Melanie HO is the Head of the Professional and Enterprise Disputes Practice and a Partner in the International Arbitration Practice.

Her areas of practice include medical law, defamation law, employment and commercial contracts and management corporation disputes. Her criminal litigation practice covers global corporate investigations, white collar and technology offences.

Her clients are public-listed and multinational companies and organisations, including major players in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, individual plaintiffs and defendants, as well as statutory boards.

Melanie is the first Singaporean lawyer invited to be appointed on the Appeals Board of the Dubai Healthcare City ("DHCC"), the final appellate authority within DHCC which hears cases on medical and professional misconduct of healthcare professionals. Prior to the appointment, Melanie was involved in the review of the regulations in DHCC, which included Healthcare Operators, Healthcare Professionals and Research Regulations. She provides advisory support to the Singapore Medical Council and the Singapore Dental Council in addition to representing them at disciplinary inquiries. For instance, Melanie advised SMC on amendments to the Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines, which includes amendments to the provision governing the issue of informed consent.

As part of her pro bono contribution, Melanie has for the last 15 years, sat as the legal adviser to the Adult Protection Team, which was formed by the Ministry of Social and Family Development to provide assistance to vulnerable adults. She also contributes her time and legal expertise to the Girl Guides Singapore.

Matters of significance in which Melanie has been involved in include acting for the following:

  • An oil and gas company in a transboundary dispute involving concurrent court proceedings in Singapore and arbitration in the UK. This was a contractual dispute involving an oil cargo with a market value of over US$30 million. The other party claimed a sum of over US$1.5 million in respect of the cargo.
  • The SMC in disciplinary proceedings against a well-known Singaporean oncologist for medical negligence; the SMC in the prosecution of a prominent surgeon in Singapore, both at the High Court and on appeal to the Court of Three Judges. The Ministry of Health had referred a complaint of overcharging and false representation to the SMC for the services the surgeon and other doctors provided to a patient. The surgeon was suspended from practice for three years, fined S$10,000 and was censured.
  • A Central Narcotics Bureau senior officer on all corruption charges brought against him for allegedly accepting sexual favours in exchange for furthering the business interests of two IT companies. A full acquittal on all charges was obtained.
  • Singapore Land Authority in its internal investigations and legal proceedings against 18 defendants in possibly the largest public sector fraud case in Singapore's history since 1995, with the claim amounting to over S$12.18 million.
  • The Plaintiff alleged that thousands of investors were defrauded into investing more than C$175 million (around S$183 million) in crude oil produced in Canada. The complexity of the dispute required investigations into Canadian entities, expert evidence on cross-border money flows and security arrangements, and the involvement of Canadian Receivers. In addition, each of the 1,102 investor's claims were unique, and involved reviewing thousands of investment and security documents. The claims by the 1,102 investors totalled more than S$90 million were dismissed entirely with costs to be paid to the defendants.

Related Practices

  • Commodities & International Trade Disputes
  • Health Sciences & Biotechnology
  • International Arbitration
  • Professional and Enterprise Disputes
  • Professional Services
  • White Collar & Enforcement

Melanie is lauded as one of the key players for investigations work by the Global Investigations Review 100, a guide to the world's top 100 leading firms for corporate investigations. She is a recommended lawyer for Dispute Resolution in The Legal 500: Asia Pacific – The Client's Guide to the Asia Pacific Legal Profession 2015; a highly regarded legal practitioner in the area of life sciences, having been selected by her peers in Best Lawyers 2017 and 2018 for her work in Litigation and Medical Malpractice Litigation. She is also recognised as a leading lawyer in Who's Who Legal's The International Who's Who of Life Sciences Lawyers 2017 for Product Liability.