Lee Suet Fern, daughter-in-law of Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew and a partner at Morgan Lewis & Bockius, has been suspended for 15 months after she was found guilty of misconduct over handling of the late Lee’s last will.
The decision was made by Singapore Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash and Justice Woo Bih Li who formed the Court of Three Judges, Singapore’s highest disciplinary body dealing with lawyers’ misconduct.
According to media reports, the tribunal found Lee Suet Fern guilty of misconduct "unbefitting an advocate and solicitor" despite the absence of an implied retainer. Additionally, her culpability was "at least moderately high", while the harm caused by the misconduct was "at the lower end of the moderate range,” the verdict said..
Media reports added that the tribunal found that Lee Suet Fern, who had helped draft certain aspects of Lee Kuan Yew’s first will in 2011, did not disclose the truth in her sworn testimony that she had made false representations to her father-in-law about his will.
“It is undisputed that she made no effort to establish whether whatever draft of the first will that she had and that she forwarded to (Lee Kuan Yew) was in fact the same as the executed version of the first will,” the judges wrote.
In a statement released through her husband's Facebook account, Lee Suet Fern said, “I disagree with this decision. There was no basis for this case to have even been initiated.” She added that Lee Kuan Yew “knew what he wanted” and “got what he wanted.”
In February, ALB reported that Lee Suet Fern had rejected the findings of a disciplinary tribunal that found her guilty of professional misconduct over her involvement in the preparation of the will. Responding to the verdict, the Law Society of Singapore, which filed the case against Lee Suet Fern, had announced that it would apply for a show-cause hearing before the Court of Three Judges.
To contact the editorial team, please email ALBEditor@thomsonreuters.com.