SINGAPORE — Entertainment lawyer Samuel Seow was struck off the rolls on Wednesday (18 May) following his assault on three employees in 2018.
The Court of Three Judges said in a judgment that Seow’s “conduct has caused grave dishonour to the standing of the legal profession”. Its decision comes almost three months after the Law Society of Singapore applied to strike off the lawyer for bringing the law profession into disrepute and displaying a lack of integrity.
The eight instances of Seow’s misconduct against his staff that were listed in the Law Society’s application happened from 16 March 2018 to 17 April 2018.
Among the incidents, Seow shouted at Rachel Kang, and moved towards her aggressively such that she fell to the floor; threatened to take a knife to kill Kang; caused hurt to Brenda Kong, who is also his niece, by attacking her, jabbing his finger at Kong’s forehead and pushing her such that she fell backwards; and pushed Serene Tan, with such force that Tan fell to the floor, and screamed at her.
Seow separately pleaded guilty on 27 July 2020 to criminal charges involving force against Kang, Kong, and Tan. He has not yet been sentenced as his case was adjourned for a hearing on his psychiatric issues.
Reports of Seow’s assault on the women first emerged online in 2018, with a 30-minute audio recording of a quarrel between Seow and Kong going viral. A year later, two videos capturing his acts of violence were also uploaded online.
The court – comprising Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Justice Andrew Phang, and Justice Steven Chong – noted the aggravating factors against Seow as pointed out by the Law Society. “His position of authority would have necessitated a greater degree of decorum and professionalism, which he plainly failed to meet…the respondent’s misconduct should rightly be considered as worse for having been perpetrated on his employees”.
Moreover, the eight instances of Seow’s misconduct were not “isolated and aberrant incidents”, but were part of his “pattern of intemperate and boorish behaviour”, with employees testifying about Seow’s regular “shouting and screaming” in the workplace.
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