Case faces tough bid to recover $780k in legal costs

Case faces tough bid to recover $780k in legal costs

The Consumers Association of Singapore (Case) wants to recover more than $780,000 in legal costs from a company behind a private school, which lost a high-profile lawsuit against the consumer watchdog two years ago.

But it may never get its money back. This is because the company, now known as TSG Investments, no longer exists.

Formerly known as The Stansfield Group, the company was wound up in January by Acies Law Corporation, which acted for the group during part of its five-year legal battle with Case and NTUC Income.

According to court documents, Acies is owed over $272,000 for legal services rendered during the lawsuit, which went to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

It all began in 2006, when Case suspended its accreditation status for Stansfield College, then owned by The Stansfield Group.

It did the same thing to SIC Education Group, which operated the Singapore Institute of Commerce.

Both groups disputed the move.

They took Case and Income - which froze its insurance service for the schools - to court.

In 2011, the two groups lost the suit against Case as well as their subsequent appeal, and were ordered to pay costs.

Two years on, those costs have not been paid, said Case executive director Seah Seng Choon. "We just hope that the money can be recovered," he said. "It was a very challenging trial that was taxing on our resources and time."

The dispute simmers on.

Mr Kannappan Chettiar, who was a shareholder at both The Stansfield Group and SIC Education Group, said he offered to pay Case $400,000 out of his own pocket.

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