Wern-Jhien is a Partner in the Firm's Commercial Litigation Practice Group.
Wern-Jhien is regularly engaged in complex commercial litigation and arbitration. His practice focuses on banking and financial services disputes, contract disputes, commercial torts and fraud related disputes. He has represented clients in a variety of industries, including finance, construction, pharmaceutical, oil & gas, electronics, office supplies and hospitality. He has appeared at all levels of the Supreme Court of Singapore, including the Singapore International Commercial Court, and is active in international arbitration. In addition, he is experienced in cross-border fraud and asset recovery cases, with particular focus on fraudulent e-commerce transactions, having successfully argued and obtained a number of freezing injunctions and pre-action disclosure orders in aid of recovery actions against fraudulent e-commerce operators in Singapore and in foreign jurisdictions.
Wern-Jhien is experienced in managing factually and legally complex cases. A large part of his work has involved foreign law issues, including PRC, Indonesia, Swiss, Korean, and US law. Given his proficiency with the Malay language, he is particularly adept at Indonesia and Malaysia related disputes. He has worked closely with numerous leading domestic and international counsels.
Wern-Jhien attended the Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur, spent a year in McGill University law faculty, before graduating from the National University of Singapore in 2008. He is also an avid musician, and has experience in advising on and negotiating music recording, publishing, and artiste management contracts, outside his disputes practice.
His matters of significance includes:
- Representing a BVI company in a S$150 million claim for wrongfully disposing of shares intended for use as collateral before the Singapore International Commercial Court. The case involves novel and complex loan agreements and the relationship between the disposals and share prices.
- Representing a global semi-conductor manufacturer in a dispute relating to the supply of chips for a US$600 million national identity card project in Indonesia, which spawned parallel proceedings in Singapore and Indonesia.
- Successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction to restrain parallel proceedings in Indonesia relating to the supply of chips for the national identity card project in Indonesia. The case involves complex issues of conflicts of law.
- Successfully obtaining a series of freezing injunctions in aid of the recovery of proceeds derived from fraudulent e-commerce transactions.
- Representing a global pharmaceutical company and successfully obtaining an anti-suit injunction to restrain court proceedings brought by its Indonesian distributor in Jakarta in favour of arbitration in Singapore.
- Representing various Indonesian hotel owners in defending claims brought by a European hotel operator in the SIAC for alleged repudiation of a series of long-term hotel management agreements.
- Advising an Indonesian hotel owner in relation to a disputed termination of a hotel management agreement with an Australian hotel operator.
- Advising a foreign investor in relation to a disputed termination of a joint venture for the development and management of a hotel in Africa.
- Advising and representing an Indonesian hotel owner in relation to a disputed termination of an exclusive territory agreement – spanning 20 hotels over the course of 10 years - and joint venture agreement with an international hotel operator.
- Representing a wealthy Indonesian businessman in a dispute involving the sale and purchase of shares in an SGX-listed company, valued at about S$30 million.
- Representing various Indonesian parties in defending an AUD$3 billion claim relating to natural resources projects in Indonesia in a SIAC arbitration, including one of the largest mines in Indonesia. The dispute involved issues of Australian and Indonesian law.
- Representing syndicated lenders in an action against an Indonesian tycoon for the recovery of facilities granted of over US$140 million to an Indonesian conglomerate. The dispute involved issues of Indonesian law.
- Representing a Chinese buyer in a dispute arising from a contract for the sale and supply of biodiesel fuel blend, valued at about S$15 million.
- Representing a Singapore company in defending a S$270 million claim by a BVI company in relation to alleged financing provided for acquisition of assets in the solar industry across multiple jurisdictions. The dispute involved issues of PRC laws, and has spawned parallel proceedings in the BVI and the PRC.
- Representing an established Singapore property developer in a dispute over the beneficial ownership of parcels of land that were conveyed prior to the introduction of the land titles registration system.
- Acting for an employer on various claims arising from an EPC contract for the construction of an oil tank farm, valued at S$280 million.
- Advising an employer on issues arising from the receivership of its main contractor under a construction contract valued at S$219 million. The case involved issues of Korean law.
- Representing a major international bank in defending a claim for conspiracy to defraud. The dispute arose from the unravelling of a complex international wealth management structure. The claim was successfully struck out prior to trial.
- Advising a leading global investment bank in relation to a complaint made by a prominent local private wealth client in respect of trading portfolio losses.
- Successfully staying proceedings commenced in Singapore by a Swiss bank against the former Chief Executive Officer of its Singapore branch for breach of contract in connection with the cessation of his employment pending the determination of a claim brought by the latter in the Zurich Labour Court
- Representing a major European office-supplies distributor against its Chinese supplier in a SIAC arbitration.
- Representing a leading local brokerage firm in a claim brought by its former trading representative in relation to indemnity for trading losses.
Memberships / Directorships
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law
- Member, Law Society of Singapore