Michael Brindle QC will today announce the first winner of the Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize, sponsored by leading London commercial  barristers’ chambers, Fountain Court Chambers and supported by the Singapore Academy of Law, at a ceremony to take place at the Raffles Hotel, Singapore.

The Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize, named in honour of the late  Christopher Bathurst QC (Viscount Bledisloe QC), a senior member of Fountain Court Chambers for many years who often practiced in Singapore, is open to full-time students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral studies in Law at the National University of Singapore, and the Singapore Management University School of Law, as well as fully-qualified Singaporean lawyers under the age of 30.

Participants were asked to submit a 1000 word essay on the following question: “Trading in the Distressed Debt Market: Should the owner of a debt be prevented from declaring himself a trustee of it for another?” Entrants were judged on a variety of criteria  (originality; critical analysis; succinctness; clarity; persuasiveness and pragmatism), all characteristics exemplified by Christopher in his extensive Singaporean arbitration practice, and which values members of Fountain Court still hold to firmly today.

Timothy Dutton QC (head of Chambers) said: “We are delighted to sponsor the inaugural Christopher Bathurst Essay Prize, in view of the long and distinguished connection between Chambers and Singapore, as personified by Christopher’s work over many years. I know he valued his contacts with Singapore’s legal community very highly, being both a respected advocate in court, and a friend and mentor out of it. This award honours his memory and establishes a clear beacon for the future, as Singapore becomes an increasingly important centre particularly for international arbitration.”

Dutton added: “Christopher’s values and ours, shared by our friends in the Singapore Academy of Law, lie in promoting legal excellence, collegiality, and firm support for the careers of Singapore’s young lawyers in commercial dispute resolution. These values are realised through the Prize which will enable a young Singaporean lawyer to take up a two-week internship at Fountain Court Chambers in London. Such support will enable winners to have access to the experience and skills of one of London’s leading commercial sets.”

Dutton concluded: “My colleagues and I are very much looking forward to this event, which we see as a great opportunity to strengthen further the Bar’s longstanding relationship with Singapore, and the Republic’s legal profession more generally”

“The Prize will raise awareness amongst local law firms that engage in international dispute resolution and arbitration of the problems which we, together, can help to solve.  This is work which forms a strong part of the practices of many at Fountain Court, as it did for Christopher. The international work of the Bar is fundamental to what we do, and this Prize will foster strong relationships between London and Singapore.”