Jonathan MUK attended the Singapore Management University’s School of Law and graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Laws (Summa cum Laude) and Bachelor of Business Management (Finance) (Summa cum Laude). He was called to the Singapore Bar in 2016 after stints serving as a Deputy Public Prosecutor (“DPP”) with the Attorney General’s Chambers and as a Justices Law Clerk (“JLC”) with the Supreme Court of Singapore. He is fluent in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, and basic Bahasa Melayu.
Jonathan co-heads the International Trade, Shipping, and Sanctions practice in the Firm. His practice is mainly in high-value commercial litigation, arbitration, and mediation, specifically in the fields of banking, real estate, oil and gas, financial technology, and private equity. Most of Jonathan’s cases involve investigations and uncovering of fraudulent conduct, and to this end, Jonathan has successfully represented clients to apply for and obtain Anton Pillar orders (also known as search orders) against defendants suspected of misappropriating confidential company information. Given the international nature of Jonathan’s practice, he has experience working with senior local and international practitioners from the United States of America, the United Kingdom, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, and the British Virgin Islands on both contentious and non-contentious matters.
Some of the clients Jonathan has represented include Unipec Singapore Pte Ltd, Grabtaxi Holdings Pte Ltd, MS First Capital Insurance Pte Ltd, and Asiatravel.com Holdings Ltd. Clients have commended Jonathan for being “very attentive to the case and very prompt in providing detailed feedback, as well as clear and strategic advice on the way forward”, providing a “Quick turnaround, easily available to speak to, and [giving] good practical advice”, and being “very hands on the case and [knowing] it top to bottom”.
As a DPP, Jonathan prosecuted drug and regulatory offences, and assisted with the prosecution of several individuals involved in a high-profile Ponzi scheme. As a JLC, Jonathan assisted sitting judges in the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal on a wide variety of matters. Two of the judgments Jonathan assisted on have since become landmark decisions on administrative law and litigation funding.
Jonathan is also an accredited mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre and part of the FIDReC-SMC Co-Mediation Pilot Scheme. Since being empanelled, Jonathan has mediated several cases involving credit card disputes, motor insurance, and accident and health insurance. He has been commended for his ability to manage expectations and emptions well and received positive feedback for his “good control of the proceedings”, ability to build “good rapport with the parties”, and “helping explore and develop options” for the parties to amicably resolve their dispute.
Jonathan previously served as an adjunct faculty at the Singapore Management University’s School of Law and has contributed to several leading textbooks and journal publications, such as the Singapore Academy of Law Journal and Derivatives & Financial Instruments. He also advised on the Practice Advisory Committee with the Singapore Management University’s Yong Pung How School of Law.
Outside of work, Jonathan is actively involved with ReadAble Ltd, a charity which he co-founded and which today serves children and families in raising their literacy and numeracy proficiency.
International trade and shipping disputes
- Representing a major state-owned entity in a Singapore International Arbitration Centre arbitration against one of the largest independent oil storage terminals in Asia Pacific. The claim is worth about US$40 million and relates to the largest corporate fraud in Singapore’s history.
- Representing a major state-owned entity in 5 interpleader proceedings to claim ownership of oil cargo laden on board 4 vessels and stored in an oil terminal. The total worth of the claims is worth over US$100 million.
Complex commercial disputes
- Representing a Malaysian listed construction company against an individual to recognise and enforce a Malaysian arbitral award.
- Successfully represented and advised a law firm in an appeal such that the law firm was free to act for a second client against the same defendants when a previous suit against the defendants had settled on terms which were confidential (LVM Law Chambers LLC v Wan Hoe Keet and another and another matter  1 SLR 1083).
- Successfully represented and advised an individual in resisting an appeal concerning the recission of a share transaction worth US$30 million (Liberty Sky Investments Ltd v Aesthetic Medical Partners Pte Ltd and other appeals and another matter  1 SLR 606). The matter involved issues of fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and bars to recission of contract.
- Successfully represented a couple in the Singapore High Court on their claim against a rogue financial adviser for breach of fiduciary duties and fraud (Sabyasachi Mukherjee v Pradeepto Kumar Biswas  SGHC 271) and getting the appeal struck out on the basis that the appellant repeatedly failed to file the necessary documents for bringing the appeal (Pradeepto Kumar Biswas v Sabyasachi Mukherjee and another  SGCA 79).
- Successfully acted as lead counsel and obtained judgment for a client for an unpaid loan in the High Court.
- Successfully represented 4 companies in obtaining a moratorium under Section 211B of the Companies Act and preparing the proposed scheme of arrangement to the creditors.
- Represented 4 high net-worth individuals from an Indonesian family in an inheritance dispute concerning the division of a family-owned conglomerate. The dispute was worth more than US$200 million and eventually successfully settled after mediation at the Singapore International Mediation Centre.
- Represented a high net worth individual in a preliminary determination involving questions of law relating to res judicata and the extended doctrine of abuse of process (BLL v BLM and another  SGHC 208).
- Successfully assisted Malaysian lawyers and a high net-worth individual in a defamation appeal to the Malaysian Court of Appeal by providing a Singapore law perspective on the law of defamation.
- Acted as counsel for individuals in resisting claims in the Singapore High Court for breach of a franchise agreement and conspiracy. The matter was eventually settled.
- Acted as counsel for an individual against a well known foreign bank and its financial advisers for misrepresentation and fraud.
Investigations and fraud disputes
- Representing a multi-national technology company in conducting internal investigations and resisting claims brought by third parties in the Singapore High Court which were based on the fraudulent acts of an ex-employee.
- Representing a victim of a Ponzi scheme known as SureWin4U against her uplines in a claim worth about S$6 million in the Singapore High Court.
- Representing a multi-national consultancy company against 3 ex-employees and obtained a search order against 2 of the ex-employees in a matter concerning breach of confidentiality, fiduciary duties, and contract.
- Representing 3 companies in resisting a conspiracy claim brought by a plaintiff and successfully discharged 3 freezing orders issued against the companies (Sang Cheol Woo v Charles Choi Spackman and others  SGHC 42).
- Successfully represented a technology unicorn against an ex-employee and obtained a search order against the ex-employee in a matter concerning breach of confidentiality.
Construction and property disputes
- Acted as co-counsel for 3 individuals against their siblings in a claim for beneficial ownership over shares in a family-owned construction company.
- Acted as lead counsel for a management corporation against an individual in an evidential hearing before the Strata Titles Board.
- Advised a leading Hong Kong property development company on its contractual rights against its joint venture partner under a joint venture agreement.
- Acted as counsel for a leading property developer in Singapore in a Singapore International Commercial Court dispute involving breach of contract and conspiracy.
- Represented a fishing company against the Comptroller of income Tax in a matter involving the interpretation of Section 13A of the Income Tax Act 1947 (GCN v Comptroller of Income Tax  SGITBR 2)
Private client disputes
- Successfully represented a high net-worth expatriate mother in an acrimonious divorce in an application for her to relocate back to her home country with her 2-year-old son.
- Successfully obtained a conditional warning for an individual charged under Section 322 of the Penal Code (Cap 224, 2008 Rev Ed) for voluntarily causing grievous hurt after extensive engagement with the Prosecution.
- Member, Law Society of Singapore
- Member, Singapore Academy of Law
- Practice Advisory Committee, Singapore Management University, Yong Pung How School of Law
- Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre
- Co-Mediator, Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre Ltd
- Bachelor of Laws, Singapore Management University (Summa cum Laude) (Highest honours)
- Bachelor of Business Management (Finance), Singapore Management University (Summa cum Laude) (Highest honours)
- Accredited Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Here We Go Again: Acting Against the Same Defendants Twice? – LVM Law Chambers LLC v Wan Hoe Keet  1 SLR 1083”  SAL Prac 13
- Joseph Lee, Jonathan Muk, Qabir Singh, “Order 21: Costs” in Singapore Civil Procedure 2022 vol 1 (Cavinder Bull SC, gen ed) (Sweet & Maxwell, 2022)
- Randolph Khoo Boo Teck and Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Trusts and Divorce” in Law and Practice of Family Law in Singapore (Foo Siew Fong gen ed) (Sweet & Maxwell, 2nd Ed, 2022)
- Chen Siyuan and Muk Chen Yeen Jonathan, Family Law (2019) 16 SAL Ann Rev 2019
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Less Payne In The International Relocation of Children: BNS v BNT  3 SLR 973” (2016) 28 SAcLJ 303
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen and Chin Wan Yew Rachel, “Sections 299 and 300 of the Penal Code: A Revisit and Further Suggested Amendments”  33 Sing L Rev 1
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “The Sound of Silence – An Analysis of the Incorporation of Arbitration Terms after Contract Formation: R1 International Pte Ltd v Lonstroff AG  1 SLR 521”  11(1) Asian International Arbitration Journal 93
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Proposed Improvements To The Division of Parties’ Beneficial Interests Beyond the Women’s Charter: Chan Yuen Lan v See Fong Mun  3 SLR 1048” (2015) 27 SAcLJ 245
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Too Confident: Section 33 of the Income Tax Act and Its (Mis)Trust in Judicial Precedent” (2014) Derivatives & Financial Instruments 208
- Jonathan Muk Chen Yeen, “Al Bai Bithaman Ajil: The grant of ibra in customer default situations”  5 Malayan Law Journal 1
- For more publications, kindly contact Jonathan Muk.