Keith heads the Restructuring & Insolvency Department in Oon & Bazul. He specialises in complex commercial dispute resolution and restructuring and insolvency. He has particular expertise in cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters, fraud and asset recovery, shareholder and company law disputes, as well as employment, equity and trust, probate and wills disputes.
He regularly appears as lead counsel at all levels in the Singapore Courts on most of his matters, including against senior counsel. His clients include insolvency practitioners, distressed companies, financial institutions and funds, multi-national companies, small and medium enterprises, and high nett worth individuals.
He is a Fellow of INSOL International, having graduated with Honours from INSOL International’s Global Insolvency Practice course (GIPC) 2021/2022 as one of the top 3 graduates.
He is a founding executive committee member of the Young Insolvency Practitioners’ Committee of the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Singapore (IPAS) and a founding committee member of FIRE Starters (a global community of practitioners in the fraud, insolvency, recovery and enforcement sphere). He is also a facilitator for the Corporate Insolvency Modules at the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE) course for law graduates seeking admission to the Singapore Bar.
He has also been an accredited mediator with the Singapore Mediation Centre since 2013 and frequently acts for clients in mediations.
Keith began his legal career as a Justices Law Clerk to the Judges of the Supreme Court of Singapore, and thereafter also served concurrently as an Assistant Registrar hearing civil disputes. Prior to joining the firm, he also practised for seven years with an elite UK magic circle firm in Singapore.
Keith graduated from the Faculty of Law at the National University of Singapore with First Class Honours. He was part of the moot team that won the inaugural Singapore run-off round of the Philip C. Jessup International Law Moot Competition, in which he was named Best Speaker. His team were semi-finalist in the international rounds. In 2013, Keith was in the two-man team that won the Essex Court Chambers-Singapore Academy of Law Moot Competition for young Singapore litigators.
Keith is a member of the Inquiry Panel of the Law Society of Singapore on the appointment of the Honourable Chief Justice. He also serves as an independent board member of the Singapore Ice Skating Association.
Keith also previously taught Company law for two years as a Teaching Fellow at his alma mater.
Restructuring & Insolvency
- Acted for 3 subsidiaries of Sapura Energy Berhad, a global integrated oil and gas services and solutions provider listed on the Malaysian Bursa, in successfully obtaining recognition in Singapore under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in Singapore of their reorganization proceedings in the Malaysian Court.
- Acting for the foreign liquidators of multiple corporate entities involved in the 1 MDB fraud scandal in successfully obtaining recognition in Singapore under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in Singapore of their BVI liquidation proceedings.
- Acting for Yongnam Holdings Limited, a leading player in the steel construction industry listed on the Singapore Exchange Mainboard, and its subsidiaries, in their restructuring proceedings in the Singapore High Court.
- Advising and acting for various entities within the Xihe Group as well as the members of the Lim Family on restructuring and insolvency matters as part of the multi-billion dollar restructuring and insolvency proceedings involving Hin Leong Trading Pte Ltd, Ocean Tankers (Pte) Ltd and Xihe Holdings Pte Ltd.
- Advising and acting for Tee International Limited (TIL), an infrastructure and engineering company listed on the Singapore stock exchange, and its subsidiaries in ongoing scheme moratoria and restructuring proceedings in Singapore. Concurrently advising and acting PBT Engineering Pte Ltd (subsidiary of TIL), in relation to its own scheme moratoria and restructuring proceedings.
- Advising and acting for the insolvency administrators of Wirecard Acquiring & Issuing Gmbh, and Wirecard AG in relation to multiple winding up proceedings and investigations in Singapore relating to the massive Wirecard fraud involving the sum of over EUR 1.9 billion.
- Acted for PT MNC in the first known application by an Indonesian company for a scheme moratorium and in its successful implementation of a pre-packaged scheme in Singapore.
- Acted for PT Modernland and its related companies in their applications for scheme moratoria and successfully obtaining the sanction of the Singapore Court of the prepack schemes of arrangement.
- Acted PT. Pertalahan Arnebatara Natuna (PT PAN) and PT Bumi Hastamukti (PT BHM) in seeking moratorium relief from the Singapore High Court under section 64 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018. Concurrently advised and acted for Mr Tony Antonius Lie, the President Commissioner of PT PAN and the President Director of PT BHM, on his liability as a guarantor of certain debts owed by PT PAN and PT BHM to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited and PT Bank OCBC NISP Tbk. Successfully set aside default judgment obtained by OCBC and PT OCBC against Mr Lie, and (ii) obtained a stay of proceedings commenced by OCBC and PT OCBC in Singapore on the grounds of forum non conveniens.
- Acted for PT Limin Marine & Offshore in seeking moratorium relief from the Singapore High Court under section 64 of the Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution Act 2018. The company is a leading marine offshore services provider. Its core business is in its offshore support services, which include shipping vessels and shipyards, deep sea drilling and offshore engineering. The Company also provides anchor handling, towing, supply and project logistics services.
- Advising and representing the Joint Official Liquidators of Ascentra Holdings, Inc (in Official Liquidation) in the recognition of Cayman insolvency proceedings in Singapore. The recognition proceedings involved novel legal arguments on the meaning of “foreign proceedings” under the UNCITRAL Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency in Singapore, and whether foreign solvent proceedings may be recognised. The matter is on appeal to the Court of Appeal.
- Acted for the Joint Official Liquidators of AEI Co, Ltd (in Official Liquidation) in the successful recognition of Cayman insolvency proceedings in Singapore.
- Acting for the Liquidators of Dextra Pte Ltd, and the bankruptcy trustee of Bernhard Wilhelm Rudolf Weber in tracing funds and pursuing claims owed to the insolvency and bankruptcy estates.
- Advising and acting for the Judicial Managers of Apollo Aquaculture Group Pte Ltd, a company that operates one of Singapore’s first vertical fish farms. The total debt of the group is approximately S$45 million.
- Advising and Acting for the US Trustee of Zetta Jet Pte Ltd and Zetta Jet USA, Inc.
- Acted for the Liquidators of OW Bunker Far East (KPMG) in a long-running, complex, multi-jurisdictional insolvency following the collapse of the OW Bunker Group, one of the biggest players in the global bunker trading industry.
- Acted for the Bank of New York Mellon as trustee of a US$500 million sukuk bond, in relation to the judicial management proceedings (supervised by the Singapore High Court) of Swiber Holdings.
- Acted for Hyflux a major water treatment company listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange in its S$2.3 billion court restructuring.
- Acted for DVB Bank, the Facility Agent and a syndicate of bank lenders in a contentious USD 537 million restructuring, involving the proposed sale of a FPSO (floating production storage and offloading) unit.
- Acted for an Informal Steering Committee of bondholders of Pacific Andes Resources Development Pte Ltd in court restructuring proceedings involving the application for an extra-territorial moratorium.
Litigation & Dispute Resolution / Fraud & Asset Recovery
- Acted for GLAS SAS (London Branch) as trustee of €250 million of secured exchangeable bonds issued by Euopean TopSoho S.À R.L. Successfully obtained an urgent freezing order in Singapore, in aid of the proceedings in the UK and the BVI.
- Acting for the Joint and Several Receivers and Managers of certain security assets of La Dolce Vita Fine Dining Company Limited and La Dolce Vita Fine Dining Group Holdings Limited in successfully recognising foreign arbitral awards as Singapore judgments, and seeking enforcement over certain bank accounts by way of an order of equitable receivership. The arbitral award against the defendant is over USD 92 million.
- Acted for Transasia Private Capital Limited in obtaining freezing and “chabra” orders against a fraudster involved in the vessel scrapping business, as part of wider litigation strategy to recover proceeds of fraud.
- Acting for a private education provider in proceedings commenced under the Protection from Harassment Act (Cap. 256A) against Google LLC to obtain interim and permanent false statement orders.
- Successfully represented the Malaysian subsidiary of a major Japanese trading house, in a claim involving an alleged fraudulent scheme that caused an estimated loss of more than RM 179 million. Acting in enforcement proceedings in Singapore.
- Acted for the defendant in the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeal in a complex breach of trust dispute over assets valued at between US$600 to US$800 million. This was one of the largest commercial/trust disputes ever to be litigated before the Singapore Courts.
- Appointed as young amicus curiae by the Singapore High Court (per See Kee Oon JC- as he then was) in a case concerning the applicability of the “ultra-hazardous” exception to the independent contractor doctrine in the tort of negligence. The Court recognised his submissions as “succinct, thorough and well-researched” from which the Court derived “considerable assistance”.
- In 2022, Keith was named the exclusive winner of the Lexology Client Choice Award for Restructuring & Insolvency in Singapore, based on nominations from over 2500 corporate counsel.
- In 2022, Keith graduated with Honours from INSOL International’s Global Insolvency Practice course (GIPC) 2021/2022, as one of the top 3 graduates.
- Chambers Asia-Pacific 2023 cites Keith as an “Up and Coming” restructuring and insolvency lawyer, with the following client comments: “Keith is very rigorous – I know he has quadruple checked everything”; “His advice is always clear, crisp and actionable. He is easy to work with”.
- In 2022, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific cited Keith as a “Future Star” in the field of insolvency litigation.
- In 2022, Asialaw Leading Lawyers ranked Keith as a “Rising Star” in the field of restructuring and insolvency, with clients describing Keith as “a good advocate, a good strategist” and “easy to talk to and a quick thinker”.
- In 2021, Global Restructuring Review ranked Oon & Bazul as a global top 100 restructuring and insolvency practice for the 3rd year running, and Keith was commended by clients as having a “strong commercial acumen” and being a “first-class practitioner”.
- In 2021, Asian Legal Business recognised Keith as one of the top 40 lawyers in Asia under the age of 40.
- International Financial Law Review (IFLR) has cited Keith as a “Rising Star” for Restructuring & Insolvency in Singapore since 2019, and a “Rising Star Partner” in 2022.
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific (Local Litigation) has recognised Keith in consecutive years as a “Next Generation Lawyer” and “Rising Star” who is praised for his advocacy and “very strategic advice”.
- In Ng Huat Seng and another v Munib Mohammad Madni and another  4 SLR 373, See Kee Oon JC (as he then was) recorded his appreciation for Keith’s submissions, which he said were “succinct, thorough and well researched”, and from which the Court derived “considerable assistance”.
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