LAXEY PARTNERS v UNITED INTERNATIONAL SECURITIES
The Straits Times, 24th June 2011, 17th August 2011 The Business Times 17th August 2011
VANILLALAW LLC represented the European hedge fund Laxey Partners, who called for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) to present multiple proposals to United International Securities’ (UIS) board of directors. Laxey successfully called for EGMs in 2007 and 2009 previously.
Laxey claimed that current practices by the United International Securities’ investment manager, UOB Asset Management, involve them earning two layers of management fees as UIS was also investing in UOB-linked funds. UIS denied such claims.
Laxey also moved to replace four specific directors on the United International Securities’ board, citing that all United International Securities directors should be independent. The four directors in question all had previous or current ties to UOB, with each of them holding or having held various senior management positions within the bank. Laxey has put forth two candidates to be placed onto the board, the hedge fund’s chief executive, Mr. Andrew Pegge, and Mr. Tan Lye Huat, head of HIM Goverance.
ZIM INTEGRATED SHIPPING SERVICES v DAFNI IGAL
TODAY, 22nd and 23rd July 2009, 16th January 2010
An ‘employer-employee’ dispute where Zim Integrated Shipping Services sued their former area president for Asia, Mr. Dafni Igal, for breach of contract. Zim alleged that Igal received a monthly salary and Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for being an executive director of Chartered Shipping between 2003 and 2006, while he was still under the employment of Zim. This constitutes a breach in his fiduciary duties to Zim.
Suspicions were raised by Mr. Dafni’s successor, Mr. Dan Hoffman, who noticed that there were significant differences between rates that Zim previously paid to the affiliate company under Mr. Dafni’s watch, versus the rates he was receiving now. Previously, Zim was paying a higher rate, prompting Hoffman to look deeper into the matter. Mr. Dafni has argued through his lawyers that he was not responsible for trucking and depot charges and that Zim had already known about these charges as such matters were handled by Zim’s head office.
Zim’s lawyer, Mr. Mark Goh of VANILLALAW LLC, said that it decided to fight the case in Singapore as Mr. Dafni had received his salary from a Singaporean employer, including CPF contributions, and because Mr. Dafni was a Singapore citizen.
HAN’S CAFE v GUSTTIMO WORLD
The Straits Times, 9th April 2014
Well-known local café chain, Han’s Café was represented by VANILLALAW LLC in seeking a court order to restrain Gusttimo World’s Japanese restaurant, Han, from the use of the word ‘Han’ as well as the Internet domain name www.han.com.sg.
Han’s Café’s lawyer, Mr Mark Goh, maintained that the use of the word ‘Han’ was likely to confuse the public, largely in part due to the fact that the café chain, which had been in business since 1980, had built up a considerable amount of ‘goodwill’ and reputation in the food and beverage industry.
Gusttimo World’s lawyer, however, argued that both brand names were dissimilar and that the public would be discerning enough to not mix up the two. He went on to explain that the public should be able to differentiate between the different services provided by the café chain and the Japanese restaurant.
LEEDON HEIGHTS PENTHOUSE DISPUTE
The New Paper, 7th August 2007
In late 2005, Alison Elizabeth Urbina had put down the 5% deposit for a $1.53-million apartment at prime Holland Road property, Leedon Heights. However, a total of 5 unauthorised modifications were made to said property, and Mrs Urbina wanted out of the deal and her deposit back, and took the matter to court.
Central to Mrs Urbina’s case was a clause in the agreement signed between herself and the owners of the apartment which stated that no unauthorised modifications could be made to the apartment without prior agreement from the buyer. If such modifications did occur, the sale would not be completed, and the sellers must refund any money paid. This clause led to the district judge awarding the victory to Mrs Urbina and her representing lawyer, Mr Mark Goh of VANILLALAW LLC.
In the midst of all this, Leedon Heights was in the process of going through an en bloc sale, which would have net Mrs Urbina approximately $2million had she become the owner of the apartment.