A dual-qualified Singapore advocate and English solicitor with a broad-based contentious and advisory practice and diverse experience in both the public and private sectors.
Michelle Yeo is a dual-qualified Singapore advocate and English solicitor with a broad-based contentious and advisory practice and diverse experience in both the public and private sectors.
Michelle’s focus on white-collar defence matters is anchored by her prior experience in the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), where she began her career in 2011 as a Deputy Public Prosecutor and where she served as lead prosecutor on a wide range of criminal matters at all levels of the judicial system. Michelle has particular expertise in corruption defence and economic sanctions work. While she is comfortable with conducting advocacy before various courts and tribunals, Michelle has also acted as second chair in long-running and complex criminal matters. Adopting a pragmatic approach to advice, Michelle uses her understanding of the criminal justice system to help her clients weigh their chances of success against the economics of pursuing their cases in court. She regularly navigates the plea-bargaining system to obtain reduced sentencing positions for her clients. Her clients include State-owned companies, high net worth individuals, statutory bodies, and foreign High Commissions.
Regulatory advisory work forms another significant part of Michelle’s practice. She has advised banks and large private companies on sanctions obligations under international and Singapore law, personal data protection, and other areas of regulatory compliance. While at the AGC, she spent several years in the Legislation Division translating policy into law and advising the Singapore Government on its domestic and international legal obligations. As part of the Legislative Division, Michelle drafted legislation spanning a wide range of policy areas, including remote gambling, unmanned aircraft, autonomous vehicles, Prisons, economic sanctions and manpower regulations. This has honed her deep expertise in principles of statutory interpretation and the policy considerations underlying various statutes.
Michelle also has experience in complex international arbitration and civil litigation matters. She has recently represented and advised companies in high-value cross-jurisdictional disputes including shareholder disputes, cases involving minority oppression, alleged breaches of warranty, and breaches of contract and helps her clients reach careful decisions in highly acrimonious situations.
As one of the Firm’s in-house trainers on legal writing, Michelle brings a passion for clear and calibrated communication to her work, which she believes is essential to written and oral persuasion. Her fluency in Mandarin Chinese makes her a particular asset to the firm’s China practice.
Michelle is also a proud mother of one. In her spare time, she volunteers with ReadAble Ltd, a children’s literacy charity that she co-founded.
Advised the APAC subsidiary of a Tokyo Stock Exchange-listed multinational company on the criminal implications of a former employee’s fraudulent activity. Drafted and filed a police report comprehensively laying out the findings of our team’s highly complex investigations into the employee’s criminal conduct.
Represented two defendants in a high-profile private corruption matter involving the Japanese car parts retailer Autobacs. Resisted the Prosecution’s initial sentencing positions of 34 months’ and 26 months’ imprisonment to reach an eventual position of 20 months’ and 4 months’ imprisonment respectively.
Representing an individual accused of conspiring in a corrupt scheme in a long-running criminal trial with complex procedural issues.
Advising the family of a high-net-worth individual accused of committing corruption and facing a potential imprisonment term of tens of years in one of Singapore’s highest-profile private corruption matters in recent years.
Conducts private prosecutions for the Infocomm Media Development Authority against private companies which damage underground cables.
International arbitration and complex commercial litigation
Represented the minority shareholder of a Myanmar joint venture worth around US$250 million in a SIAC arbitration filed by the minority shareholders against the majority shareholder for breaches of contract.
Advised and represented a leading international health and security risk management corporation accused of breaching its seller’s warranties in relation to the transnational sale of a medical supplies business, and helped them to reach a resolution with the Buyers, a London Stock Exchange-listed multinational company.
Advised the directors and majority shareholders of a large family-owned sports retailer on pre-litigation strategy against a China-based rogue director and minority shareholder in a dispute worth around US$200 million.
Advised the Respondents, one of India’s largest telecommunications companies, in an appeal against a decision in the Singapore High Court upholding a shareholder’s resolution, leading to the appeal being withdrawn.
Advised a Chinese State-owned company on criminal procedure and on the recently implemented Deferred Prosecution Agreement regime in relation to one of Singapore’s highest-profile public sector corruption cases in recent years.
Advised a major Chinese vehicle design and manufacturing company on its regulatory compliance obligations for operating in Singapore, including its data protection and road traffic obligations.
Advised a bank on its obligations under Singapore economics sanctions regulations in relation to a potential transaction worth around SG$100 million with a high net worth individual.
Member, Law Society of Singapore
Member, Singapore Academy of Law
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