Fountain Court hosted two events in Singapore on Monday 9 September: a Panel Discussion, followed by the annual Christopher Bathurst Prize Reception.
The Panel Discussion was titled ‘Problematic Issues with Legal Professional Privilege’, and it was the second year that Chambers had held such an event in Singapore, again in the beautiful surroundings of a packed Chamber at The Arts House (formerly the Parliament House). Welcome remarks were given by Mr Sriram Chakravarthi, Chief Legal Counsel of the Singapore Academy of Law. The discussion was moderated by Stephen Moriarty QC. The speakers were Siraj Omar SC of Drew & Napier and Nik Yeo, Andrew Pullen and Kanaga Dharmananda SC of Fountain Court Chambers.
The panel discussed how the Courts were subjecting the rules of legal professional privilege to ever closer examination, testing the limits of privilege in often controversial ways, and particularly in relation to the ability of corporations to attract privilege. This has led to a marked divergence between the approaches of the Singapore, English and Australian courts. The panel evaluated these differences and also picked up some of the issues raised by this year’s Christopher Bathurst Prize problem.
It is the ninth year that Chambers has awarded the prize in memory of the late Christopher Bathurst QC (Viscount Bledisloe), who as a member of Fountain Court developed a substantial practice in Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, whilst still being a leading practitioner at the Commercial Bar in London and serving as Head of Chambers between 1989-1994. The prize was again kindly supported by the Singapore Academy of Law.
The Reception was held at Empress at the Asian Civilisation Museum and the guests included many old and new friends of Fountain Court, spanning the legal profession in Singapore and the Pan-Asia region. The delegation from Chambers included Stephen Moriarty QC, Leigh-Ann Mulcahy QC, Anneliese Day QC, Nik Yeo, Andrew Pullen, Alex Taylor (Senior Clerk) and Caroline McConnon (Practice Manager, Asia). They were joined by four of its door tenants, Kanaga Dharmananda SC, Gaurav Pachnanda SA, Professor Benjamin Hughes and Christine Artero.
Participants were asked to submit a piece of written legal advice of not more than 3,500 words. Chambers were delighted to award the winning prize to Mr Darren Low, an associate at Davinder Singh Chambers LLC. The competition question and winning advice can be found here.
The prize for the winner is an all-expense-paid two-week internship at Fountain Court Chambers in London.
Entrants were judged on a variety of criteria, namely, originality, critical analysis, succinctness, clarity, persuasiveness and pragmatism. The judges were Michael Brindle QC, former Head of Chambers and a door tenant at Fountain Court, Siraj Omar SC and Dr Sandra Booysen, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. Fountain Court are grateful for their support and commitment to the Prize.