Re Lim Cheng Peng

JudgeChua F A J
Judgment Date13 November 1987
Neutral Citation[1987] SGHC 42
Date13 November 1987
Subject Matters 99 Legal Profession Act (Cap 161),Delay in disciplinary proceedings,Special facts,Reinstatement on the Roll of advocates and solicitors Merits of application,Legal Profession,Lawyer ceased practice voluntarily after being investigated for criminal breach of trust,Rights,Application for reinstatement less than five years after date ordered to be struck off rolls
Docket NumberOriginating Motion No 78 of 1987
Published date19 September 2003
Defendant CounselFong Kwok Jen (Attorney-General's Chambers),Mohan Das Naidu (TQ Lim & Co)
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Plaintiff CounselTQ Lim

Cur Adv Vult

This is an originating motion taken out by Lim Cheng Peng, a former advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Singapore, under s 99 of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161).

Lim Cheng Peng was admitted into the Honourable Society of Gray`s Inn in 1959, and called to the English Bar in 1964.
He was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 1965 and immediately thereafter began his practice, He was also admitted to the roll of advocates and solicitors in Malaysia in 1966. On 9 April 1984, he was struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors here as he had been convicted, on his plea of guilty, on a charge of criminal breach of trust in respect of a sum of $148,213.27 belonging to his clients.

Factual background

In October 1977, Lim Cheng Peng was informed that the Law Society would like to inspect his clients` accounts.
He made full and complete restitution of all moneys misappropriated from the clients` accounts to a firm of accountants appointed by the Law Society to investigate and report on the accounts relating to his practice.

On 31 January 1978, Lim Cheng Peng voluntarily ceased his practice as an advocate and solicitor.
On 12 October 1979, he was made a bankrupt on the petition of Overseas Union Bank Ltd, which had obtained a judgment for a sum of $8,476.82 and $330.00 costs in the Subordinate Courts against him.

On 20 June 1980, the Secretary of the Law Society lodged a complaint against him with the Commercial Crime Division.
In July 1980, upon receipt of a message from the Commercial Crime Division, Lim Cheng Peng surrendered himself and, on his own accord, handed over his passport.

On 28 February 1981, he was charged in the Subordinate Courts with the following:

You, Lim Cheng Peng, m/46 years NRIC No. 2034738-D are charged that you between 7 August 1976 and 30 June 1977 at Ms Cheng Peng & Co, Room 1906 (19th Floor), Robina House, Shenton Way, Singapore, a law firm, being entrusted with dominion over property, to wit, money in the clients` account of Ms Cheng Peng & Co, in your capacity as an attorney, to wit, an advocate and solicitor of the said Ms Cheng Peng & Co, committed criminal breach of trust of $148,213.27 cts in respect of the said property and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under s 409 of the Penal Code, Chapter 103.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eight months` imprisonment.

Following on this conviction, a disciplinary committee was appointed on 7 May 1981.
On 5 January 1982, the disciplinary committee made its report. In its report, the disciplinary committee found that Lim Cheng Peng had been convicted of a criminal offence implying a defect of character which made him unfit for his profession and that accordingly, cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action existed.

It was only on 15 October 1983 that an ex parte originating summons was taken out for Lim Cheng Peng to show cause why he should not be dealt with under the provisions of the Legal Profession Act.
On 24 October 1983, an order was made for him to show cause.

The originating summons finally came before a court of three judges on 9 April 1984, when the court ordered that Lim Cheng Peng be struck off the roll of advocates and solicitors.

We should perhaps say something about his employment since his conviction.
Between 1 December 1981 and 31 December 1983, Lim, Cheng Peng worked for a company as an in-house legal adviser. Between 1 November 1984 and 31 July 1986, he was employed by another company as an in-house legal adviser and corporate planner.

On 24 April 1987, the receiving and adjudication orders made against Lim Cheng Peng on 12 October 1979 were rescinded and annulled.
Proofs of debt had been lodged by 17 creditors for sums amounting to $123,163.65 which had...

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12 cases
  • Re Nirmal Singh s/o Fauja Singh
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 July 2001
    ...the court, on the basis of the facts of the case, allowed the application. Wee Chong Jin CJ delivering the judgment of the court said ([1987] SLR 486 at 490; [1988] 1 MLJ 231 at 233): We are of the view that unless there are exceptional circumstances, we would say that, as a general rule, n......
  • Re Ram Kishan
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 18 February 1992
    ... ... In Re Lim Cheng Peng [1988] 1 MLJ 231 the court of three judges noted, inter alia, from this section that the discretion must of course be exercised judicially ... ...
  • Narindar Singh Kang v Law Society of Singapore
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 7 September 2007 higher than the normal civil standard of proof on a balance of probabilities. 30 Thirdly, as this court observed in Re Lim Cheng Peng [1987] SLR 486 (at 488, [15]) “[t]he court may order restoration ‘if it thinks fit’” and, in the result, “[a] discretion is conferred by the legislature, ......
  • Knight Glenn Jeyasingam v Law Society of Singapore
    • Singapore
    • High Court (Singapore)
    • 6 July 2007
    ...years should have passed before he should consider making such an application: Re Chan Chow Wang [1982-1983] SLR 413; Re Lim Cheng Peng [1987] SLR 486; Re Nirmal Singh s/o Fauja Singh [2001] 3 SLR 608 (“Re Nirmal Singh”); and Re Gnaguru s/o Thamboo Mylvaganam [2004] SGHC 12 The reason for t......
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