Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 15:46


He describes how the appointment has changed the nature of his cases and how he has adapted to work amid COVID-19.


With applications for Senior Counsel closing this week, interested applicants are probably rushing to secure the necessary papers to complete their applications. Mr Jason Chan, SC remembers the process well, having applied to be considered for the honour last year. His bid was successful and earlier this year, he was appointed Senior Counsel, alongside Mr Murali Pillai, SC and Mr Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir, SC (watch our interviews with them here).

We catch up with Mr Chan, who is a partner at Allen & Gledhill’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice

How have things changed since you were appointed Senior Counsel this year?
Well, COVID-19 has hit, so that’s one big change (laughs). In terms of work, I’m seeing more complex cases. I had previously seen complex cases, but it’s come to a point where all of the cases I’m working on are complex.

Do clients actively seek out Senior Counsel to take on their cases?
Some do. It’s fairly common at a particular level and profile of cases, given the stakes involved. There are other clients who don’t feel that they necessarily need a Senior Counsel onboard, so things do balance out. I am fortunate to run with a strong team of partners and associates.

Tell us about how your father, Jeffrey Chan SC, reacted to your appointment.
He was very happy. Honestly, his reaction probably made me happier than when I actually received news of the appointment.

How have the past few months of “the new normal” been for you?
If there’s one upside, it is that I’ve gotten a chance to be around and spend time with the kids (aged five and nine this year), which I would otherwise not have had. On the other hand, they have also managed to make an unsanctioned and cameo appearance in at least one Zoom hearing I’ve done this year, for which I had to apologise profusely to the Court.

Applications for Senior Counsel close on Friday, 25 September 2020. More details on the scheme and application requirements are available here.


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