Speakers' Profile




Keynote Address

  The Honourable Lady Mary Arden

The Honourable Lady Mary Arden

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom

Mary Howarth Arden, Lady Arden of Heswall, became a Justice of The Supreme Court in October 2018.

Lady Arden grew up in Liverpool. She read law at Girton College Cambridge and Harvard Law School. Called to the Bar in 1971, she became a Queen's Counsel in 1986 and served as Attorney General of the Duchy of Lancaster between 1991 and 1993. She served on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales from 2000 to 2018.

Her judicial career began in 1993 when she was appointed to the High Court of Justice of England and Wales as the first woman judge assigned to the Chancery Division. Alongside her judicial experience, she has written extensively on how the law keeps pace with social change. Her two-volume book Shaping Tomorrow's Law was published in 2015. It drew strongly on her knowledge of law reform, which she began to develop while serving as Chairman of the Law Commission of England and Wales from 1996 to 1999.

Between 2005 and September 2018, Lady Arden was Judge in Charge, Head of International Judicial Relations for England and Wales. She organised bilateral exchanges between the senior Judiciary of the UK and the judiciaries of leading national and supranational courts overseas. She became a Member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in 2011, and is an ad hoc UK judge of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

Welcome Remarks

Goh Yihan

Professor Goh Yihan

Dean, School of Law, Singapore Management University

Professor Goh Yihan is the Dean of the School of Law, Singapore Management University. His research focuses primarily on the law of contract and torts, with a secondary interest in the principles of statutory interpretation and the legal process. He maintains a deep interest in the development of Singapore law in general and also in his areas of specialisation in particular. He has published numerous books, chapters and journal articles internationally and in Singapore, which have been cited on multiple occasions by the Singapore courts and the Federal Court of Malaysia. In recognition of his invaluable contributions to the development and advancement of Singapore law, he became the youngest recipient of the pentennial Singapore Academy of Law Singapore Law Merit Award in 2013.

Apart from his academic activities, Yihan is also active in the Singapore legal profession. Amongst his appointments, he is a board member of the Singapore Institute of Legal Education and the Singapore Judicial College. He has been appointed amicus curiae before the Singapore Court of Appeal and the Singapore High Court. He is also a Visiting Academic at Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP and a Professorial Fellow at the AGC Academy. He is periodically consulted by law firms in his areas of expertise, and has appeared before the Court of Appeal as instructed counsel. He has also acted as an expert witness on Singapore law in the Federal Court of Canada and the Supreme Court of Victoria (Australia).

Before entering academia, Yihan was an Assistant Registrar, the first-ever Senior Justices’ Law Clerk and a Justices’ Law Clerk between 2006 and 2008 at the Singapore Supreme Court. He obtained his LL.B. (First Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore on a University Undergraduate Scholarship, where he graduated as the top student in 2006. He subsequently obtained a LL.M. from Harvard University in 2010 on a NUS University Overseas Graduate Scholarship. He was the recipient of several academic awards in the course of his studies, including the Adrian Clark Memorial Medal, the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal and the B.A. Mallal Moot Prize (Best Oralist and Best Memorial).

Opening Remarks

  Farah Jaafar-Crossby

Ms Farah Jaafar-Crossby

Chief Executive Officer, Labuan IBFC Incorporated Sdn Bhd

Farah Jaafar-Crossby is the Chief Executive Officer of Labuan IBFC Incorporated Sdn Bhd (LIBFC Inc.), the official promotion and marketing agency for Labuan International Business and Financial Centre (Labuan IBFC) since January 2018.

She assumed this role after more than three years as the Director of Market Intelligence and Strategic Communications, in LIBFC Inc. Farah, a seasoned communications professional, brings with her more than 20 years of experience in capital markets and the wholesale financial services sector, putting her in good stead to promote Labuan IBFC as the preferred midshore jurisdiction in Asia Pacific.

Farah was formerly attached to the Asian Institute of Finance and Bursa Malaysia, where she was involved in senior market development and strategic communications roles. She also managed the Association of Stock Broking Companies Malaysia, the industry lobby group representing Malaysian stockbrokers, allowing her a unique insight and hands on experience with issues surrounding multiple stakeholder management.  Farah has a LLB (Hons) from Sheffield University, United Kingdom.

  Paul Seah

Mr Paul Seah

Partner, Tan Kok Quan Partnership

Paul’s main area of practice is in civil and commercial disputes, where he has acted as lead counsel in some of Singapore’s most important and high-profile cases in recent years. Paul also has a speciality in insolvency and restructuring work, and has advised Singapore’s leading accounting firms and financial institutions in numerous well-publicised insolvencies.
Outside of legal practice, Paul chairs the board of Living Waters Methodist Church. He is also a council member of the Law Society of Singapore, and the co-author of a number of leading textbooks on civil and commercial litigation in Singapore.

In 2017, Paul garnered the Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards’ Disputes Star of the Year award. He was also recognised by the Asian Legal Business as one of “40 Under 40 – Asia’s Brightest Young Legal Minds” in 2015. In 2014, Singapore Business Review ranked him as one of Singapore’s “20 Most Influential Lawyers 40 and Under”. In addition, Paul is ranked as a Recommended Lawyer for Dispute Resolution, and Restructuring and Insolvency by The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2017-2019. He is also ranked as a Leading Lawyer for Dispute Resolution and Restructuring and Insolvency by Asialaw Profiles, 2017-2019.

Opening Address

Justice Aedit Abdullah

The Honourable Justice Aedit Abdullah

Supreme Court of Singapore

Justice Aedit Abdullah was appointed Judicial Commissioner in 2014 and High Court Judge on 30 September 2017.

Mr Abdullah obtained a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1994, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law (First Class) from the University of Oxford and a Master in Public Management from NUS in 2007.

He joined the Singapore Legal Service in 2000 and began his career as a Justices’ Law Clerk. He then taught at the Faculty of Law, NUS, before re-joining the Singapore Legal Service. He has held various appointments, such as Deputy Public Prosecutor, Deputy Senior State Counsel and District Judge of the Subordinate Courts (renamed as State Courts in 2014). He was appointed Chief Prosecutor (Economic Crimes and Governance Division), and subsequently Chief Prosecutor (Criminal Justice Division) at the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) in 2011 and served as special counsel at the Monetary Authority of Singapore from January 2008 to June 2009. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2012.

Session 1: Effective Structuring for Family Wealth - Using the Correct Toolbox

  David Chong

Mr David Chong

Founder and President, Portcullis Group

David Chong is the Founder and President of the Portcullis Group.

David Chong and his family also owns Fusang Holdings Ltd. Portcullis Investment Office Limited holds Type 4 (Adviser on Securities) & Type 9 (Fund Management) licences issued by the Securities & Futures Commission of Hong Kong; and Portcullis Investment Office Private Limited holds a Capital Markets Services Licence for Accredited & Institutional Investors issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

The Portcullis Group also owns Baxian Private & Investment Bank Ltd which is regulated by the Labuan Financial Services Authority.

David is a director of David Chong Law Corporation, Singapore. David qualified as a Barrister-at-Law, Lincoln’s Inn; Advocate & Solicitor, Singapore, Malaya and Brunei; Barrister & Solicitor, British Virgin Islands; Solicitor, NSW and Queensland, Australia; Barrister & Solicitor, Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, Australia.

David is the President of the Singapore Trustees Association (STA). He served as the Founding President of Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) Singapore Branch and was the Founding President of the Singapore Fund Administrators Association (SFAA). He is a Fellow of Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford.

David has a Master’s Degree in Law and a Master’s Degree in Business.

  Lim Kexin

Ms Lim Kexin

PwC Singapore

Kexin is a tax director with PwC Singapore’s Entrepreneurial and Private Business team, uniquely positioned with hands-on experience in Singapore, Indonesia and London on a wide variety of assignments. Kexin also currently drives the Indonesia initiative for PwC Singapore.

Over her 14 year career at PwC, Kexin has advised on a wide range of inbound / outbound investments, transactions, international tax structuring, tax advisory, incentive planning, compliance, operational tax and thought leadership projects. Through a 3.5 years secondment to Jakarta, she accumulated extensive practical experience assisting multinational, start-ups, institutional as well as private clients with different aspects of their direct and indirect tax needs. Her experience over the years, hence covers both financial services and corporate clients at the holding as well as operating company levels. In particular, Kexin works closely with various entrepreneur-driven and owner-led / controlled groups to balance shareholder, management, family and other stakeholder considerations in light of today’s evolving tax landscape. Widely profiled in the media and a frequent public speaker, Kexin was the youngest council member in the Institute of Singapore Chartered Accountants’ history having served between 2012 and 2018. Kexin was also a council member of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia among others, working closely with Singapore-Indonesia business interests and trade agencies. A multiple award winner, Kexin was named ‘Young Accountant of the Year’ at the inaugural Singapore Accountancy Awards 2014, ‘Rising Star’ at the Financial Times-RBS Coutts Women in Asia Awards 2010 and one of Singapore’s 2015 ‘40 under 40’ to watch by Prestige magazine among her many accolades. Kexin is the first alumna to be appointed on SMU’s Board of Trustees and described by Her World Singapore magazine as ‘one of Singapore’s most successful and inspiring achievers’.

  Valerie Wu

Ms Valerie Wu

Pinsent Masons

Valerie specialises in tax, trust and fund work, particularly in the context of private wealth transfer and succession planning matters.

Since joining Pinsent Masons, Valerie has set up the tax and private wealth practice for the Firm for Asia, based in Singapore. In this capacity she advises families and individuals as well as the services providers to such families and individuals, in tax, trust as well as regulatory matters, in the context of private wealth. She regularly advises and acts as counsel to many ultra-high net worth individuals and families, to tailor solutions and provide ongoing advice and strategies for succession planning and asset protection needs, balanced with their family dynamics and business continuity considerations.

Prior to joining the firm, Valerie held senior positions at law firms, trustees and wealth management funds. She is a well-known advisor in the industry and is often invited to speak at public events such as the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), Legal Week Private Client Forums, as well as various industry seminars, panels and events.

She is on the panels of and works with many families / family offices, licensed entities such as trust companies, private banks, fund managers, wealth advisory teams. Valerie was listed in the 2017 as well as the inaugural Who’s Who Legal for Private Client, Citywealth’s IFC Power Women List 2017, Citywealth Leaders List 2016, 2017 and was also named in Legal Week's recent Global Private Client Elite 2017, and the International Trusts and Private Client Elite, a list of 100 private client lawyers and advisors worldwide tipped to be "at the top of their field."

Most recently, Legal500 has listed the private wealth practice setup by Valerie as Band 1. She has also been appointed to the Law Reform Committee of the Singapore Academy of Law since September 2016.

Valerie is called to the Singapore bar and also admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales.

Session 2: Managing Asian Wealth: Overseas Investment and Philanthropy

Simone Wong

Dr Simone Wong

Kent Law School, University of Kent

Simone Wong is a Reader in Law at the University of Kent. In addition to being a member of Lincoln’s Inn in the UK, she has been called to the Bar in Malaysia, Singapore and Australian Capital Territory. Prior to her joining Kent in 1998, Simone had practised in Malaysia (1986-1989) and Singapore (1990-1994). She teaches Banking Law as well as Equity & Trusts. Her research interests are primarily in Equity, Trusts, Cohabitation and other Domestic Relationships, and Banking. Her recent publications include: ‘The New EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive: Farewell to transparency of UK trusts’ (2017) 31(3) Trust Law International 137; ‘Tapping into trust assets for redistribution upon divorce in England and Wales’ in Nolan, R, Tang, HW and Low, K (eds.), Trusts and Modern Wealth Management (Cambridge University Press, 2018) 340; and (co-authored with R Cain), ‘The impact of cuts in Legal Aid funding of private family law cases’ (2019) 41(1) Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law 3.

Thomas P. Gallanis

Professor Thomas P. Gallanis

University of Iowa/University of Chicago/Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Professor Thomas P. Gallanis is the Allan D. Vestal Chair in Law and Associate Dean for Research at the University of Iowa, USA. For 2019-2022, he is also Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago Law School and Visiting Professor at the KoGuan Law School of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is an expert on trust, succession, property, and fiduciary law. He is particularly interested in comparative and international aspects of wealth transfer law. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and the American Law Institute. He has been a visiting fellow at All Souls College in Oxford, a Herbert Smith Freehills visitor at Cambridge, and a Mellon fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. His scholarly articles have been published in the USA, England, France, and China. He is the executive director of the Uniform Law Commission’s Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trust and Estate Acts, which is the official oversight body for all US uniform laws in the field of trusts and succession. Within the American Law Institute, he served as associate reporter for the Restatement Third of Trusts and currently serves as an adviser to the Restatement Fourth of Property and the Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations.

Edward Ti

Assistant Professor Edward Ti

School of Law, Singapore Management University

Edward Ti is an Assistant Professor of Law at Singapore Management University. His academic and professional interests lie primarily in property, planning and strata law. He is particularly interested in land regulation and efficiency effects. He studied at NUS (LLB, CJ Koh Scholar & MSc (Real Estate), REDAS Gold Medal). He holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

Ray Macdoff

Professor Ray Madoff

Boston College Law School

Ray Madoff is a Professor at Boston College Law School where she teaches and writes in the areas of philanthropy policy, taxes, property and estate planning. Professor Madoff is the Co-founder and Director of the Boston College Law School Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good, a non-partisan think tank that convenes scholars and practitioners to explore questions regarding whether the rules governing the charitable sector best serve the public good.

Professor Madoff is the author of: Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead (Yale), which looks at how American law treats the interests of the dead and what this tells us about our values for the living. The Financial Times called it "a sparkling polemic." Professor Madoff is also the lead author on one of the top treatises on estate planning: Practical Guide to Estate Planning (CCH) (published annually from 2001-2019) and has written numerous articles and chapters in a wide variety of areas involving property and death.

Professor Madoff is a member of the American Law Institute, an Academic Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel and past president of the American Association of Law School’s Trusts and Estates Section. She was named a 2014 Top Women of the Law by Mass Lawyer’s Weekly and Critic of the Year by Inside Philanthropy. She was also named to the NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50 in 2017 and 2018 for her work promoting reform of the tax rules governing philanthropy. 

Session 3: Property Ownership and Fiduciary Relationships

James Penner

Professor James Penner

Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

James Penner took an honours B.Sc in Genetics at the University of Western Ontario in 1985, an LL.B at the University of Toronto in 1988 and completed his D.Phil at University College, Oxford in 1992. His thesis formed the basis of The Idea of Property in Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997) which won the 1997 Society of Public Teachers of Law First Prize for Outstanding Scholarship by a Younger Scholar (now renamed the 'SLS Peter Birks Prize').

Since 1992 he has taught law at Brunel University, the London School of Economics, King's College London, and most recently from 2008 until 2013 as Professor of Property Law at the Faculty of Laws, University College London, serving from 2011 to 2013 as Head of Department. He has established himself as one of the world's leading experts in the philosophy of property and the law of trusts, and writes more widely in the areas of private law and the philosophy of law. He has been a visiting professor in China, Canada, Belgium, and Australia.

Jamie Glister

Dr Jamie Glister

University of Cambridge

Jamie Glister moved to Cambridge in 2018 from the University of Sydney. Before Sydney he worked at Durham University and King's College London.

John Mee

Professor John Mee

School of Law, University College Cork

Professor John Mee teaches Equity and Trusts and the Law of Property at the Law School, University College Cork, Ireland. He is a former Dean of the Law School. Recently, he became an Honorary Academic Member of the UK Property Bar Association. He is a graduate of University College Cork (BCL 1986; LLM 1987), Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto (LLM 1989) and Trinity College Dublin (PhD 1998), and was called to the Irish Bar in 1990. He is the author of The Property Rights of Cohabitees (Hart Publishing, 1999) and the co-author of Law and Taxation of Trusts (Tottel, 2007) and Land Law (Thomson Round Hall, 3rd ed, 2011), as well as over sixty articles and book chapters. His research interests relate to resulting trusts, proprietary estoppel, family property, and various other aspects of equity and trusts, and the law of property and succession. He was a trustee director of the British and Irish Legal Information Institute (BAILII) from 2000 to 2015. He won the Patrick Kavanagh Award for poetry in 2015 and the Fool for Poetry International Chapbook Competition in 2016.

Duncan Sheehan

Professor Duncan Sheehan

School of Law, University of Leeds

Duncan joined the Law School at the University of Leeds as Professor of Business Law in January 2016 after 14 years at the University of East Anglia, where he was, successively, lecturer and senior lecturer in law and finally Professor of Commercial Law. Duncan is a graduate of Oxford University where he completed his doctorate on payments by mistake of law under the supervision of the late Professor Birks.  Duncan is a member of the Society of Legal Scholars Executive Committee, a member of the Secured Transactions Law Reform Project, and an academic member of the Chancery Bar Association. He is also on the Advisory Groups to the City of London Law Society’s Secured Transactions Code Project.  He was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland in March and April 2014.

Duncan's research interests are in trusts and personal property law, especially secured transactions law. He is also interested in the law of unjust enrichment, and examine many of the issues involved from a comparative perspective, looking particularly at the mixed jurisdictions: Scotland and South Africa.

Session 4: Technological Disruption in the Law of Trusts and Wealth Management

Mr Henry Chong

Chief Executive Officer, Fusang Group

Henry Chong is the Chief Executive Officer of the Fusang Group.

At Fusang, Henry is responsible for the group’s overall strategic direction and mission: building technology-enabled financial infrastructure for the “Internet of Value”. Henry works closely with global institutional investors and financial regulators to bring professionalism and structure to the industry, and is a regular keynote speaker on the subject of digital assets. He is also a member of the University of Oxford’s research group on digital assets law and regulation.

Henry is a Director of Portcullis: The Asian Wealth Manager. Portcullis is Asia's biggest independent group of trust companies, and provides a one-stop shop for corporate, trustee and fund administration services to high-net-worth individuals, family offices, philanthropies, private banks, and investment managers. Henry was also a Director at Oyster Security: providing a complete spectrum of cybersecurity knowledge and consultancy services to small and medium enterprises in Singapore.

Henry holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics & Economics, and a Master of Arts from the University of Oxford, where he was a founder of the Oxford Economics Society. Henry also holds a Masters of Science in Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics & Political Science, where he wrote his thesis on the behaviour of family offices.

Henry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. He is a member of the Hong Kong Securities Institute.

David Fox

Professor David Fox

School of Law, University of Edinburgh

David Fox holds the Chair of Common Law at the University of Edinburgh. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand and received his PhD degree from the University of Cambridge.

Before coming to Edinburgh, he was for many years a Fellow of St John’s College in the University of Cambridge. He has also held visiting posts at the National University of Singapore. He is a Barrister in England and Wales, with a door tenancy at Maitland Chambers in Lincoln’s Inn.

His research interests have a strong historical and comparative focus.  They concentrate on the private law applicable to money, and the formation of modern trust and property doctrine in common law systems. 

His recent work has drawn on doctrinal and numismatic sources to develop a legal historical view of money and the law.  His current projects relate to the extension of private law doctrine to emerging forms of blockchain technology, including cryptocurrencies.

Kelvin Low

Professor Kelvin Low

City University of Hong Kong

Kelvin F K Low is Professor at the School of Law, City University of Hong Kong. Kelvin’s research interest spans the field of private law but with a particular interest in property, broadly defined. He has published internationally with leading journals such as the Law Quarterly Review, the Modern Law Review, Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly and Legal Studies and is a co-author of the 2nd edition of The Law of Personal Property, the leading personal property text in the Commonwealth. His works have been cited by all levels of the Singapore Courts, the Australian High Court, the English High Court, the Malaysian Federal Court, the English, Scottish, New Zealand and Australian Law Commissions, the Irish Sales Law Review Group as well as leading texts throughout the Commonwealth. He is a member of The International Academy of Estate and Trust Law and a co-editor of Trust Law International and is the joint section editor for Singapore and Hong Kong for the Property Law Review.

Dr Philippa Ryan

Australian National University

Dr Philippa (Pip) Ryan is a barrister and a senior lecturer in the College of Law at the Australian National University in Canberra. Pip is a non-executive director on the board of Australian law firm, Lander & Rogers and she is on the editorial board of Stanford's Journal of Blockchain Law and Policy. Pip is Chair of the Standards Australia blockchain technical committee’s working group for smart contracts. Her current research explores the automation of trust, the accountability of algorithms, and the creeping tendency of regulators in developed economies to blame professionals, service providers and financial institutions for the sins of their customers and nefarious strangers. Pip is the author of Trust and Distrust in Digital Economies (Routledge 2019) and she co-authored Blockchain: Transforming Your Business and Our World (Routledge 2019) with Dr Mark Van Rijmenam.