Monica CHONG Wan Yee is a Partner in the Commercial & Corporate Disputes and International Arbitration Practices. 

She has an active court and international arbitration practice spanning a range of sectors, including energy, financial services, business consultancy, trade and investment matters and, in the arbitration context, under a spectrum of arbitration rules including SIAC, ICC, UNCITRAL and ICSID.

A key focus of her practice is in the enforcement of judgments and awards, and associated challenges and recovery efforts. She was part of the teams acting in the Sanum v Laos, AKN v ALN, and CBX v CBZ lines of cases – each key in developing Singapore jurisprudence on the topic. She most recently acted in DBX v DBZ where the Court determined a novel time bar issue in the context of award challenges.

Monica graduated with First Class Honours from the National University of Singapore (NUS), where she received the NUS Global Merit Scholarship (2007 to 2011) and a variety of book prizes. She was also awarded the Singapore Institute of Legal Education's Prize for the Top Student in Corporate and Commercial Practice at the 2011 Singapore Bar Examinations. 

Monica served as a Justices' Law Clerk at the Supreme Court of Singapore prior to joining private practice in 2013. In 2017, she was appointed young amicus curiae to assist the High Court on issues of criminal sentencing for the abuse of domestic workers in Tay Wee Kiat and Chia Yun Ling v Public Prosecutor [2018] SGHC 42, where she was commended for "ably assisting the court with her helpful submissions".

Monica is an accredited Associate Mediator at the Singapore Mediation Centre and serves as Co-Chair of the Asia-Pacific Forum for International Arbitration (AFIA) and Principal Examiner for the Civil Litigation module for the Singapore Bar Examinations (Part B Preparatory Course). By appointment of the Ministry of Home Affairs, she is also serving her second term as member of the Criminal Law Advisory Committee (Hearing).

Matters of significance in which Monica has been involved in include the following:

  • Achieving the novel garnishment of the personal bank account of a shareholder of a watch investment entity, in enforcement of a judgment against the corporate entity, based on evidence (extracted in post-judgment examination of enforcement respondent proceedings) establishing that the shareholder was the alter ego of the corporate entity.
  • Successfully defending the Independent State of Papua New Guinea (PNG) in ICSID proceedings commenced by a Singapore-incorporated investor alleging expropriation of assets relating to the Ok Tedi Mine in the Western Province of PNG.
  • Acting for foreign investors against the Government of the Laos PDR in Singapore Court proceedings, including successfully defending the PCA Tribunal's positive jurisdictional ruling premised on the extension of a PRC BIT to Macau S.A.R. following Macau S.A.R.'s 1999 handover to the PRC.
  • Acting as lead counsel for a Canadian management, engineering and development consultancy in ICC proceedings arising out of a joint venture dispute involving claims and counterclaims in excess of US$250 million.
  • Successfully securing, on behalf of the liquidator of a South East Asian steel manufacturer, the rare setting-aside (on natural justice grounds) of a portion of an SIAC award in excess of US$80 million before the Singapore Court of Appeal.
  • Acting for 209 members of the Sijori Resort Club Sentosa in a representative action arising out of alleged infringements of the club members' rights, including successfully obtaining the Court of Appeal's permission for the representative action to proceed in a landmark decision on guidelines for representative actions in Singapore.

Related Practice

  • Commercial & Corporate Disputes

In 2020, Monica was recognised as one out of just five Singapore lawyers to have made the 40 under 40 list, an annual listing of outstanding legal professionals by Asian Legal Business. Monica is also listed as a National Leader in the Who’s Who Legal (Southeast Asia) – Commercial Litigation 2022 guide and as a Global Elite Thought Leaders – Under 45 in Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Global Elite Report 2023. She is also recognised as a Rising Star in asialaw's 2023 guide and as a Future Star in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific, 2024.

She is described by clients as "one of the best Singapore lawyers that we have worked with. She is super sharp, calm and always goes straight to the point. She is a pleasure to work with as she also provides solutions to difficult questions with a cultural touch" in the Benchmark Litigation 2021; "an expert in examining and cross-examining foreign law experts" with "the ability to quickly understand legal concepts" in the Who’s Who Legal – Commercial Litigation 2021 (Future Leaders); "client-friendly" and "a strong advocate who is excellent on her feet and a joy to work with" in the The Legal 500 – Asia-Pacific Guide 2022 (International Arbitration).