Colin Liew

Civil fraud and asset recovery
Commercial dispute resolution
Regulatory law &  investigations

Professional Practice

Colin has been repeatedly recognised as one of Singapore’s leading disputes and investigations lawyers, with legal directories describing him as a “superb advocate and well rounded practitioner” who is “one of the sharpest legal minds of his generation”.

A civil fraud and investigations specialist, Colin has been involved in ground-breaking cases involving novel points of law, while Colin’s broader disputes practice has seen him act for law firms, multinationals and high net-worth individuals in complex cases raising difficult issues, often against Senior or King’s Counsel. As the author of Legal Professional Privilege, Colin is the foremost authority on legal privilege in Singapore and has been repeatedly cited by the Singapore Courts.

Colin also takes on appointments as arbitrator and counsel in international arbitration, having experience of large-scale arbitrations under various institutional rules. In addition, Colin is frequently instructed to provide expert evidence of Singapore law to foreign courts and tribunals.

Outside of his professional activities, Colin has also participated in several law reform initiatives and committees, and has volunteered advice to various non-governmental organisations.

Representative Experience

CIVIL FRAUD & ASSET RECOVERY

  •  Acted for a sovereign wealth fund in asset recovery claims, arising out of one of the largest corruption, bribery and money laundering scandals on record.
  • Acted for a global natural resources company in investigating allegations of trade financing fraud, and successfully defending ensuing proceedings in the High Court and Court of Appeal, worth more than USD 30 million.
  • Acted for a financial services company in relation to a round-tripping fraud, recovering assets worth more than USD 30 million.
  • Assisted victims of a substantial international fraud in relation to asset-tracing and disclosure proceedings.
  • Assisted a natural resources conglomerate as part of a multi-jurisdictional team in investigating large-scale corruption and corporate fraud worth approximately USD 50 million.

COMMERCIAL DISPUTE RESOLUTION

  •  Acted on behalf of a leading commodities trader in an SIAC arbitration arising out of a contract for the sale and purchase of light cycle oil, raising issues under the ASEAN-China FTA.
  • Acted on behalf of a leading bunker supplier in ad hoc arbitrations arising out of one of the worst bunker contamination incidents in Singapore, involving potential liabilities in excess of USD 100 million.
  • Acted on behalf of a leading airline catering venture in obtaining anti-suit injunctions restraining proceedings commenced in Korea in breach of arbitration agreements.
  • Acted on behalf of a foreign working interest owner in challenging a negative jurisdictional ruling made in an ICC arbitration.
  • Acted for two high net worth individuals in successfully resisting a competing claim to a fund of approximately USD 10 million, in what is believed to be the first case involving a claim by one investor in an apparent Ponzi scheme against another investor.

REGULATORY LAW & INVESTIGATIONS

  •  Assisted a financial services company in investigating a sophisticated securities fraud spanning multiple jurisdictions, involving coordination with international counsel as well as engagement with law enforcement authorities.
  • Assisted an international bank with compliance and employee-related investigations arising from suspected rate-rigging activities.
  • Assisted a global natural resources company with investigations into allegations of trade finance fraud by its Singapore subsidiary.
  • Assisted the Singapore Medical Council in investigating allegations of professional misconduct by registered medical professionals.
  • Assisted a leading professional services firm in relation to allegations of conflicts of interest and misuse of client confidential information.

EDUCATION

  • 2009: BA (Juris) (First Class), St Peter’s College, University of Oxford
  • Martin Wronker Prize for Best Overall Performance
  • Gibbs Prize for Best Overall Performance in Contract, Tort, Land Law and Trusts
  • All Souls Prize in Best Performance in Public International Law
  • Norton Rose Prize for Best Performance in Company Law
  • Carl Albert Prize for Best Graduate of St Peter’s College

PUBLICATIONS

  • 2024: Legal Professional Privilege (Academy Publishing, 2nd Ed) (cited by the High Court and Court of Three Judges)
  • 2023: “Order 8: Service Out of Singapore” in Singapore Rules of Court: A Practice Guide (Chua Lee Ming and Paul Quan, eds) (Academy Publishing)
  • 2018: “Multi-Tiered Dispute Resolution Clauses: Law and Practice” in Singapore International Arbitration: Law and Practice (David Foxton QC and David Joseph QC, eds) (LexisNexis, 2nd Ed)

WHAT OTHERS SAY

Legal500

Colin Liew is a formidable lawyer and very user-friendly”.

Colin Liew is an exceptional advocate who is able to digest the most complex of cases, I would highly recommend him”.

Chambers and Partners

Colin is “responsive and easy to work with” and “a reliable guide to the court system and on litigation strategy”.

Who’s Who Legal

Colin Liew is lauded as a “superb advocate and well rounded practitioner” by impressed sources. One adds, “He is one of the sharpest legal minds of his generation”.”

Colin Liew is highly respected for his “creativity, professionalism and knowledge” particularly in complex fraud-related disputes” and who “impresses market observers with his “mastery of the facts and evidence” and outstanding expertise in civil fraud matters”.

Colin Liew is practising from Colin Liew LLC (UEN No 201909535H), a limited liability law corporation