Joel QUEK is a Partner in the Commercial & Corporate Disputes, and International Arbitration Practices.

His main areas of practice are in litigation and international arbitration, involving commercial, corporate, shareholder and employment disputes across a range of sectors including energy, commodities, gaming, finance, transport, construction and healthcare. Joel also has an active investment treaty arbitration practice, acting for both private investors and State parties.

Prior to entering private practice, Joel served as a Justices' Law Clerk to the Chief Justice and Judges of the Singapore Supreme Court. His experience also includes a placement with Fountain Court Chambers in London where he worked with barristers and King's Counsel on a variety of matters in the English commercial courts. In 2019, Joel was appointed amicus curiae to assist the Singapore High Court on issues concerning the imposition of penalties under s 94A of the Income Tax Act.

Joel is currently a tutor for trial advocacy in the National University of Singapore and previously taught commercial conflict of laws in the Singapore Management University.

Joel graduated with First Class Honours from University College London. He holds a Master of Law from the University of Cambridge, and is a member of Wolfson College. Joel is admitted to the Singapore Bar.

Matters of significance in which Joel has been involved in include advising/acting for the following:

  • In various investor treaty arbitrations and court proceedings both for and against States, including for the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in an ICSID arbitration with the Digicel group over tax claims of US$100 million, against Laos PDR in investment treaty claims concerning the expropriation of a cement production enterprise serving China’s Belt and Road initiative, and against the Republic of India for Deutsche Telekom AG in the enforcement of an award in excess of US$140 million arising from an UNCITRAL investment treaty arbitration.
  • In various complex and high value commercial disputes before the Singapore Courts, including for the Independent State of Papua New Guinea in proceedings concerning the management of US$1.5 billion of assets, the founder of Mustafa Centre, an iconic retail and tourist landmark in Singapore, in multiple minority oppression suits in relation to the operation and management of the business' holding company, the former CEO of Noble Group Limited for unpaid benefits in excess of S$48 million, which gave rise to novel and complex issues on penalties and the exercise of contractually agreed decision-making powers by employers, and for a petrochemical wholesale company which acted as an intermediary in credit sleeve arrangements over the enforceability of circular chain transactions and alleged sham contracts.
  • In various international commercial arbitrations, including for a listed Korean engineering and construction company in an SIAC arbitration against a Korean engineering conglomerate in a dispute concerning the construction of gas turbine power plants in Iraq, for a Vietnamese individual in an SIAC arbitration against a BVI-incorporated real estate investment company headquartered in Hong Kong in defending a claim in excess of US$53 million for breach of representations and warranties arising out of a sale and purchase agreement under which the claimant purchased 100% of the shares of the Vietnamese target company involved in a commercial project from the respondent, and for a Vietnamese individual as a respondent in an SIAC arbitration for a claim in excess of US$50 million concerning an investment in an office building in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City.
  • In various arbitration-related court proceedings, including for a NASDAQ-listed travel company to set aside and resist enforcement of multimillion-dollar SIAC arbitral awards, an Uzbekistan oil and gas company to set aside a multimillion-dollar ICC arbitral award arising from the termination of a communications project along a 2,000km gas pipeline, and a Hong Kong glass products manufacturer to resist setting aside of an ICC arbitral award.

Related Practices

  • Commercial & Corporate Disputes
  • ‘The Proposed Reforms to the English Arbitration Act 1996: A Singapore Perspective’ Singapore Arbitration Journal (2023) (forthcoming)
  • CDR Essential Intelligence – Fraud, Asset Tracing & Recovery 2024 – Singapore Chapter
  • Global Arbitration Review (GAR) The Guide to Investment Treaty Protection and Enforcement (2nd Edition) – Accessing Investment Treaty Protection: The Investor's Perspective
  • International Comparative Legal Guide – Investor-State Arbitration 2024 (6th Edition) – Singapore chapter
  • The Legal 500: Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters Comparative Guide (2nd Edition) – Singapore chapter
  • Global Legal Post Arbitration Guide, Singapore Chapter
  • Atkin's Court Forms (Singapore), Defamation
  • Court of Appeal Rules that Transnational Issue Estoppel Applies in Context of Resisting Enforcement of Arbitral Awards and Opines on Awarding Primacy to Decisions of Seat Court, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch January 2024
  • No Privacy Orders for Court Proceedings if Confidentiality of Arbitration Lost, Singapore Court of Appeal Rules, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch June 2023
  • Arbitral Tribunal Rules on Scope of Arbitral Consent under PRC-Singapore BIT, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch March 2023
  • Foreign States Have Additional Time To Apply To Set Aside Orders For Leave to Enforce Arbitral Awards, Singapore High Court Rules, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch April 2022
  • Singapore Court of Appeal Provides Important Guidance On Claims In Unjust Enrichment, WongPartnership LLP LawWatch March 2022
  • Singapore Court of Appeal Clarifies Law on “No Reflective Loss” Principle, WongPartnership LLP LawWatch December 2021
  • Singapore Court of Appeal Affirms Wide Ambit of Rule that Costs of Prior Proceedings Cannot Be Recovered in Subsequent Claims, WongPartnership LLP LawWatch September 2021
  • Singapore Court of Appeal Clarifies Tests for Grant of Post-judgment Mareva Injunctions and Release of Plaintiff’s Undertakings Relating to Post-judgment Mareva Injunctions, WongPartnership LLP LawWatch June 2021
  • Singapore High Court Clarifies Law on Credit Sleeve Providers and Sham Transactions, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch June 2021
  • Singapore Court of Appeal Clarifies Employers’ Duties in Exercising Contractually Agreed Decision-making Powers vis-à-vis Employees and Extent of Review by Courts, WongPartnership LLP CaseWatch June 2020
  • ‘Our brain “Kant” tell us? – A Kantian perspective of how neuroscience challenges our notion of moral responsibility and the legal implications’ (2012) 1(1) UCL Journal of Law and Jurisprudence 22
  • ‘A View From Across the Water: Why the UK Needs to Sign, Ratify, and Incorporate Protocol 12 to the ECHR’, (2011) 11 U.C. Dublin L. Rev. 101

Joel has been described by clients in Legal 500 as “being responsive and sophisticated in provision of advice” and having “effectively led [a] matter related to a reported case that set new precedent”.