)

Price Arthur Leolin v AG [1992] 3 SLR (R) 113; [1992] 2 SLR 972 (folld)

Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 2001 Rev Ed) s 21 (consd)

Legal Profession–Admission–Ad hocAd hoc admission of Queen's Counsel–Applicants reapplying for admission after dismissal of first application–Three-stage test for admission–Whether case of sufficient difficulty and complexity–Whether circumstances of case warranted admission–Whether applicants suitable for admission–Section 21 Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 2001 Rev Ed)–Res Judicata–Issue estoppel–Doctrine–Parties and issues same as those in previous applications–Whether applicants could reapply for admission on same issues–Proper procedure where fresh evidence adduced

Two Queen's Counsel reapplied under s 21 of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 2001 Rev Ed) for ad hoc admission as advocates and solicitors to represent the same defendant in respect of the same suit. The defendant applied on their behalf.

Tay Yong Kwang JC (“Tay JC”) dismissed their first application because their admission was not warranted as the suit was of insufficient difficulty and complexity, and the circumstances of the case did not warrant it. The applicants did not appeal against Tay JC's decision.

The present application was entirely the same as the first, except that the defendant filed new supporting affidavits.

Held, dismissing the applications:

(1) The three-stage test in respect of ad hoc admissions under s 21 was whether (a) the case was of sufficient difficulty and complexity; (b) the circumstances of the case warranted admission; and (c) the applicant was a suitable person for admission: at [3].

(2) The applicants had not appealed against Tay JC's decision. In the premises, they were bound by Tay JC's findings. Hence, the doctrine of issue estoppel applied and they were estopped from raising the same issues: at [8].

(3) If the applicants were dissatisfied with Tay JC's decision, the proper course of action would have been to file an appeal. If they had fresh evidence, the correct procedure was to apply to the Court of Appeal for leave to adduce the evidence. For the present court to hear their applications would be tantamount to hearing an appeal against Tay JC's decision, which it did not have jurisdiction to do: at [9].

Lee Seiu Kin JC

1 The two originating motions before me concern applications by two Queen's Counsel for ad hoc admission to practise as advocates and solicitors in the High Court...

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2 cases
  • Re De Lacy Richard QC
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 13 March 2003
    ...ought to have been mentioned in the first application is akin to the application in Re Lee Chu Ming Martin QC and another application [2002] 4 SLR 929. That case concerns a second set of applications to admit QC after I dismissed the first. In dismissing the second set of applications, Lee ......
  • Re De Lacy Richard QC
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 13 March 2003
    ...ought to have been mentioned in the first application is akin to the application in Re Lee Chu Ming Martin QC and another application [2002] 4 SLR 929. That case concerns a second set of applications to admit QC after I dismissed the first. In dismissing the second set of applications, Lee ......

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