AGC says it took issue with Lee Suet Fern for possibly preparing LKY’s last will since her husband Lee Hsien Yang is one of the beneficiaries

7757
YT SCP

In a statement this morning, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) clarified that it did not file a complaint against Lee Suet Fern over the “validity” of founding Prime Minister and her father-in-law Lee Kuan Yew’s last will.

It claims, instead, that it filed the complaint against Lee Suet Fern over possible “professional misconduct” since she is believed to have prepared the will even though her husband, Lee Hsien Yang, is one of the beneficiaries of the will.

The AGC’s statement came hours after Lee Kuan Yew’s middle child and only daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, revealed that the authorities have filed a 500-page complaint against her sister-in-law to the Law Society.

In a separate case, the AGC has also commenced legal action against Lee Hsien Yang and Lee Suet Fern’s son, Li Shengwu, over a private Facebook post.

Today, the AGC said that it filed the complainst since it “has a statutory duty to deal with misconduct by lawyers.” It claimed:

“In this case, AGC became aware of a possible case of professional misconduct by Ms Lee. Ms Lee appears to have prepared the Last Will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and arranged for Mr Lee Kuan Yew to execute it, despite the fact that her husband, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, is one of the beneficiaries under the Last Will.
“Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s share increased under the Last Will. AGC also noted that Mr Lee Hsien Yang had said publicly that the Last Will was drafted by Ms Kwa Kim Lee of M/s Lee & Lee. However Ms Kwa Kim Lee has denied that she drafted it.”

The AGC further confirmed that Attorney-General Lucien Wong, who is Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s former personal lawyer, has recused himself from the case. It added that the AGC has been trying to contact Lee Suet Fern since October 2018 “to explain the position, and her role (if any) in the preparation of the Last Will.”

It added that Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter-in-law was “assured that if she had good explanations for her conduct, then the matter will end,” but that she did not answer the questions despite apparently asking for time extensions to respond.

The AGC said that it has referred the matter to the law society and requested that “the matter be referred to a Disciplinary Tribunal.” The AGC claims that it “does not make any findings on the merits of the case” nor does it “determine guilt or innocence.” 

It added that “Ms Lee will be entitled to make her case to the Tribunal.”

Read the statement in full here:

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has referred a case of possible professional misconduct involving Ms Lee Suet Fern (“Ms Lee”), of Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC to the Law Society.

The referral relates to possible professional misconduct by Ms Lee. It does not relate to the validity of the Last Will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew (“Last Will”).

The AGC has a statutory duty to deal with misconduct by lawyers. When the AGC becomes aware of possible professional misconduct, it is required to consider if the matter should be referred to the Law Society under section 85(3) of the Legal Profession Act.

In this case, AGC became aware of a possible case of professional misconduct by Ms Lee. Ms Lee appears to have prepared the Last Will of Mr Lee Kuan Yew and arranged for Mr Lee Kuan Yew to execute it, despite the fact that her husband, Mr Lee Hsien Yang, is one of the beneficiaries under the Last Will.

Mr Lee Hsien Yang’s share increased under the Last Will. AGC also noted that Mr Lee Hsien Yang had said publicly that the Last Will was drafted by Ms Kwa Kim Lee of M/s Lee & Lee. However Ms Kwa Kim Lee has denied that she drafted it.

The Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules (“Professional Conduct Rules”) requires that lawyers do not place themselves in a position of conflict. Where a person intends to make a significant gift by will to any member of the lawyer’s family, the lawyer must not act for the person and must advise him to obtain independent advice in respect of the gift. This rule applies even if the lawyer is related to the person making the gift.

Ms Lee’s conduct appears prima facie to be in breach of Rules 25 and 46 of the Professional Conduct Rules.

As the Attorney-General has recused himself from this case, the matter has been overseen by Deputy Attorney-General Lionel Yee. AGC has written to Ms Lee several times, since October 2018, asking her to explain the position, and her role (if any) in the preparation of the Last Will. Ms Lee was also assured that if she had good explanations for her conduct, then the matter will end. However, despite asking for extensions of time to respond, Ms Lee did not answer the questions that AGC had asked.

Given her refusal to answer, AGC then referred the matter to the Law Society. The Deputy Attorney-General has also further requested that the matter be referred to a Disciplinary Tribunal.

In referring the matter to the Law Society, the AGC does not make any findings on the merits of the case. AGC does not determine guilt or innocence. It is for the Disciplinary Tribunal appointed by the Chief Justice to investigate the matter and determine if there was misconduct, and if so what action should be taken. Ms Lee will be entitled to make her case to the Tribunal.

AGC filed 500-page long complaint against Lee Hsien Yang’s wife over Lee Kuan Yew’s will: Lee Wei Ling