Dr Phang Sin Kat
Dr Phang is a Senior Consultant of the firm’s Real Estate Practice.
Dr Phang was awarded the Entrance Scholarship by the then University of Singapore (now the National University of Singapore) in 1967 when he was admitted to study law in the University. He graduated from the University in 1971, with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (Honours). He then worked as in-house counsel for the then Development Bank of Singapore Limited (now DBS Bank). At the same time, he also taught company law and business law on a part time basis in the University.
In 1972, he was awarded the Monash Graduate Scholarship by Monash University in Melbourne Australia, to pursue his postgraduate study in law. During his post graduate study, he taught criminal law and constitutional law in Monash University. In 1976, he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Law. His Ph.D. thesis has been published as “Import Trust Receipts in the state of Victoria, (Australia), and Singapore”.
Dr Phang has extensive experiences in en bloc transactions of land. His track record includes:
• Being invited to appear before the Parliamentary Select Committee to make representations on the then draft Bill to provide for 80% consensus, rather unanimity, to sell the development on an en bloc;
• Acting in many en bloc sales of land on behalf of owners of the flats, including appearing before the Strata Titles Boards for applications for the sale order, and supplementary orders;
• Acting for the local unit of a Hong Kong company in buying a piece of land on an en bloc basis;
• Persuading the authorities to lower the requisite tenure of the flats under the ‘old title’ in an en bloc sale from 999 years to 875 years, thereby enabling the owners of such flats to make use of the then recently enacted law on en bloc sales;
• Persuading the authorities to grant in-principle approval to grant a ‘topping up’ of the tenure before the en bloc process started, which enabled the first ever en bloc sale of a 99-year tenure development;
• Acted in the en bloc exchanges of two projects wherein the owners of the flats were allocated new units in the redevelopments, rather than selling their units outright for cash;
• Acted for a developer and the landowner in a ‘swap’ arrangement, whereby the land owner was allocated part of a development, rather than selling the land outright; and
• Acted for the minority owners in an en bloc sale where the structure of the proposed deal was flawed.
Included in the work which Dr Phang has undertaken in his 40-year legal career are:
• Providing an opinion to a United States Court, on the issue as to whether a bank as the issuer of a letter of credit has a valid security in the goods the purchase of which was financed by the letter of credit and subsequently released under a trust receipt;
• Appearing as counsel in a complicated trust case before the Singapore Court of Appeal on the issue as to whether the trust fund realized from a sale of a valuable property is to held as a charitable trust, and the applicability of the Cy-pres doctrine;
• Appearing as counsel before the Court of Appeal on a case where the appellant was made a bankrupt after the appellant was held liable on a clearing house arrangement, rather than an assignment.