Local law students faced a tough task when they took on the role of a firm’s general counsel in the Singapore Corporate Counsel Association’s (SCCA) third annual in-house counsel competition, wrapping up with an awards ceremony on 30 July at Temasek Polytechnic.
In the SCCA Legal Eagle Challenge 2022, the students acted as fictional general counsel of a fictional energy solutions provider. Teams were tasked with presenting to the board of directors the ideal corporate structure, environmental, social and governance issues, and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Before the final round, the SCCA organised masterclasses for all participants on the topics of corporate structuring, dispute resolution in procurement, and environmental, social and governance (ESG). Quak Fi Ling and Tiong Teck Wee, partners at Singapore law firm WongPartnership, presented the legal aspects relating to corporate structuring and dispute resolution mechanisms.
Siddharth Jha, counsel at the Singapore International Mediation Centre, gave an overview of mediation as a mode of dispute resolution, while Lynnette Lee, deputy counsel at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, made the case for arbitration.
Paul Tan, senior director at accounting firm Kreston ACA, briefed students on the tax aspects of various group structures. Esther Chang, executive director at the UN Global Compact Network Singapore, provided the current issues and frameworks surrounding ESG.
During the final stage held on 30 July, the distinguished panel of judges questioned the competitors on their approach and reasoning.
The judging panel comprised Chan Ying-Jian (chief financial officer of Yeo Hiap Seng and CFO committee member of the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants), Quak Fi Ling (joint head of private equity, and sustainability and responsible business practices at Singapore law firm Wong Partnership), and Wong Taur-Jiun (head of legal and compliance of Rabobank and former SCCA president).
Six finalist teams attended a cross-disciplinary consulting session with students from the Nanyang Technological University Tax Advisory Club and the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants. The award winners were:
- The champion team: The Singapore University of Social Sciences team consisting of Adele Neo Peng May, Zaher Bin Wahab, Tan Kah Keng, and Ellis Kusumo
- Most innovative team: The National University of Singapore team of Khor Jia Wei, Nicholas Ong Yong Hui, Clifford Chee Rui Yang and Cherry Chong Qiao Xin.
- Most business savvy team: The Singapore Management University team of Walden Lim Zheng Ting, Kenneth He Zhi Jing and Alexe Ng Xuen Yi.
- Best communicator (individual): Nicholas Ong Yong Hui from the National University of Singapore