Singapore—Mr Philip Jeyaretnam has been appointed by President Halimah Yacob as a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Singapore, announced the Prime Minister’s Office on Monday (Dec 7).
His term starts on Jan 4, 2021, and will be for a period of one year.
Mr Jeyaretnam is the son of one of Singapore’s most notable political figures in recent history, Mr Joshua Benjamin, also known as JB Jeyaretnam. He is also the brother of Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam, the Secretary-General of the Reform Party, which Mr JB Jeyaretnam founded.
The new appointee studied Law at Cambridge, graduating with First Class Honours in 1986. He worked with the law firms Robert Wang & Woo, Chor Pee and Partners, and Helen Yeo & Partners, where he was a Partner.
The firm later merged with Rodyk & Davidson in 2002, and later Mr Jeyaretnam became Managing Partner of Rodyk & Davidson LLP.
In 2016, he led the firm’s merger with Dentons, which then became Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP.
The PMO’s statement reads, “Concurrently with his active practice in arbitration and litigation, he has been part of Dentons global management since then, holding the position of ASEAN CEO and Global Vice Chair of Dentons.”
Moreover, in 2003, when he was 38 years old, he was conferred the title of Senior Counsel, one of the youngest lawyers to have been thus appointed.
He was also the President of the Law Society from 2004 to 2007.
Of Mr Jeyaretnam’s areas of expertise, the statement from the PMO says that his “practice in arbitration and litigation has focused on commercial law and construction law. He is widely recognised as a leading expert in arbitration, construction law and litigation in all major legal publications.”
The new appointee is also a much-lauded novelist. First Loves, his short story anthology, was a bestseller when it was published in 1987, causing The Business Times to call him the country’s “home-grown Maugham.” The anthology, as well as his first novel, Raffles Place Ragtime, published the following year, were nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize.
His next novel, Abraham’s Promise, was highly commended by the National Book Development Council of Singapore and was chosen by The Business Times in 2015 as of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965 to 2015.
In 1993, Mr Jeyaretnam’s literary efforts won him the ‘Young Artist of the Year’ award. Four years later he won the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award, and in 2003, the S.E.A. Write Award.
Additionally, from 2005 to 2013, Mr Jeyaretnam was an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Building at the National University of Singapore.
From the beginning of next year, with Mr Jeyaretnam’s appointment, Singapore’s Supreme Court will have 25 Judges in all, which includes the Chief Justice and four Judges of Appeal, as well as six Judicial Commissioners, four Senior Judges, and 17 International Judges.
The PMO also announced on Nov 28 the appointment of a third Deputy Attorney-General, as well as a new judicial commissioner and High Court Judge, also effective early next year. —/TISG
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