Lawyer Lucien Wong to take over as Attorney-General from Jan

Veteran lawyer Lucien Wong, 63, will be Singapore's new Attorney-General (AG) from January next year when current AG, Mr V.K. Rajah, 59, completes his term.

Mr Wong, who is currently chairman and senior partner of law firm Allen and Gledhill, will first be appointed Deputy Attorney-General on Dec 19 during the transition period before he assumes the top post at the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) for a similar three-year term.

This was announced in a statement by the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in a statement today (Nov 25).

Mr Wong is also chairman of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Singapore Business Federation. He is also a board director of Singapore Press Holdings, Temasek Holdings and Singapore Health Services.

When he takes over as AG on Jan 14 next year, Solicitor-General Lionel Yee will be appointed Deputy Attorney-General, and share the No. 2 position at the AGC with Mr Tan Siong Thye.

In its statement, the PMO thanked Mr Rajah for his service and contributions as AG.

It noted that Mr Rajah had "broadened the prosecutorial philosophy of the AGC and oversaw significant criminal cases, including the largest ever market-rigging securities case and the largest scale money-laundering case in Singapore".

Mr Rajah had also set up working groups to enhance legal processes, including one relating to youth justice, among other initiatives.

Under his leadership, the AGC has provided legal support to help the Government formulate and implement programmes and successfully negotiate significant international agreements.

Mr Rajah directed the legal work on Singapore's negotiations with Malaysia on the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail and the Johor Bahru-Singapore Rapid Transit System, it added.

Law Society pledges its support

Welcoming Mr Wong's appointment, The Law Society said in a statement: "His broad transactional experience, proven management skills in helming Singapore's largest law firm and practical track record in cutting edge deals will bring to the office a skill set uniquely equipped to deal with the evolution of the changing legal environment in Singapore. The Law Society pledges its support to Mr Wong in his new appointment and looks forward to working closely with his Chambers in furtherance of the administration of justice."

The society also acknowledged the contribution of Mr VK Rajah, who was well respected and "well known for his lucid and robust judgments".

"Many of his decisions are landmark and transformational pronouncements of the law. His contributions to the legal landscape here have helped to lay the foundation for the development of the law for many years to come. As Attorney-General, Mr VK Rajah sought to strengthen the relationship between his Chambers and the Bar and provided inspirational leadership on tackling many of the issues concerning practice and practitioners," the society said.

"He was well respected for his work ethic and sense of compassion and fair play, and often took a personal interest in many of the more difficult cases handled by his Chambers." it added

chenj@sph.com.sg