This week we interview Kah Hee from Derrick Wong & Lim BC LLP to get to know him better beyond his work as a lawyer. Having graduated from both National University of Singapore (LLB) and University of Cambridge (LLM) with First Class Honours, Kah Hee is both a qualified Attorney as well as a Chartered Certified Accountant. He is actively involved in commercial litigation and arbitration, and has a wide range of experience ranging from immigration and employment law to corporate compliance and governance, as well as tax law.
Areas that you specialise in and why you choose this practice area
Over the past 10 years of my practice, I have specialised in all forms of commercial dispute resolution, namely litigation, arbitration as well as mediation. In particular, I have always enjoyed going to court to litigate and help my clients resolve their disputes. 10 years ago, upon graduating with first class honours from NUS, I started off my career in the Supreme Court as a Justices’ Law Clerk, assisting the then Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong as well as the Judges of Appeal and High Court Judges. My interest in dispute resolution started then, and has consistently grown over the years.
The cut and thrust of my dispute resolution practice is highly exciting and as every case that comes before me is different, the work is never boring! It is also always an enriching experience for a litigator like myself to learn more about my client’s background, work experience and industry. I always make it a point to understand my clients (both individuals as well as corporates) better, so as to provide a first class level of service.
As a Partner, I am fortunate that my current practice has diversified to include immigration law, employment law, corporate compliance and governance. I also have experience advising and acting for various parties in contractual, commercial, corporate, banking, property, employment and financial, investment related disputes. In the areas of corporate compliance, my practice includes bank fraud investigation, defence against government/regulatory investigations and white collar criminal matters. Last but certainly not least, I have experience in contentious tax matters, and given my dual qualification as both an Attorney as well as a Chartered Certified Accountant, I have developed a deep interest in tax litigation and advisory work, and have published in the area of tax avoidance.
What made you want to be a lawyer, and what drives you today
Actually, I only decided to become a lawyer at the age of 18, just before I entered National Service! I grew up thinking that I would one day become an entrepreneur or an SIA pilot! The latter is now a far-fetched dream, but the former is in fact something well within reach. Indeed, I would like to think that I am actually running my own business now as a Partner with my team and colleagues in our law firm. But law is more than just a business to me. It is a means for me to help others in their legal matters and disputes, something which I really enjoy doing.
Ultimately for me, it was a choice between law or accountancy. As mentioned above, I now am both a Chartered Accountant (ISCA), a Chartered Certified Accountant (ACCA) as well as a practising lawyer. So I am thankful that I in fact have the best of both worlds!
Helping my clients in their legal matters or disputes is what drives me on today. It gives me great pleasure to know that I have done a good job in helping my client solve his problem. At the end of the day, clients come to us to solve their problems in a practical and cost effective way. That’s my job which I try to excel in so that I can help my client. A happy client for a job well done is the ultimate goal for me.
Common misconceptions about your practice area
The most common misconception is that law is glamorous. There is actually a lot of hard work and grit behind the scenes whether as a litigator or a corporate lawyer. In particular, one must be a street-fighter and be able to take high levels of stress as a litigator or Counsel. I have always enjoyed my practice and take every case as a personal challenge. This enables me to find my motivation to help and fight for my client as best as I possibly can.
If you were to start a business someday, what would it be and why?
As mentioned above, I am actually running my own business and practice as a Partner. As for other businesses, I have to confess I don’t have much talents outside of Law, and have therefore not considered leaving the legal profession! Thus far, I have maintained an interest in my law practice, so it’s all well and good. If I decide to leave the profession one day, I would probably venture into the investment industry – both real estate, as well as equity in companies.
Your most prized possession
My family and loved ones.
3 fun facts about you
#1. Die-hard Manchester United Supporter since 12
I have been a die-hard supporter of Manchester United since I was 12 years old. The love affair has now spanned over more than 2 decades, and one of the most fun periods of my life was spending a year in Manchester (when I was selected as the first NUS law student to go on exchange to the University of Manchester) and watching matches at Old Trafford, The Theatre of Dreams, as well as Wembley Stadium, the national stadium of England. Needless to say, I also did lots of travelling in the UK and Europe. I have to confess that studies took a back-seat during that time as there were more important priorities in life then.
#2. I love playing Clash of Clans on my iPad
I love playing the Clash of Clans (COC) game on my iPad during my free time (which is not very often)! It’s great fun, and I love building and upgrading things up from scratch! I’m currently at level 9 (in terms of my town hall) and am in the midst of upgrading my heroes, the Barbarian King and Archer Queen. My fiancée, who is a medical professional, also loves to play that game despite her hectic schedule!
#3. I enjoy multi-tasking
Unknown to many, I enjoy and am pretty good in multi-tasking. My best court strategies and legal advice are formulated when I am exercising in the gym, brushing my teeth or taking a shower. I also like attending to my emails and planning my schedule for the day whilst travelling to work on the train or taxi. My mind does seem to always be on high-alert and in a hyper-active mode, which is perhaps why I enjoy litigation and helping clients solve their problems.
Kah Hee is a Partner at Derrick Wong & Lim BC LLP. He is actively involved in commercial litigation, arbitration, as well as immigration law, employment law, corporate compliance, governance, and contentious tax matters. He also has experience advising and acting for various parties in contractual, commercial, corporate, banking, property, employment and financial, investment-related disputes. In the areas of corporate compliance, Kah Hee’s practice includes bank fraud investigation, defence against government/regulatory investigations and white collar criminal matters.
Read his practical and popular article about Tax Mitigation vs Tax Avoidance.
If you’d like to know more about Kah Hee, you can do so at his profile HERE.
You can book a Quick Consult with Kah Hee and he will call you back within 2 days to give you legal advice HERE.