Chandra Mohan.JPEG

Chandra Mohan Rethnam, BBM PBM

Head, Commercial Litigation
Head, Private Client

Practice Area:

Commercial Litigation
Family, Probate & Trusts
Private Client

LLB (Hons), National University of Singapore (1986)
LLM, University of Cambridge (1989)
Notary Public
Commissioner for Oaths (Solicitors & Advocates)
Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore
Solicitor of Supreme Court of England & Wales

T +65 6232 0552
E [email protected]

Chandra has been a partner with Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP for more than 20 years with an active practice in commercial litigation. He is the key contact with regards to the Middle East disputes and is the Head of the Commercial Litigation Practice Group and the Private Client Practice Group. 

Chandra graduated from the National University of Singapore (NUS) with a LLB (Hons) in 1986 and then obtained his LLM from the University of Cambridge in 1989. He was awarded the Law Society of Singapore Book Prize and B.A. Mallal Prize for academic distinction in Law School. He was also a member of the NUS Team that won the International Division of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Competition in Washington DC in 1986. He later returned as a lecturer at the Faculty of Law, NUS, where he taught Securities Regulation and Conflict of Laws.

Alongside his active practice, Chandra has been appointed as a Member of the Citizenship Committee of Inquiry by the Minister for Home Affairs. He is also a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the UK Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He remains very active as a Council Member in the Northwest Community Development Council (NWCDC) and the Chairman of the Finance Committee, NWCDC as well as Chairman of the Organising Committee for NWCDC Food Aid Fund for needy residents from 2010 to 2016.

In recognition of his commendable contribution towards community services in Singapore, Chandra was presented with Bintang Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Star) (BBM) and the Pingat Bakti Masyarakat (Public Service Medal) (PBM) at the 2015 and 2011 National Day Awards respectively.

To-date, Chandra is active in his alma mater where he previously served on the ACS Board of Governors from 1996 to 2015 and currently sits on the Anglo-Chinese School (International) Board of Management.

Experience

Chandra has a wide range of experience in various types of arbitration and commercial litigation work with special emphasis on professional negligence claims, shareholders’ disputes, employment disputes including minority oppression actions as well as property disputes. He acts for clients in a number of cross-border arbitration proceedings and also handles family matters including divorce proceedings, probate and trusts.

Professional Negligence Claims
  • Acted for Lockton as professional indemnity insurers in defending a law firm, Cheo Yeoh & Associates LLC, in proceedings commenced against them for professional negligence. The Plaintiffs, allegedly the beneficiaries under the will of the testator, asserted that Cheo Yeoh & Associates LLC had breached their duty of care towards them by failing to ensure that the New Will was properly executed. AEL & others v Cheo Yeoh & Associates LLC & another [2014] SGHC 129
  • Acted for Lockton as professional indemnity insurers in defending a professional negligence claim brought by former clients of a law firm, Leonard Loo LLP and its principal partner, Leonard Loo, in a professional negligence claim for damages for loss of chance by the law firm’s former clients. The Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendant had caused the dismissal of an earlier suit through negligence. Lee Chang-Rung and others v Leonard Loo LLP and another [2012] SGHC 174
  • Acted for Arthur Andersen in a negligence claim where the 1st Plaintiffs claimed that our clients were negligent in that they failed to exercise reasonable skill and care in their preparation of the Special Audit Report and in their preparation of the financial statements. Vita Life Sciences Limited & Anor v Arthur Andersen & Anor [2008] SGHC 85
  • Acted for TeoFoongWongLCLoong in defending claims against them for professional negligence. The Plaintiffs claimed damages for breach of contract in that the Defendants had failed in their duty as auditors to identify abuse of the Plaintiffs’ funds by a director of the Plaintiffs at the material time. JSI Shipping (S) Pte Ltd v Messrs TeoFoongWongLCLoong (a firm) [2007] 2 SLR 447
  • Acted for Lockton as professional indemnity insurers in defending a professional negligence claim brought by a former client of a law firm, M/s Arul Chew & Partners, for breach of duty. Ong Jane Rebecca v PricewaterhouseCoopers and others [2012] SGHC 106
Arbitration matters 
  • Acting for the Claimants in arbitration proceedings under ICC Rules relating to the termination of a construction contract and lease agreement in the Philippines. The quantum involved in the arbitration proceedings is expected to be at least US$7.5million, and notwithstanding other types of declaratory relief sought, could increase to encompass a substantial portion of the value of the lease agreement.
  • Acted in a claim by an international group of companies against a Sri Lankan institution in respect of the termination of a sports agreement.
  • Acted for the Respondents, Nimbus Sport International Pte Ltd, in arbitration proceeding under the UNCITRAL Rules.
  • Acted for the Claimants in an arbitration commenced pursuant to section 91 of the Co-operative Society Act read within the Arbitration Act.
  • Acted for the Claimant in ARB53/09/CV. 
  • Acted for the Respondents in ARB87/11/AU.
  • Acted for the Claimant in ARB128/09/JW.
Minority oppression Actions 
  • • Acting for several defendants in two oppression actions brought by Sakae Holdings Limited under section 216 of the Companies Act. The claims being brought by the plaintiff shareholder includes breach of directors' duties by de facto, de jure and/or shadow directors, breach of a joint venture agreement, breach of trust, breach of the Companies Act, and knowing receipt. Among the reliefs sought are liquidated damages amounting to approximately S$40 million, various declaratory reliefs, and a share buyout.
  • Acted for the petitioners in a share dispute matter in CWU No. 290 of 2003/A
Family Matters (Including Divorce Proceedings, Probate and Trusts)

Divorce Proceedings

  • Acted for an individual client in commencing divorce proceedings, which were later discontinued. The client's assets are valued at approximately S$63 million.
  • Advised an individual client on the circumstances under which Singapore will be considered forum non conveniens in relation to a divorce and the applicability of pre-nuptial agreements in Singapore.
  • Wong Ser Wan v Ng Cheong Ling [2002] SGDC 93
  • Teo Guan Seng v Tian Ah Poon in OS No. 1493/2004/W

Probate

  • Acted for the executor of an estate in extracting a grant of probate. The market value of the estate as of the date of the testator's death was approximately S$5 million. We subsequently acted for the executor in the distribution of the estate.
  • Acted for 13 beneficiaries in a claim brought by another beneficiary in respect of the estate of their deceased parent / grandparent.
  • Acted for the Emirates Bank International in Probate No. 83 of 2005 in recovering monies owed to the bank from the Estate of Lalitha Kishin Kikla aka Lalita Kishin Kikla (deceased)
  • DCP NO. 445 OF 2005 in respect of the Estate of Kishin Naraindas Kikla (deceased)
Property Disputes 
  • Christina Au Mei Yin & Goh Bak Heng v Adela Lo Sook Ling [2001] SGHC 314
  • Grace Development Pte Ltd & Anor v Kassim Syed Ali and other actions [1998] 1 SLR 730
  • Kassim Syed Ali & Ors v Grace Development Pte Ltd & Anor [1998] 2 SLR 393
  • Koh Tat Wan (Pte) Ltd v Collector of Land Revenuen in AB 2001.047
  • Autoacc Trading Pte Ltd v Collector of Land Revenue [2003] SGAB 3
  • Land acquisition cases
Contractual Disputes 
  • Acted for various RMC suppliers in contractual disputes arising out of the sand ban.
  • Acted for Nimbus Media Pte Ltd (Nimbus) in contractual dispute pursuant to a media sales agreement.
  • Max Media FZ LLC v Nimbus Media Pte Ltd [2010] SGHC 30
  • Dynamic Offshore Project Services v Weatherford Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd (Suit No. 949 of 2010B)
  • China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd v J Aron & Company (Singapore) Pte
  • Teo Soy Kin vs UOB & anor, Chu Chee Kuen & anor vs UOB & anor & Koh Kam Hah & anor vs UOB & anor (Consolidated) [1998] SGHC 184
  • Holcim (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Kwan Yong Construction Pte Ltd [2009] SLR (R) 193
Other matters 
  • Petroships Investment Pte Ltd v Wealthplus Pte Ltd and others [2015] SGHC 145
  • Petroships Investment Pte Ltd v Wealthplus Pte Ltd and others and another matter [2016] SGCA 17
  • Acted for and successfully defended Koh Brothers Group Limited and its related companies in a multi-million dollar shareholders' dispute in relation to a joint venture in China. The plaintiff sought leave under s 216A of the Companies Act to bring an action in the name of the joint venture company against its directors and other companies in respect of monies which the plaintiff alleged were wrongfully transferred to them. The High Court dismissed the plaintiff's application as the defendants proved that the plaintiff was not acting in good faith and that it was not in the interests of the company that the action be brought.
  • Acting for 2 defendants, being a Singapore company under voluntary members' winding up and its liquidator, in relation to a dispute involving EUR 3.3 million for alleged illegal fishing in Comoros waters. The plaintiff is the Government of Comoros. The plaintiff was the claimant and the 2nd defendant (the Singapore company) was the alleged respondent in proceedings commenced in Comoros. The plaintiff is now attempting to enforce the said Comoros judgment in Singapore. This case raises interesting issues in relation to the recognition and enforcement of a foreign judgment in Singapore under common law and would address the validity of most, if not all defences applicable thereto.
  • Acted for 5 defendants being various Liechtenstein foundations and one Panama Corporation in relation to a dispute involving US$16.8 million and GBP4.2 million that were deposited in an account with WestLB AG and which was alleged to be ill-gotten gains of the late Ferdinand E. Marcos. The claimants to these sums are the Philippines National Bank, the Republic of Philippines, a class of Human Rights Victims, four Liechtenstein foundations and one Panama Corporation.
  • PT Makindo (formerly known as PT Makindo TBK) v Aperchance Co Ltd and 2 others (OS 190 of 2010/D) [2010] 4 SLR 954 & (CA 137 of 2010) [2011] 3 SLR 379
  • Acted for the Plaintiff, a company in the business of the procurement and trading of aviation oil, petroleum and petroleum-related products including oil derivative products. The Defendants is part of the commodities trading division of an investment bank specializing in over-the-counter options trading and is widely considered the market leader and in some cases, the market maker for these products. The Plaintff’s claims against the Defendants for misrepresentation, negligence and breach of fiduciary duties. The matter was settled when parties entered into a Settlement Agreement. China Aviation Oil (Singapore) Corporation Ltd v J Aron & Company (Singapore) Pte
  • Petroships Investment Pte Ltd v Koh Brothers Group Limited (Suit No. 867 of 2011/Y (SUM 465 of 2012))
  • Acted for the Government of the Republic of the Philippines against the Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc to set aside an arbitration award. The Government of the Republic of the Philippines v Philippine International Air Terminals Co., Inc [2007] 1 SLR (R) 278
  • David H Wong v Timothy Seow Group Architects Pte Ltd (In Liquidation) & Timothy Seow [2007] 3 SLR (R) 698
  • Jeffrey Henry Yap v Timothy Seow & 4 others [2006] SGHC 6
  • Group Exklusiv Pte Ltd v Diethelm Singapore Pte Ltd [2003] 4 SLR 582
  • A Kanesananthan v Singapore Ceylon Tamils’ Association [2003] 3 SLR 539
  • Kwee Seng Chio Peter v Biogenics Sdn Bhd [2003] 2 SLR 482
  • Koh Ewe Chee v Koh Hua Leong & Anor [2002] 3 SLR 643
  • Biogenics Sdn Bhd v Group Exklusiv Pte Ltd [2002] CA
  • Seah Teck Hoe v Hong Ah Leng & Ors [1998] SGHC 184
  • Payna Chettiar v Maimoon bte Ismail & Ors [1997] 3 SLR 387
  • Re Teo Choo Hong [1995] 2 SLR 594
Memberships / Directorships
  • Council Member, Northwest Community Development Council
  • Chairman of Finance Committee, Northwest Community Development Council
  • Member, Citizenship Committee of Inquiry
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore Inquiry Committee
  • Independent Director, Centurion Corporation Limited (FKA SM Summit Holdings Limited)
  • Member, Anglo-Chinese School (International) Board of Management
  • Co-opted Member, SINDA’s Executive Committee (2015-2017)
  • Fellow, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Publications
  • Contribution to “Singapore Precedents of Pleadings” published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2006.
  • “Some Contractual Approaches to the Problem of Inconsistent Awards in Multi-Party, Multi-Contract Arbitration Proceeding”, jointly written with Lim Wee Teck, to be published in Vol. 1, No. 2 of the Asian International Arbitration Journal published in November 2005, updated in 2009.
  • “Restraining Foreign Proceedings; A Return to the Law of “Vexation and Oppression”, MLR Vol 30 No. 1 July 1988
  • “New Rules on Forum Conveniens”, MLR Vol 29 No. 1 July 1987