Steve’s practice is in the areas of non-contentious and contentious Data Protection, Information Technology (“IT”), Intellectual Property (“IP”), Cybersecurity and Digital Media / Entertainment law.
He has been recognised as a leading lawyer for media and telecommunications in the PLC Cross-border Media and Communications Handbook 2009/10; and for Technology, Media and Telecommunications (“TMT”) work in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2010/11, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015; the Asialaw Profiles 2011, 2012; the Practical Law Company Which Lawyer; and Chambers Asia Pacific 2013, 2014, 2015. Steve is part of the firm’s TMT team that is ranked as Tier 1 in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2010/11, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, the Asialaw Profiles 2011, 2012, and Chambers Asia Pacific 2013, 2014, 2015. Steve is also cited as a leading lawyer for Technology law in Best Lawyers 2013, 2014, 2015 and in The International Who’s Who of Telecoms and Media Lawyers 2014, 2015. Steve recently won Corporate Live Wire Legal Awards 2015 ‘Communication Lawyer of the Year’. Steve is cited as “one of the best in the field of personal data protection” in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017.
Steve is at the forefront of data privacy law work and developments in Singapore, as well as in Asian regional countries. His leadership in data privacy work has resulted in Steve being frequently invited to share his insights on IT/IP/data protection/entertainment law and developments, at speaking engagements around the world such as Europe, USA and including Singapore. As a further indicator of his passion and ingenuity for data privacy law, Steve conceived an inaugural three-day international data privacy conference (sited in Asia but with international reach) called ‘Data Privacy Asia’ which was held in August 2015 in Singapore and featured speakers from around the world. Steve continues to be involved in the subsequent runs of Data Privacy Asia. Steve has advised and assisted multiple organisations on compliance with Singapore’s new personal data protection law, which fully came into force on 2 July 2014. They include organisations from the banking/financial, insurance, property, health & wellness, retail, education, logistics, IT etc sectors. Steve has assisted several organisations with investigations by the Personal Data Protection Commission (Singapore’s Regulator for personal data protection).
Steve’s work in personal data protection law and data security in Singapore is a first/leader for various things, one of which is a new data breach service that Steve has conceived and launched. This new data breach service features a unique one-stop-shop service to assist organisations to effectively handle data breaches. Clients will enjoy the benefit of the legal expertise provided by Steve and the technical/forensic expertise of a technical security specialist that the firm has teamed up with. This new data breach service will provide organisations with a holistic solution designed to assist in preventing data breaches and/or in effectively responding to a data breach. These include an assessment of data breach readiness, data breach preparedness activities and data breach incident response.
Steve has also conceived and launched a new externalised data protection officer service whereby organisations can outsource the mandatory data protection officer role to the firm. This is especially useful for organisations which have difficulties in appointing a data protection officer or finding someone with the requisite expertise to take on that role.
- Steve has advised extensively on a broad spectrum of technology, IP, data protection/privacy and digital media related matters. His clients include those from the IT, film and/or computer game industries, to name a few.
- Steve's insights and experience are heightened by his combined exposure as a practising lawyer and as in-house counsel in commercial companies. In terms of his in-house experience, Steve was legal counsel in Fraser & Neave. He was later head-hunted as sole legal counsel for a Singapore Technologies company with businesses in IT and digital media, and subsequently headed the legal team.
- Steve is very much involved in intellectual property and IT related work, having dealt with a broad spectrum of non-contentious work dealing with IT outsourcing, IT tenders, software development and ASP related arrangements, software licensing, music licensing, trademark registration, to name a few, as well as contentious work such as complex IT disputes involving software development to IP infringement (he has participated in raids on and prosecuted copyright infringers).
- Steve is equally engaged in digital media / entertainment related work. Steve is one of only a handful of local lawyers involved in such work. He has advised clients on animated film/television productions, such as ‘Ten Commandments’ and the ‘Future is Wild’, and on other feature film productions. His advice has been sought on reality television series productions, co-production and investment agreements in film production, film financing, production and/or distribution. He has also provided clients with advice on computer game development, publishing and/or distribution deals, whether for the mobile, PC, handheld or online platforms or otherwise.
- With the introduction of personal data protection law in Singapore, Steve has been very much involved in assisting clients to deal with personal data protection related issues, compliance work and investigations by the regulator.
- Steve has travelled and / or been involved in various transnational transactions/matters with countries such as Kazakhstan, Australia, USA, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, People’s Republic of China, New Zealand, Canada, UK and Nigeria.
An illustrative list of notable cases and transactions Steve has been involved are as follows:
Data Protection Compliance
- Advised and carried out a full suite of compliance activities for banks to deal with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised and carried out a full suite of compliance activities for a listed leading healthcare company, with outlets in multiple jurisdictions, on compliance with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised and carried out a full suite of compliance activities for a significant corporate group with businesses in recreation and food and beverage (F&B), on compliance with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised and carried out a full suite of compliance activities for the Singapore subsidiary of a global leading supply chain management group on compliance with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised and carried out Singapore personal data protection law compliance activities for a Singapore subsidiary of a global nutrition company.
- Advised insurance companies on compliance with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised various international clients on data protection and privacy laws in Singapore.
- Advised and carried out a full suite of compliance activities for a leading educational institution, on compliance with Singapore’s personal data protection law.
- Advised a global consulting leader in talent, health, retirement and investments on data protection related issues, across 15 jurisdictions, namely Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
- Advised a global technology company whose parent is listed on NASDAQ, on data protection laws across ten countries namely Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Australia, Hong Kong, India, China and New Zealand, relating to the banking and telecommunications sectors.
- Advised the Singapore subsidiary of a global footwear company on various personal data protection related issues.
- Advised a bank with corporate and retail arms, on Singapore personal data protection law and certain documentation related thereto.
- Personally appointed as Data Protection Officer for organisations.
Advising clients with respect to Singapore’s Data Privacy Regulator
- Advised a global conglomerate with regards to investigations by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission on alleged breach of Singapore’s data protection law.
- Advised a significant organisation in the F&B industry on investigations by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission for which a positive result was obtained.
- Assisted a global organisation to file a submission to Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission for clarification on a point of law in Singapore’s data protection law.
- Assisted an organisation that is part of a global group in the health products/health care industry on investigations by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission for which a positive result was obtained.
- Assisted an organisation that is part of a global group in the consumer products space on investigations by Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Commission for which a positive result was obtained.
TMT, IP, Media & others
- Advised a major global bank on various Singapore law aspects of an online trading/transaction/information capital markets platform, including media/broadcasting laws related to video content or that of an internet content provider, spam related legislation, IP related law (including hyperlinking issues), Monetary Authority of Singapore guidelines on outsourcing and internet banking applicable to banks, electronic contracting issues including enforceability related thereto, electronic signature and authentication (digital certificates) issues, data protection and privacy related issues.
- Advised a foreign multinational conglomerate with subsidiaries in a multitude of end markets throughout the world on outsourcing of IT services.
- Acted for IDA International and the International Finance Corporation (a division under the World Bank) to develop and/or review Bangladesh’s digital signature regulatory framework.
- Acted for Singapore Technologies Electronics Limited together with other colleagues from the Corporate & Capital Markets Practice, being a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd, which is listed on the Main Board of the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading Limited (“SGX-ST”), in its S$162.8 million acquisition of shares in Nera Telecommunications Limited, also listed on the Main Board of the SGX-ST, pursuant to a privatisation and delisting scheme of arrangement under Section 210 of the Companies Act (Cap 50).
- Advised financial institution(s)/corporation(s) on the admissibility and legal recognition of electronic records.
- Advised a major global bank on legal issues relating to and the feasibility of its intended e-commerce business offering.
- Advised on and drafted the agreement(s) for an IT project for a global multinational corporation headquartered in France, to be entered into with a People's Republic of China company.
- Advised various international clients on data protection and privacy laws in Singapore.
- Acted for and advised banks and other financial institutions including funds/investment/brokerage company(ies) on various IT and/or IP related matters/projects.
- Advised a leading bank on electronic contracting, financial instruments and customer authentication issues arising from the implementation of a new technology platform.
- Advised a company headquartered in Japan on virtual payment and other legal issues arising from the implementation of its e-commerce offering.
- Advised a software vendor on its intended contractual relationship with a bank relating to a software trading system.
- Advised on and drafted the agreements for an IT project for a large scale listed Singapore company, to be entered into with a French company.
- Advised a public listed company on its e-commerce portal service offering and various legal issues relating thereto.
- Advised a public listed company on the validity and admissibility of emails under the Electronic Transactions Act in relation to its new business offering.
- Advised a prominent global company in the insurance industry on its IT related contract(s).
- Drafted and negotiated various IT and project related agreements for a large scale Singapore listed company’s IT project in Kazakhstan.
- Advising clients on import and other legal issues relating to a point‐of‐sale system which it intends to market in Singapore.
- Advised a foreign broadcasting company on Singapore media content and broadcasting laws.
- Advised a significant foreign pay television, cable and media broadcasting company on Singapore broadcasting laws in Singapore and the setting up of business in Singapore.
- Acted for a film production/investment company in various deals including film rights buyback, investment (media fund).
- Advised the producers of a Hollywood action blockbuster sequel.
- Advised an international film group on the setting up of a multi-million dollar film fund in Singapore.
- Drafted, reviewed and negotiated various digital media related agreements such as co-production agreements, investment agreements and related agreements for ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) Pte Ltd’s digital media business including ‘The 'Ten Commandments’ animated movie. ‘The Ten Commandments’ was screened in more than 500 cinemas in the USA in October 2007 and opened theatrically in Singapore on 6 December 2007.
- Advised ST Electronics (Training & Simulation Systems) Pte Ltd’s on its co-production deal (including ancillary documentation) for the ‘Future is Wild’ 3D animated television series.
- Advising a foreign education institution in the digital media industry on setting up a school in Singapore.
- Acted for the Association of Independent Television Production Companies (Singapore) in an industry related deal.
- Instrumental in arranging for the firm to be the appointed law firm for Asia Factual Forum 2007 (a forum bringing together various key television/production factual programming players).
- Acted for a significant computer games company in Singapore on its various game publishing/distribution deals, game development deals for various platforms including PC, mobile, Nintendo DS, online; and advising the same on strategies relating to registration of trademarks including for the games developed.
- Acted in various operational deals for a regional computer game company.
- Acted for a foreign Bank in arbitration proceedings in Singapore against a foreign software developer in a dispute arising out of a software development and implementation contract for a core banking application software.
- Acted for a major global US financial entity against a software company relating to a dispute arising from a software licence agreement.
- Acted for a foreign telecommunications company in court proceedings in Singapore against a company and an individual for internet / email defamation.
- Acted for one of the largest local distributors of movie video compact discs in a variety of matters relating to IP issues – commencing criminal prosecution, applying for search warrants, commencing civil proceedings.
- Assisted a well-known organisation in starting an e-commerce shopping business in Singapore including advice on trade and import laws and consumer laws relating to different categories of products, such as telecommunications equipment, cosmetics, food products etc.
Memberships / Directorships
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Member, Singapore Academy Of Law
- Member, International Association of Privacy Professionals; CIPP/Asia
- Lawlines (Vol 9, Issue 3, September 2007): Animation and Games : Finding the Cauldron of Gold.
- Lawlines (Vol 9, Issue 4, December 2007): All Abuzz about Games.