Lam Kuet Keng Steven John, PBM, BBM
LLB (Hons) (Lond), LLM (NUS) Joint LLM (Nottingham / NUS)
FSIArb, FCIArb, ASIT(Taxation), GCIA, MSID
Called to the English Bar: 1995
Called to the Singapore Bar: 1996
Commissioner For Oaths
Steven is mentioned in Asia Law Profiles as a lawyer familiar with Oil & Shipping matters and has a strong reputation in mediation matters.
During his tenure as a General Counsel of an international MNC, he helmed the legal team that was nominated for the Shipping In-House Team of the Year for the years 2006, 2007 and 2008 for ALB SE Asia Law Awards (which recognises SE Asia's leading law firms and as well as top deals and dealmakers (ref: http://www.albawards.com/), and the team won the award in 2008.
For his contributions to society he was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) by the President of Singapore in 2005 and the Public Service Star (BBM) in 2012.
Further, in 2010, for his legal work, Steven was one of only 2 recipients awarded the “Outstanding Volunteer Award" by the Minister of Law and was awarded the “Minister of Law Appreciation Award” in 2011.
Steven was also presented with Certificates of Appreciation (since 2010 to date) for the work done for State Courts (as a Mediator at the Primary Dispute Resolution Centre and Small Claims' Tribunal) and was given due recognition by Law Society Of Singapore and State Courts for the work done for CLAS and also at the HELP center, from 2010 and 2012.
In 2014, Steven was appointed to the Panel of Assessors for the Council of Problem Gambling by the Minister of Social And Family Development, and he continues to serve on the Panel.
Barrister (Middle Temple), England and Wales
Advocate and Solicitor, Singapore
Arbitrator, Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
Arbitrator, Law Society Arbitration Scheme
Associate Mediator, State Courts of Singapore
Associate Mediator, Singapore Mediation Centre
Member, Singapore Institute of Directors
Member, Law Society's Panel of Mediators (Inadequate Professional Services)
PRACMENTOR, Law Society Of Singapore (Arbitration and International Business Transactions)
Member, Singapore Institute of Directors
Panel Lawyer, Embassy of The People's Republic Of China
Member, Criminal Practice, Committee of the Law Society of Singapore
Vice-Chairman, Community Legal Clinics Committee, The Law Society of Singapore
Having graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (2nd Upper Class) in 1994, Steven pursued his English Barrister qualification on a scholarship, and subsequently obtained a first Masters of Laws in 2000 (specializing in International Trade, Taxation and Corporate Insolvency/ Restructuring) followed by another Masters of Laws in 2003 (specializing in Intellectual Property, International Commercial Law and Shipping Law).
In 2006, he was awarded the Book Prize in Drafting and Award Writing by the President of London's Chartered Institute of Arbitrator. Currently he is a Fellow of London's Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and an Associate of the Singapore Institute of Taxation, and a Member of the Singapore Institute of Directors, and has been appointed as a panel lawyer of the People's Republic of China.
He is also a certified arbitrator and mediator, specializing in commercial, employment and international trade, insurance and shipping disputes.
Arbitration, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Experience
Just prior to joining Templars, Steven was a partner of a Singapore international firm, and before that a senior lawyer in an international law firm handling complex commercial and corporate matters (specializing in M&A and Joint Ventures Agreements of medical institutions and energy & Oil & Gas related companies) and involved in over 80 international commercial arbitrations (in various parts of the world, from New York, London, Middle East, China and other parts of South East Asia) specializing in shipping, international trade, reinsurance and insurance disputes and cross-borders mergers and acquisitions.
Whilst in private practice from 1996 to 2005, Steven had a broad-based corporate (specializing in M&A and Joint Ventures Agreements) and dispute resolution practice (appearing in arbitrations and at the various levels of the Court System in Singapore).
Notable High Court and Court Of Appeal Cases in Singapore:
- Ng Song Leng v Soh Kim Seng Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd and Another  SGHC 289 (Court of Appeal) - Insurance matter whereby the Court Of Appeal fully analyzed the legal jurisprudence behind the compensatory principles of damages.
- Awang Bin Dollah v Shun Shing Construction & Engineering Co Ltd & Other Appeals  3 SLR 677 (Court of Appeal) - Insurance claim which determined the limits of insurers' liability in matters involving illegal workers the definition of an "employer" under the Factories Act and the Workmen Compensation Act.
- Stansfield Business International Pte Ltd v Another v VCS Vardan  1 SLR 641(Court of Appeal) - Court of Appeal decided on the extend of discovery available under the pre-action discovery regime of civil procedure.
- Indian Bank v Sadeco-Sarl Pte Ltd & Ors  SGHC 397 (Court of Appeal) - decision on how alleged fraudulent conduct on the part of the Plaintiff's employees would impact on a claim by the bankers under a guarantee.
- Tan Ngo Hwa & Anor v Siew Mun Phui  SGHC 376 (Court Of Appeal) - Insurance matter where the Court made rulings on the methodology for assessing dependents' claims.
- AG v R Anpazhakan  SGCA 38 (Court of Appeal) - Court considered extend of vicarious liability and government immunities for government agencies.
- PP v Lim Siong Khee  SGDC 32, 2 SLR 34 - conducted the trial of the first case under the Computers Misuse Act (cap 50A) for illegal hacking and access to email account.
- PP v Muhammad Faizal Bin Sahad  SGDC 3, Magistrate's Appeal No 197-2003 (High Court) - Criminal appeal to the Chief Justice on the principles as to when fresh evidence could be adduced on appeal and also the factors in deciding whether probation or Reformative Training should be ordered.
- Stone Forest Consulting Pte Ltd v Wee Poh Holdings Ltd  3 SLR 216;  SGHC 134 (Court of Appeal) - Restructuring and claims by and against consultants assisting the re-structuring and M&A.
- Chua Mui Gek v Ng Soon Kim  SGDC 70 (High Court) - impact of indirect and direct contributions on the issue of the division of matrimonial asset in a divorce proceeding.
- Suit No. 923 of 2010/P - Acted for the Plaintiff in a dispute involving parties in an International Joint Venture, with the dispute sum amounting to more than Euro 4 Million. Matter was settled in 2012 after prolonged mediation.
- Suit No. 567 of 2010/C - Acted for Defendant in a claim arising from an industrial fire with, dispute sum of about S$600,000.00. Matter was eventually settled after mediation, shortly before trial, in 2013.
- Suit No. 361 of 2011/P - Acted for Plaintiff in a claim by the Company against former directors for breach of director's duties, and the directors were eventually ordered (at trial) to pay S$1.75 million to the company in 2012.
- Suit No. S295/2010/Q - Acted for Plaintiff in his appeal in a medical negligence suit.
- Suit No. 2/2011/R - Acted for the Plaintiff in a complex medical negligence suit, and the matter was settled just before the commencement of the trial.
- Suit 558 / 2012 D - Defending a painting sub-contractor in a claim by the main-contractor and the developers. Matter was resolved and settled after a long mediation, shortly before trial.Recent Arbitration Cases
- Acted for Chinese buyer of coal from Indonesia and the matter worth $6 million and the matter was found in favour of the buyer in that the coal supplied was not up to specifications.
- Acted for a temple in the arbitration against the architect and the builder for breach of contract and professional duties, in that the work was shoddy and not up-to-work. The claim was for approximately $5 million and the award was $4.5 million.
- Acted for a charterer of a Vessel against the ship-owners in a speed and consumption claim worth about $1 million and the findings was in favour of the charterer.
Corporate, Joint Venture, Re-structuring and M&A Experience
Steven was previously the General Counsel / Head of Legal & Compliance of a listed multinational oil and gas and shipping company, was involved in the negotiations and legal documentation of the Bonds, JV and M&A of several oil and shipping related companies in Singapore, BVI. Bermuda, China, Malaysia and Hong Kong, and the establishment of an oil exchange in Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
As the Company is listed and have strategic partners from USA, the compliance and regulatory regimes that the Company has to adhere to include the Stock Exchange Rules and Government Regulations of Singapore, Hong Kong, and Steven had to oversee compliance under the Sarbanes Oxley Act of USA and MIFID of Europe.
The compliance strategies, policies and operations were handed in-house, with Steven. Steven was also involved in all negotiations, drafting and executions of the joint-venture projects and strategic investments of the listed entity, including but not limited to:
- The building of a shipyard capable of building VLCCs in China (with Norwegian, Japanese and Korean ship-building companies);
- The investment of USD 175 Million for a 25% stake in the Listco by an American investor;
- The investment of USD 170 million for a 12% stake in the shipyard;
- The investment by K-Line in the shipyard;
- The acquisitions of a stake in Dalian Shipyard and oil refineries in Southern China ;
- Joint-Venture with the Guangzhou port authorities in the building and operation of a port terminal in Nansha;
- Joint-Venture with the Guangzhou government in starting a HuaNan Mercantile Exchange in Nansha;
- Joint-Venture with various international investment banks in starting the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange;
- Designation by Platts of the FSUs in Malaysia as the delivery terminals for oil products in West Malaysia ; and
- Joint-venture to develop an oil refinery and storage base in Johore Bahru , Malaysia .
In terms of commercial and trade financing work, Steven was involved in the structuring, negotiations and drafting of the documents and follow-up compliance monitoring for the following deals:
- USD400M Convertible bonds issued by the Listco;
- USD50M Senior Bonds issued by the Holdco;
- USD800M trade financing by way of a Club deal (by various international banks) for Oil trading purposes;
- USD 300M trade financing by way of a syndicated deal (by various international banks) for Oil Trading purposes;
- Multiple ISDA agreements with international MNCs worth hundreds of million USD;
- OTC agreements and trade lines with international trading houses;
- Ship financing deals for VLCCs to Coastal tankers (including sale-and-lease back arrangements and new-builds);
- Collateral management agreements for the FSUs; and
- Multi-million Inter-company trade and project financing deals across various jurisdictions, including Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Singapore, involving also transfer-pricing issues.
Before joining this Listco, Steven he was the Chief Legal Officer of a medical healthcare provider and was involved in the merger and acquisition of the centre by a listed entity and several other mergers and acquisitions of hospitals in China.
Whilst in practice, Steven also handled a take-over and eventual re-structuring of a multinational education provider in Singapore and China.
Currently he is the independent director an Oil & Gas and shipping company overseeing their legal and compliance policies and is retained by several companies (in the healthcare, aesthetic beauty and motor-trade industries) as their independent legal advisor.
Academic / Training Roles
- Lecturer in Evidence Gathering, Interview and Interrogation techniques and Court Room Preparations for Investigators in various government agencies and statutory boards.
- Lecturer of UniSIM teaching international trade law, contract law and corporate governance and company law and family law.
- External Lecturer of the Central Queensland University and University of Southern Queensland, teaching international business law and corporate governance.
- External Lecturer of the Murdoch University teaching marketing law and employment law, company law and corporate governance and dispute resolutions and negotiations techniques and strategies.
- Lecturer of NUS Extension Program teaching business law and insurance law.
- Trainer in the Law Society's Advocacy Training Program for Singapore Institute of Legal Studies Part B students since its inception in 2002.
- Trainer in the NUS Law School's Advocacy Training Program for the undergraduates.
- Tutor, Family Law, Part B, Singapore Institute of Legal Studies.
- Independent Director of the Singapore Heart Stroke and Cancer Centre;
- Independent Director of the Prestige Healthcare Investments Pte Ltd;
- Independent Director of Panoil Petroleum Pte Ltd and Panoil Tankers Pte Ltd;
- Partner-Associate and Consultant of the Legal Aid Bureau of the Ministry of Law providing trainings to the Legal Officers and Executives of LAB on areas of civil and commercial litigation;
- Town Councillor - Pasir Ris - Punggol Town Council and other key appointments in several grassroots organizations.
- Committee Member. Problem Gambling Forum, Ministry of Social & Family Development.
- Panel Assessor, Council Problem Gambling
- Former Committee Member in the Supreme Courts' Committee on Promoting Singapore Law Internationally;
- Former Committee Member of the Films Review Committee Ministry of Information, Communication the Arts ("MICA");
- Former Committee Member of the Remaking Singapore Committee.
- Panel Lawyer, Embassy of The People's Republic Of China
- Liaison Officer, Singapore Police Force