In 2008, Mervyn graduated from the National University of Singapore, Law School, with a LL.B. (2nd Upper Class), and has since devoted much of his legal career in disputes resolution, dealing with a variety of areas including commercial law, company law, construction law, insolvency law, criminal law, white collar crime, employment law and intellectual property law.

Apart from being a quick-witted litigator, Mervyn honed his commercial awareness during his stint as an in-house legal counsel in an international bank. He was responsible for advising the bank on its businesses and operations in Singapore, including contract negotiations and drafting, trade mark protection, regulatory compliance matters and staff conduct investigations.

With a passion for the law and litigation, Mervyn chose to return to private practice and joined Advocatus to further the firm’s disputes resolution practice, with a focus on white collar crime.

Mervyn has been outstanding in his criminal law practice at a young age. He had conduct of the first ever successful Innocence Project case in Singapore, and represented accused persons involved in high profile cases such as the 2012 SMRT bus drivers’ strike case, and in the 2015 SEA Games football match-fixing corruption case. He is one of the youngest lead counsels to be appointed in two key pro bono schemes in Singapore: the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, and the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences.

Mervyn is also an adjunct instructor with the National University of Singapore, Law School, teaching in the school’s Legal Skills Programme, which is a compulsory core module for all first year undergraduate students in the Law School.

Outside of the legal landscape, Mervyn is a certified self-defence instructor. He is also a regular volunteer with “Meals-on-Wheels”, which is a volunteer meal delivery service administered by TOUCH Community for homebound elderly persons who are unable to buy or prepare their own meals and do not have a caregiver. Since 2016, Mervyn has also been working with and assisting the Ministry of Law in the ministry’s Junior College Outreach Programme to raise awareness on the Rule of Law in Singapore.

Mervyn is effectively bilingual in English and Mandarin.

 

Accolades

  • Certificate of Appreciation for Judiciary Volunteers for 2018
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Judiciary Volunteers for 2016
  • Certificate of Appreciation for Top CLAS Volunteers for 2014

 

Memberships/Appointments

  • Committee Member of the Management Committee for Fei Yue Community Services, which is a voluntary welfare organisation established in Singapore in 1991 to provide social services
  • Member of the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme Committee
  • Lead Counsel for the Legal Assistance Scheme for Capital Offences administered by the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Singapore
  • Lead Counsel for the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme administered by the Law Society Pro Bono Services office

 

Speaking Engagements/Articles written

  • CLAS Criminal Law Training Programme 2018 (covered topics on “Drug Cases” and “Challenging Statements”)
  • Arrest and detention refresher course conducted by Kapap Academy Singapore in December 2018 for Inspection Officers from the Ministry of Manpower (shared about powers of search and arrest under the Employment Act)

 

Career Highlights

  • Acted for an accused who was charged with multiple offences of criminal breach of trust. The amount involved was more than S$900,000/- and the matter was complicated by the fact that the alleged offences first took place almost 9 years ago.
  • Acted for a Taiwanese national who was charged with money laundering activities that took place in Singapore. The amount involved was the second highest, at the time of the charge, in the history of similar offences.
  • Acted for an accused who was charged with multiple offences concerning cheating by forgery. The matter was complicated by the fact that the accused felt compelled to commit the offences as she herself was a victim of an online love scam.
  • Acted for an accused who was charged with multiple online cheating offences. The matter was complicated by the fact that the accused committed the offences while being on the police ‘wanted’ list.
  • Acted for an accused who was charged with multiple private sector corruption and forgery offences concerning the receipt of kickbacks in the food and beverage industry.
  • Acted for an accused who was charged with corruption by offering to give gratuity to a private sector employee who was performing a public service function.
  • Advised a local company, in the automobile industry, in its investigations into cheating and forgery activities apparently carried out by a director and an employee of the company.
  • Advised a remisier who faced investigations from the authorities into allegations of unauthorized trading under the Securities and Futures Act.
  • Acted for the appellant in an appeal before the High Court against her conviction of snatch-theft offences. This appeal involved re-looking the proper interpretation of the elements of “snatch-theft”.
  • Acted for the appellant in an appeal before the High Court against his sentence for an offence under the Enlistment Act. This appeal involved novel arguments as to whether the appellant’s initial successful application for deferment, and his misunderstanding of the consequence of deferment, can be considered mitigating factors.
  • Acted for the appellant in an appeal before the High Court against his sentence for offences under the Moneylenders Act. The appeal was complicated by the fact that the offences were committed when the appellant was still a minor but he was charged only after he was above 21 years old.
  • Acted for the appellant in an appeal before the High Court against his sentence for offences under the Children and Young Persons Act. The appeal involved complex arguments of whether the judge, at first instance, had double counted factors and imposed an excessive sentence on the appellant.
  • Acted for the accused in a capital trial that was heard in the High Court concerning drug trafficking activities. This case was complicated by the fact that a co-accused person had initially implicated the client during investigations but only to retract the statements at trial.
  • Acted for the accused who faced allegations of inappropriate conduct with a young person of the opposite gender. After putting in representations for the client, the charges were withdrawn on what would have been the first day of trial.
  • Acted for the Liquidator (Plaintiff) to commence proceedings to set aside a waiver and release letter which was furnished in favour of the debtor (Defendant) of the company, on the grounds that it was a transaction at undervalue.
  • Acted for the applicant, who was a creditor, shareholder and director of the company, to wind up an online retail business involving crowd-funding investors, in which the application was successful. The matter was complex due to the allegations of breaches of directors' duties especially with the use of crowd-sourced funds.
  • Acted for the defendant to successfully resist steps taken by a financial institution to enforce a mortgage. This allowed the client time to seek re-financing and restructure its financial payment obligations.
  • Advised the Liquidator of the merits of claims by, and counterclaims against, a substantial creditor, in the course of liquidation of a construction company, which had been in business in Singapore since 1977, before it was wound up.
  • Advised the Liquidator of the merits of complaints by a creditor, in the course of liquidation of a company, in the oil and gas industry, concerning allegations of breaches of duties by the company’s former director.
  • Advised the Liquidator of a company, which was set up pursuant to a public-private partnership to promote the arts scene in Singapore, regarding the merits of a substantial creditor’s claims. The matter is complicated by the fact that the monies, which the creditor claims for, are withheld by the public entity.
  • Represented Connectus Group Pte Ltd in defending a case involving issues of the authority of a controlling shareholder to bind a company (the Plaintiff), and the validity and enforceability of an oral collateral contract between the controlling shareholder and the Defendant to set off claims between the Plaintiff and the Defendant.
  • Represented the plaintiff, who was the CEO of the biggest self defence academy in Singapore, in commencing court proceedings, for claims of defamation. The proceedings were amicably resolved in favour of the client.
  • Represented the defendant in court proceedings brought by a local food and beverage company concerning allegations of breaches of a franchise agreement. The proceedings were amicably resolved in favour of the client.
  • Represented the defendant, which is involved in the beauty and wellness industry, in court proceedings brought by a local interior designer company concerning allegations of breaches of a build and design agreement. The proceedings were amicably resolved in favour of the client.
  • Represented a local company, in the spa and wellness industry, in resisting allegations of trade mark infringements and passing off made by an international provider of beauty and health enhancement equipment. The allegations against the client were dropped before court proceedings ever commenced.
  • Represented a local company, which is the wholly owned subsidiary of Asia Pacific’s leading provider of funeral services listed on the Australian Securities Exchange, to resist claims by an IT software provider for the release of balance payment under a software customisation contract. The disputes were resolved amicably before court proceedings ever commenced.
  • Represented Icon Consulting-Group Pte Ltd (formerly known as Next-Gen Consult Pte Ltd), a company in the recruitment and human resource management industry, in defending claims brought by an employee’s former employer. The claims concerned allegations of breaches of non-competition obligations and misuse of confidential information. The claims were successfully struck off and dismissed in an early stage of the proceedings.
  • Represented the plaintiff in seeking to enforce the terms of a settlement agreement concerning the transfer of a conservation shophouse in Singapore. The matter was complicated by the fact that the settlement agreement could not be completely fulfilled for almost 8 years as the counterparty had become uncontactable and he then tried to set aside the settlement agreement. The proceedings were amicably resolved in favour of the client.
  • Represented a pioneer generation individual in resisting claims by a financial institution to seek repayment of monies over and above a mortgage given by the client. The matter was complicated by the fact that the client had provided the mortgage even though she was neither a shareholder nor director of the primary corporate borrower and she was led to believe that her liability was capped at the value of the property that was mortgaged. The claims against the client were dropped before court proceedings ever commenced.
  • Represented a sole proprietor in the construction industry to recover deposits of monies provided for services which eventually were not rendered by the counterparty. The monies were recovered without commencing court proceedings.
  • Assisted in representing Singapore Childcare Pte Ltd in an action for the claim concerning the abandonment of a sale and purchase transaction involving childcare businesses in Singapore and this matter also involved issues of the proper construction of contractual clauses regarding completion, misrepresentation, and repudiatory breach.