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Sundararaj Palaniappan

Fax +65.6538.1311
Sundararaj Palaniappan has extensive litigation practice spanning commercial, criminal, and trade litigation as well as international arbitrations. Mr. Palaniappan also handles numerous medical and health claims, while also advising on insurance matters. He has considerable experience with complicated medical cases and commercial litigation matters, and advises on cases involving professional negligence spanning.

Professional Background

Mr. Palaniappan started his career with the Attorney General’s Chambers as a deputy public prosecutor and state counsel from 1989 until 1994. He joined Derrick Ravi and Partnership in 1994 which merged with Raja Loo and Chandra to form Straits Law Practice LLC in 2001.

During last three decades, Mr. Palaniappan has regularly appeared before the Supreme Court of Singapore. In the late nineties, he appeared before the Privy Council in London to argue one of the last appeals to go before what was then the highest tribunal of the land. Mr. Palaniappan also argued criminal appeals before the Singapore High Court and Court of Appeals and was counsel in arbitrations under the SIAC rules and New York Arbitration rules.

Mr. Palaniappan’s experience also has been tapped by the Supreme Court and State Courts of Singapore, which appointed him to committees that were considering matters relating to medical and clinical litigation claims. He also shares his experience with young lawyers, guiding them in advocacy and court work. He has been an advocacy trainer at annual courses conducted by the Law Society for Legal Practice Trainees for many years.

Mr. Palaniappan graduated with a LL.B. (Hons) from National University of Singapore in 1988 and obtained Masters in Law in 1994.

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Palaniappan has contributed to the legal literature in Singapore. He has edited the Atkins Court Forms on Civil Procedure and updated chapters on evidence, torts, contract and commercial crime in the Halsbury’s Law of Singapore, which are the main sources of legal literature consulted by practitioners. He has presently been commissioned to edit the Halsbury’s Law on Contract and Torts. He has presented talks at numerous seminars on medical negligence and professional indemnity.
Mr. Palaniappan has handled numerous cases across varied areas of law and economic activity. Some of the cases that he has handled that were notable in terms of novel legal issues or involving complex transactions are set out below:
  • NTUC Foodfare Co-operative Ltd v SIA Engineering Co & Anor [2018] SGCA 41 – [test for negligence in cases involving claim for pure economic loss]
  • Dato’ Hii Chii Kok v London Lucien & National Cancer Centre [2016] 2 SLR 544 & [2017] SGCA 38 [ground breaking case on the new test for negligence in connection with medical advice]
  • Manimuthu & others v Shanmuganathan [2016] SGHC 186 [commercial and trusts]
  • ACB v Thomson Medical Pte Ltd and others [2014] 2 SLR 990; [2014] SGHC 36 ( involving public policy and causation issues in mix up in IVF treatment); Determination of appeal is pending.
  • Surender Singh v Li Man Kay and National University Hospital [2010] 1 SLR 428 [public hospital found liable for negligence for the first time recent Singapore’s legal history]
  • The Oriental Insurance Co Ltd v Reliance National Asia Re Pte Ltd [2008] 3 SLR(R) 121 (conflicting company law decisions by the Privy Council and the High Court of Australia)
  • National Foods Ltd v Pars Ram Pte Ltd [2010] 1 SLR 579
  • Exim v Swiss Singapore Pte Ltd [Arbitration under the SIAC Rules
  • D’Conceicao Jeanie Doris v M C Thong [2011] SGHC 193