Professor Walter WOON, SC
Professor Walter Woon is a Senior Consultant and non-Executive Chairman of RHTLaw Taylor Wessing.
Professor Woon is currently David Marshall Professor at the Law Faculty and concurrently Dean of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education (SILE), which conducts the Bar Examinations and Foreign Practitioner Examinations for entry into the legal profession.
In addition he is Patron of the Gunong Sayang Association (which was founded in 1910 to promote Baba culture) and a member of the Films Appeal Committee, the Criminal Practice Committee of the Law Society of Singapore and the Chancery Bar Association of England and Wales. Since January 2016 he has also been a member of the Market Surveillance and Compliance Panel (MSCP) established under the Electricity Market Rules, which is part of the oversight mechanism for the National Electricity Market of Singapore (NEMS). He is also Chairman of the Society of International Law Singapore (SILS).
He served as Attorney-General from 2008 to 2010, having previously been Solicitor-General from 2006 to 2008. He has also been Judge Advocate-General and a member of the Presidential Council for Minority Rights and the board of directors of the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
He was a Nominated Member of Parliament (1992 to 1996), during which time he was instrumental in the passage of the Maintenance of Parents Act, which he introduced as a private member’s bill. From 1995 to 1997 he was Legal Adviser to the President and Council of Presidential Advisers.
From 1998 to 2006 he was Singapore’s ambassador to Germany, Greece, the European Communities, the European Union, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and the Holy See. He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Holy See in 2006. In 2007 he was an alternate member of the High Level Task Force on Drafting of the ASEAN Charter (serving as Singapore delegation leader during the later half of the process) and presented the completed Charter to the ASEAN Foreign Ministers for signing by the Heads of Government at the Thirteenth ASEAN Summit in November of that year.
Between 1989 and 2001 he was a director of Intraco Ltd (serving as chairman of the audit committee) and Natsteel Ltd, both companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Singapore. He was Chairman of the Steering Committee for Review of the Companies Act, which submitted its final report in April 2011. In 2011 he was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Directors. He became a director of St John’s Cambridge (Singapore), a charitable public company set up by St John’s College Cambridge in October 2014. In April 2016 he was appointed Special Counsel to the Steering Committee for the Re-writing of the Taiwan Company Act.
Publications and Areas of Legal Interest
Professor Woon is the author of several law books, including The ASEAN Charter: A Commentary (2015); Walter Woon on Company Law (now in its third edition, edited by Professor Tan Cheng Han), which is a standard text on company law used in law and business schools in Singapore; The Companies Act of Singapore: An Annotation (originally co-written with Andrew Hicks, now forming the basis of Woon’s Corporations Law); and Towards a Rules-Based Community: An ASEAN Legal Service (with Jean-Claude Piris). He has also published articles in the Malayan Law Journal, the Malaya Law Review, the Securities Industry Review, the Law Society Journal, the Singapore Academy of Law Journal, the Australian Journal of Corporate Law, the Pacific Rim Law and Policy Journal, the Korean Society of International Law Journal and the Chinese (Taiwan) Yearbook of International Law and Affairs.
He has appeared in the High Court and Court of Appeal on many occasions, including representing the President in Constitutional Reference No 1 of 1995, which is the only case heard by the Constitutional Tribunal to date.
Professor Woon read law at the National University of Singapore on a Development Bank of Singapore Scholarship, graduating with First Class Honours in 1981. He was awarded the Law Society of Singapore Book Prize thrice (1978, 1979 and 1980), the Adrian Clark Memorial Gold Medal as top student (1981), the Leow Chia Heng Prize (1981) and the External Examiners’ Special Cash Prize (1981). He attended the Postgraduate Practice Law Course in 1981 and was awarded the Aw Boon Haw & Aw Boon Par Memorial Prize 1981 as top student, as well as the Tan Ah Tah Book Prize for professional ethics. He then proceeded to Cambridge University on a Commonwealth Scholarship, graduating with an LL.M (First Class Honours) in 1983. He was awarded the Whytehead Scholarship (1983) and the Wright Prize (1983) by St John’s College Cambridge. He was called to the Bar in 1984 and appointed Senior Counsel in 2007.