Joseph Lee

Deputy Managing Director
Advocate and Solicitor, Singapore

josephlee@lvmlawchambers.com
+65 6206 7881

Joseph is the Deputy Managing Director of LVM Law Chambers. He is one of the leading disputes resolution lawyers of his generation and has been recognised by the Legal 500 as a Next Generation Partner for dispute resolution in 2021. Clients describe him as a “very astute and sharp litigator who looks at issues thoroughly and is quick at strategizing and finding solutions to protect his clients’ interests”.

Joseph has a broad range of advocacy experience and has appeared as lead counsel in the highest levels of the Singapore courts in cases which have shaped Singapore law in commercially significant ways. These cases include LH Aluminium Industries Pte Ltd v Newcon Builders Pte Ltd [2015] 1 SLR 648, a leading case in the interpretation of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act, and Clearlab SG Pte Ltd v Ma Zhi and another [2014] SGHC 221, a key case on equitable compensation and trade secrets. He also has an active arbitration practice with disputes amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars and is extremely familiar with arbitration across various jurisdictions involving different arbitration rules.

Besides the courts and arbitral tribunals, Joseph also regularly appears before quasi-judicial tribunals such as the Strata Titles Board, the Appeals Board for Land Acquisitions and the Income Tax Board of Review.

While Joseph’s practice covers a multitude of sectors, he has developed particular expertise in the fields of property, construction, oil and gas, commodities, international trade, banking, and governmental institutions. In particular, Joseph has a ‘strong following among clients in China and Hong Kong’ (2021 Legal 500) given his excellent grasp of Mandarin and a keen understanding of Chinese business culture. He regularly acts for numerous state-owned enterprises and blue-chip companies listed in China and Hong Kong.

Outside of the law, Joseph has served as an independent director with a public listed company and on the Disciplinary Panel of the Council for Estate Agencies as well as the Singapore Dental Association.

Case Highlights

Construction

  • Acted for the builder of an industrial building development in a dispute with its sub-contractor over wrongful termination and liquidated damages. CAA Technologies Pte Ltd v Newcon Builders Pte Ltd [2016] SGHC 246
  • Acted for a main contractor in a setting aside application relating to the Security of Payment Act – a decision notable for the Court’s interpretation of the provisions of the Act. LH Aluminium Industries Pte Ltd v Newcon Builders Pte Ltd [2015] 1 SLR 648.
  • Acted for the builder of an industrial building development in a dispute with its sub-contractor over wrongful termination and liquidated damages. CAA Technologies Pte Ltd v Newcon Builders Pte Ltd [2016] SGHC 246.

Property and Real Estate

  • Acted for a MCST in a claim for encroachment against the commercial units; a decision notable for its affirmation of the MCST’s authority to govern and considerations for the grant of an injunction to enforce by-laws. The Management Corporation Strata Title Plan No. 3405 v Raffles Place Bistro Pte Ltd [2016] SGDC 247.

Employment

  • Acted for a contact lens manufacturer in a claim against ex-employees for breach of confidentiality and theft of trade secrets – a decision notable for the principles relating to equitable compensation and trade secrets. Clearlab SG Pte Ltd v Ting Chong Chai and others [2014] SGHC 221; Clearlab SG Pte Ltd v Ma Zhi and another [2016] SGCA 31.

Trusts

  • Acted for the Singapore Tourism Board in a claim for the return of sponsorship funds extended to concert organisers – a landmark decision concerning principles governing the piercing of the corporate veil and Quistclose trusts. Singapore Tourism Board v Children’s Media Ltd and others [2010] SGHC 334.

Restructuring and Insolvency

  • Acted for the directors in a claim for breach of director’s duties in the context of a restructuring: Parakou Investment Holdings Pte Ltd and another v Parakou Shipping Pte Ltd (in liquidation) and other appeals [2018] SGCA 3.

Wills and Probate

  • Acted for the beneficiary of a testamentary estate in a claim for revocation of the grant of probate: UWF and another v UWH and another [2020] SGHCF 22.

Appointments

  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • Disciplinary Panel, Council for Estate Agents

Accolades

40 most influential lawyers in Singapore Aged 40 and Under by the Singapore Business Review in 2015.
Next Generation Partner for Dispute Resolution by Legal 500 in 2021.

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