In Loving Memory of our Beloved Senior Partner and Co-Founder Alvin Yeo, Senior Counsel

With deep sadness, we mourn the passing of our beloved Senior Partner and Co-Founder Alvin Yeo, Senior Counsel.

Alvin was a dear colleague, an inspiring leader and mentor and a steadfast and loyal friend. He co-founded the Firm in 1992, with Wong Meng Meng, Senior Counsel and others. He became our Managing Partner in 2002 and subsequently our Senior Partner in 2007.

Over the last 30 years, Alvin's passion for the law has been an inspiration to many of us. Indeed, the Firm we are today bears the hallmarks of his brilliance, dedication and vision.

A luminary in his field, Alvin was appointed Senior Counsel of the Supreme Court of Singapore in 2000 at the age of 37. The fact that he remains the youngest person ever to be appointed Senior Counsel in Singapore is no surprise to the many of us who have experienced first-hand his intellect, work ethic and expertise.

As a leading disputes lawyer, Alvin received many accolades including the "Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession” Award from Chambers Asia-Pacific in recognition of his exceptional work as a litigator. He was also named "Singapore Lawyer of the Year" by Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific and recognised as a global market leader for International Arbitration. In 2021, Alvin was inducted into the Hall of Fame by The Legal 500.

Highly sought after for his excellent advocacy skills and knowledge of the law, Alvin had advised on some of the most high-profile and complex legal matters and landmark disputes. Equally renowned at the Singapore Bar as in the international arbitration arena, he acted for the Republic of India in the first investment treaty arbitration challenge to be brought before the Singapore International Commercial Court involving the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement between Japan and India, successfully defended the Independent State of Papua New Guinea against a US$1.5 billion ICSID claim for expropriation, and acted for investors against the Kingdom of Lesotho's application to set aside an investment treaty award finding the State liable for denial of justice. He represented the former Bayerische Hypo-und Vereinsbank AG against Asia Pacific Breweries in proceedings relating to Singapore’s largest corporate fraud, and defended Société Générale in Singapore’s largest derivatives claim.

Alvin had been instrumental in the growth and success of WongPartnership today. His efforts, contributions and mentorship to the Firm's Litigation & Dispute Resolution team have led to the Firm being recognised as one of the largest disputes and arbitration practices in the region today, and winning many international plaudits and commendations. Alvin’s support of the Government’s push to regionalise resulted in the setting up of the WPG regional law network comprising law firms with offices in ASEAN, China and the Middle East to support clients.

 

Alvin also served from 2006 to 2015 as an elected Member of Parliament, during which period he was appointed at various times as Deputy Chairman and then Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs & Law. 

 

Alvin had held other appointments including being a member of the Court of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, the International Chamber of Commerce Commission on Arbitration and ADR and a fellow of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution, the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and the Singapore Institute of Directors. He was also on the panel of arbitrators in the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre, the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, the Korean Commercial Arbitration Board, the Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration, and the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators' Panel for Sports in Singapore. Alvin also served on various public committees which undertook comprehensive reviews of the legal services sector, the Appeals Advisory Panel of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, as well as the Governing Board of the Centre for International Law at the National University of Singapore.

 

Alvin challenged and inspired us like only great leaders can. But there was more to Alvin than just a good lawyer. His love for his family and his compassion for others enriched the lives of many and his companionship often made any gathering that much better. It is hard to find the words to do justice to who Alvin was. He was indeed a great lawyer and an even better person.

 

We will miss him dearly.