High Court judge retires from bench

HIGH Court judge Andrew Ang retires today after a decade of distinguished service, the Supreme Court said in a statement yesterday.

During his almost 10 years on the bench, Justice Ang authored some 170 written decisions. The stint came at the end of a 43-year career which included time as a legal academic and a private practitioner.

Among his decisions was a landmark ruling last September, when he halted the $590 million collective sale of Thomson View Condominium, writing that marketing agent HSR had breached its duty to avoid conflict of interest during the sale process by paying some owners to back the deal. 

Experts said then that the decision means developers will have to pay much closer attention to the behaviour of marketing agents and sales committees, and could have a chilling effect on the collective sale market.

Regarding his future plans, Justice Ang said in a statement: "I have been asked to be a consultant at my former firm Lee and Lee, and intend to undertake mediation and arbitration in due course."

He said the last decade had been a "truly enriching and satisfying experience" as he strove to administer justice "according to the law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will". 

The judge, who turned 68 yesterday, added he was honoured to have been able to serve on the bench. He thanked fellow judges - including Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and his predecessors, retired Chief Justices Yong Pung How and Chan Sek Keong - for their friendship.

Justice Ang was one of the country's leading corporate and tax lawyers when he became a judge and brought with him three decades of practising experience, CJ Menon noted in a statement yesterday.

Congratulating him on a "remarkable" career and wishing him a good retirement, Singapore's top judge said Justice Ang had approached his work and interacted with his colleagues with a "generous and warm spirit".

Justice Ang received his bachelor of laws from the University of Singapore in 1971, and master of laws from Harvard Law School in 1973.

After lecturing at his Singapore alma mater from 1972 to 1974, he joined Lee and Lee and rose to become senior partner and head of the firm's banking and corporate department.

He was appointed a Judicial Commissioner in the Supreme Court in May 2004, and was made a Supreme Court judge in May 2005, a position he was reappointed to three years ago.

Justice Ang has also served on several committees and boards. He held appointments such as chairman of the Singapore Mediation Centre and vice-chairman of the Law Reform Committee. He was also a member of the National University of Singapore law faculty's advisory board.

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