Singapore PM’s Sister-in-Law Opposes Misconduct Verdict

Chanyaporn Chanjaroen

(Bloomberg) -- Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s sister-in-law opposed the findings of a disciplinary tribunal that found her guilty of professional misconduct in her handling of the final will of Lee Kuan Yew, the country’s first premier who died in 2015.

“I disagree with the Disciplinary Tribunal’s report and will fight this strongly when it is heard in open court,” Lee Suet Fern, a lawyer, said in a comment posted Sunday on the Facebook page of her husband Lee Hsien Yang, the younger son of the city-state’s longest-serving leader.

The tribunal found that with her husband, Lee Suet Fern made the former prime minister sign the will “urgently” without the presence or involvement of his usual lawyer, who prepared his first six wills, CNA reported Monday. She also misled her father-in-law on the terms of the last will, that included a clause on the demolition of his house, according to the local news outlet, citing the tribunal’s findings.

Read how a house provoked a feud in Singapore’s Lee family

Her conduct directly contravened rules that prohibits a lawyer from preparing a will when a family member of the lawyer is going to get a significant gift from the estate, CNA reported.

The charges of professional misconduct against Lee Suet Fern were brought by The Law Society of Singapore after the Attorney-General’s Chambers made a complaint in January last year. Her case will now be referred to the Court of Three Judges, the highest disciplinary body to deal with lawyers’ misconduct, and she could be fined, suspended or disbarred if found guilty, according to CNA.

The law society has “no discretion to review the merits or propriety” of the tribunal’s findings or verdict once a determination has been made, its president Gregory Vijayendran said in an emailed response to Bloomberg queries about Lee’s disagreement with the tribunal’s report. The matter will be handled by the Court of Three Judges, he said.

Lee Suet Fern is a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and a director at its Singapore affiliate Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC. She advises clients on mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt capital markets and corporate finance, according to Morgan Lewis’s website.

(Updates with law society’s response in sixth paragraph.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Chanyaporn Chanjaroen in Singapore at cchanjaroen@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Joyce Koh at jkoh38@bloomberg.net, Andrea Tan

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