Prominent Lawyer Jern-Fei Ng KC Joins Duxton Hill Chambers in Singapore
Jern-Fei Ng KC, a former silk at Essex Court chambers, has recently joined Duxton Hill Chambers, a Singapore Group Practice specialising in commercial advocacy. Notably, Ng, who is the fourth King's Counsel to be admitted to the Singapore Bar, holds a unique distinction as the only English King's Counsel (KC) to have a triple affiliation with London, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
In March 2021, he became a part of Duxton Hill, a new entity that emerged after the disbandment of Essex Court Chambers Duxton (Singapore Group Practice). This previous organisation had connections to Ng's former London set.
Despite sharing a common brand after its establishment in 2017, the practice that has since dissolved was legally distinct and independent from Essex Court. Ng made the decision to leave that set prior to its sanctioning by China and subsequently joined 7 Bedford Row.
In Singapore, advocates follow an innovative English-style chambers model, whereby they practice within limited liability corporations that are, in turn, members of a Singapore Group Practice. Ng will be practicing as a member of Duxton Hill Chambers, operating under JFN Chambers LLC.
The members comprise prominent individuals such as VK Rajah SC, the former Attorney-General of Singapore, Toby Landau KC, a distinguished international arbitrator and advocate, and Chan Leng Sun SC, renowned for his contributions at Baker McKenzie in the region.
Recently, Landau achieved a notable victory in set-aside litigation at the Singapore International Commercial Court, representing oil giants Repsol and Sinopec. This favourable outcome in Sinopec's favour ultimately resulted in a substantial commercial settlement. Landau was entrusted with the case by Herbert Smith Freehills, who provided legal counsel.
With Ng's inclusion, the practice's membership now stands at nine, enhancing its overall strength. As a Malaysian-born advocate, Ng has been actively involved in advancing regional arbitration across China, including Hong Kong, where he serves as an arbitrator member at Temple Chambers.
Since he decided to relocate last year, Ng has also been actively engaged in promoting arbitration in Singapore. Additionally, he possesses expertise in the broader Asia market, as well as key offshore jurisdictions and London, further broadening the practice's reach.
In previous engagements, Ng has collaborated with advocates from Duxton Hill Chambers during his appearances before the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC) and tribunals appointed by prominent arbitral centres such as the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) and the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC).
In August 2022, Ng received the prestigious Merit Award from the Singapore Academy of Law, presented by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon. This recognition was bestowed upon him for his remarkable efforts in elevating the presence of foreign lawyers in Singapore. Additionally, Ng was acknowledged for his initiatives aimed at facilitating access to the English Bar for Singaporean law students and individuals from underrepresented groups, thus promoting inclusivity within the legal profession.
Subsequently, Chief Justice Menon appointed Ng to an esteemed ethics and professional standards committee. Led by Justice Valerie Thean and Jimmy Yim SC, the committee was tasked with formulating a comprehensive strategy focused on revitalising the ethical core and values of the legal profession.
In his opening address for the legal year in January, Chief Justice Menon announced that the committee would thoroughly examine the consequences of recent events over the past three years, considering them from the standpoint of the professional and ethical welfare of the legal community. This review was prompted by a rise in professional disciplinary hearings involving the local legal profession, garnering significant media coverage.