Professional practice

Commercial and criminal disputes, and regulatory matters are Calvin’s areas of expertise. Before joining private practice, he was a Justices’ Law Clerk and Assistant Registrar in the Supreme Court of Singapore.

As lead counsel, Calvin has obtained a search order for one of the world’s largest shipowners, and defended a business owner against corruption charges where the High Court commended his “detailed and well-researched submissions. ”

His recent commercial disputes have included acting in a claim involving over US$2 billion worth of art – discharging a worldwide Mareva injunction and obtaining a stay in favour of Switzerland in the first Court of Appeal case to consider the relevance of the Singapore International Commercial Court in determining the proper forum for cross-border disputes. He has successfully acted in leading Court of Appeal cases on cross-border injunctions, minority shareholders’ rights and the doctrine of abuse of process.

In the area of white-collar crime, Calvin has acted for the finance manager of a megachurch in one of Singapore’s longest criminal breach of trust cases, and advises on corporate investigations.Calvin has taught Public Law at the National University of Singapore and the Singapore Management University. An article he co-authored in this area was cited by the Court of Appeal.

Apart from the law, Calvin loves Arsenal FC, his wife and daughter (in unequal measure).

 

Recent Cases

2020

  • Oro Negro Drilling Pte Ltd and ors v Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro SAPI de CV and ors [2020] 1 SLR 226 (SGCA): cross-border insolvency dispute over the control of five oil rigs in Mexican waters said to be worth approximately US$ 1.5 billion and the duties of foreign directors of Singapore companies. This is the leading Court of Appeal decision on cross-border injunctions to enforce negative covenants. Led by Toby Landau QC.
  • Acting for a State party in Singapore Court proceedings to set aside an arbitral award for over US$ 145 million.

2019

  • EQ Capital Investments Ltd v The Wellness Group Pte Ltd [2019] SGHC 154: dispute over the winding up on just and equitable grounds of one of the companies involved in TWG Tea. Led by Toby Landau QC.
  • Carlo Giuseppe Civelli v Philippe Emanuel Mulacek and anor [2019] SGHC 182: dispute involving the distribution of proceeds from the US$ 900 million sale of one of the largest vertical onshore gas wells in the world and the issuance of an anti-suit injunction to restrain proceedings in Texas. Led by Toby Landau QC.
  • BMI Tax Services Pte Ltd v Heng Keok Meng and ors [2019] SGHC 9: dispute over alleged negligent tax advice rendered by a tax advisor to a medical professional and the interpretation of the tax avoidance provisions in the Income Tax Act. As lead counsel, Calvin successfully struck out substantial portions of the opposing party’s case leading to settlement.
  • Public Prosecutor v Goh Boon Hong [2019] SGMC 49: dispute over the sentencing benchmark for offences under section 22(1)(d) of the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. As lead counsel, Calvin obtained a fine for the accused instead of a custodial sentence as the Prosecution had argued for. The Prosecution subsequently withdrew its appeal.
  • Deccan Chronicle Holdings Limited v Danniyal Malik and ors [2019] (unreported): dispute over a bond placement by one of India’s largest English-language newspapers which was listed on the National Stock Exchange of India Limited. As lead counsel, Calvin successfully obtained the discharge of a Mareva injunction and proprietary injunction on the grounds of abuse of process.
  • Acting as lead counsel in a dispute concerning solar power plants built in Pakistan as part of the Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Acting for a Chinese entity in a cross-border fraud investigation concerning the misappropriation of over US $35 million. Led by VK Rajah SC.
  • Acting as co-counsel in an international arbitration worth over US$50 million involving the interpretation of provisions of the Indian Foreign Exchange Management Act and its regulations.
  • Acted in a dispute between a listed Japanese beverage company and its former chief executive involving the Securities and Futures Act.

2018

  • The Wellness Group Pte Ltd v Paris Investment Pte Ltd and others [2018] 2 SLR 973 (SGCA): The first Singapore case and the most recent Commonwealth authority on the precise scope of a shareholder’s right in relation to the appointment of directors. Led by Toby Landau QC.
  • Public Prosecutor v Lam Leng Hung and ors [2018] 1 SLR 659 (SGCA): acted for one of the accused persons in the “City Harvest Church” trial. The Court of Appeal adopted the defence’s interpretation of the offence of criminal breach of trust by a banker, agent, director etc. under section 409 of the Penal Code.

Pre-2018

  • Rappo, Tania v Accent Delight International Ltd and anor [2017] 2 SLR 265 (SGCA): dispute involving over US$2 billion worth of art owned by a Russian oligarch, including works by Picasso, Monet, Rothko and Da Vinci. Successfully obtained a stay in favour of Switzerland in the first Court of Appeal case to consider the relevance of the Singapore International Commercial Court in determining the proper forum for cross-border disputes.
  • Bouvier, Yves Charles Edgar and another v Accent Delight International Ltd and anor [2015] 5 SLR 558 (SGCA): Leading Court of Appeal decision on worldwide mareva and propretiary injunctions. This case garnered the“Matter of the Year” award at Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2016.
  • Song Meng Choon Andrew v Public Prosecutor [2015] 4 SLR 1090 (SGHC): Successfully acted on appeal for a private sector individual charged for corruption in a case involving novel points of law. The High Court commended Calvin for his “detailed and well-researched submissions.”
  • Successfully obtained the removal of an Interpol Red Notice for an individual.
  • Acted for one of Singapore’s largest banks against a construction company (in judicial management) for the wrongful re-routing of monies away from the bank. The case involved an in-depth analysis of the test for determining the nature of a security over assets.
  • Acted as lead counsel for one of the world’s largest and oldest shipowners to obtain a search order against an ex-employee in a claim for breach of confidence and fiduciary duties. Final judgment was entered against the ex-employee who also received a custodial sentence for his contempt arising from the search order. The dispute involved cross-border cooperation with foreign legal counsel.
  • Acted for a telecommunications company in a dispute arising from the procurement of broadcast rights to the English Premier League.
Education
  • 2010: BCL (Distinction), University College, University of Oxford
  • 2009: LLB (First Class Hons), London School of Economics and Political Science
Awards
  • 2015: The Singapore Business Review included Calvin in the list of Singapore’s 40 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under.
  • 2013: One of the top five advocates at the Singapore International Arbitration Academy organised by the National University of Singapore’s Centre for International Law. The judges were Lord Hoffmann, Toby Landau QC and Teresa Cheng SC.
  • 2007: Sweet & Maxwell Prize for the best overall performance (LSE)
  • 2007: Best performance for Criminal law (LSE)
  • 2007: Blackstone Chambers Prize for Public Law (LSE)
  • 2007: Dechert Prize for Property Law (LSE)
Publications

Calvin’s publications include:

  • How to Avoid Getting “Clubbed” to Death: A Survival Guide, Singapore Law Gazette, June 2018
  • ‘The relevance of the Singapore International Commercial Court to the Spiliada test for forum non conveniens’, Lexology, 22 May 2017
  • Fair Play and Match Fixing’, Singapore Law Gazette, Apr 2016, co-author
  • The Constitution of Our Constitution: A Vindication of the Basic Structure Doctrine’, Singapore Law Gazette, Aug 2014, co-author
  • Amenability to Judicial Review: the Ambiguity in Manjit Singh v Attorney-General’, Law Gazette, Apr 2013, co-author
  • Alan Shadrake v Attorney-General [2011] SGCA 26: A Look at the Recent Decision on the Law of Contempt for Scandalising the Judiciary’, Inter Se, Jul 2011, co-author
Calvin Liang is practising from Calvin Liang LLC (UEN No. 201909532R), a limited liability law corporation.