Benedict Teo

Head, Banking & Financial Disputes
Director, Dispute Resolution

Qualifications

  • LL.B. (Hons), National University of Singapore (2004)
  • Admitted to the Singapore Bar (2005)
  • Admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of the Supreme Court of England & Wales (2008)

Benedict’s practice covers a wide range of criminal and commercial litigation, as well as complex arbitration matters. Some of his notable cases are set out below.

He is regularly sought to advise and act for prominent individuals, as well as major Singapore and foreign companies in multi-million dollar corporate disputes, with a particular focus on contentious banking and real estate matters.

Benedict’s clients include a number of major financial institutions, as well as leading property developers and investors.

He is actively involved in all levels of trial and appellate advocacy before the Singapore courts.

The Court of Appeal commended Benedict in a challenging appeal, for ‘the candour, fairness and tenacity with which he advanced his case.’ – [2017] SGCA 70

Between 2008 and 2010, Benedict was an adjunct tutor at the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore (NUS). He has also been a member of the Rules of Court Working Party (ROCWP) since 2010. The ROCWP reviews and proposes changes to the procedural rules for civil litigation in Singapore.

Benedict was placed on the Dean’s List in his final year in NUS and was the chief editor of the Singapore Law Review from 2003 to 2004. He also represented NUS in mooting competitions.

  • Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB (Publ), Singapore Branch v Asia Pacific Breweries (Singapore) Pte Ltd and anor and another appeal [2011] 3 SLR 540 – Acted for Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) before the Court of Appeal, and successfully resisted the appeals by two foreign banks relating to claims from a S$100 million fraud committed via unauthorised accounts and facilities opened by APB’s ex-finance manager.
  • Major Shipping & Trading v Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Ltd [2018] SGHC 4 – Successfully represented SCB in defending a claim by a SME customer relating to fraudulent OTT transactions made through its account before the Singapore High Court, and also on appeal before the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the customer’s appeal in its entirety.
  • Claims against global online payment system operator – Successfully struck out 21 suits before the Singapore courts, brought by foreign claimants in a coordinated claim against a global online payment system operator, for alleged breaches of its user agreement.
  • Trade Finance related disputes – Advised a major foreign bank in various claims relating to the high-profile default of a major oil trader in respect of facilities obtained from various financial institutions in the sum of approximately US$4 billion.
  •  Insurance claims arising from trade financing fraud – Advising a major financial institution in various claims against its insurers arising from letter of credit and trade financing fraud.  The total value of potential claims is in the sum of approximately US$380 million. 
  • Arbitration concerning major waterfront project – Acted for a foreign public listed company in a US$3 billion dollar arbitration against a State Government for breach of a development agreement relating to the construction of a major waterfront project.
  • Technigroup Far East Pte Ltd and anor v Jaswinderpal Singh s/o Bachint Singh and ors [2017] SGHC 68 – Successfully represented Technigroup in obtaining damages of approximately S$5.6 million against its former Director and CEO for breach of duties and conspiracy, and succeeded in obtaining a suspended four month imprisonment sentence against the former Director and CEO in committal proceedings, arising from his breach of discovery orders.
  •  Ho Seek Yueng Novel and anor v J&V Development Pte Ltd [2006] 2 SLR(R) 742 – Successfully represented a Singapore property developer in resisting an application to expunge caveats, lodged pursuant to a verbal right of first refusal, for properties worth S$11 million. This was a landmark decision as it involved novel issues of caveatable interests in land.
  • Mohamed Amin bin Mohamed Taib and ors v Lim Choon Thye and ors [2009] 3 SLR(R) 193 – Successfully represented the sale committee of a strata title development, Regent Court, in its appeal against the Strata Titles Board, which had rejected the committee’s application for a proposed S$34 million collective sale.
  • Claim by Commissioner of Stamp Duties [2012] – Successfully represented a Singapore property developer in resisting the imposition of a penalty under s.46 of the Stamp Duties Act (Cap. 312) by the Commissioner of Stamp Duties, in relation to an aborted collective sale worth S$80 million. 

The Asia Pacific Legal 500

Dispute Resolution 2020 – Recommended lawyer

  • Sources say Benedict Teo is “smart, fast, practical, energetic and simply outstanding.”
  • “Benedict Teo is ‘prepared to go the extra mile’.”

Asialaw Leading Lawyers 2021 edition

  • Sources say Benedict is “smart, intelligent, fast, efficient, on the ball, responsive, positive approach, hands-on, good team leader, simply excellent.”
  • “Responds promptly, quality of work is good and conversant in Mandarin when necessary.”

Singapore Business Review

Singapore’s 40 most influential lawyers aged 40 and under in 2015 – Listed lawyer

  • Assessor, Panel of Assessors for COVID-19 Temporary Relief, Ministry of Law
  • Member, Rules of Court Working Party
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law, Junior College Law Programme Organising Committee
  • Member, Law Society of Singapore
  • Member, Singapore Academy of Law
  • In search of a fair bargain – balancing the rights of banks and their customers in Singapore (Financier Worldwide, November 2015 issue)
  • Critical points for all parties when navigating collective sales (The Business Times, 21 April 2018 at p. 30)