Modern Advocacy - Perspectives from Singapore Digital

Modern Advocacy is a book on trial advocacy written by Singapore practitioners for Singapore practitioners. The book is an illuminating insight into what Singapore advocates do and how they go about doing it. It is a singularly unique piece of work, not only for making inroads into the market (which until now survived on general primers from other jurisdictions) by providing a locally-flavoured book on advocacy, but also for its stellar list of contributors and General Editors. No less than 17 Senior Counsel, a retired Judge of Appeal, two High Court Judges, and a former best oralist (championship round) winner of the Philip C Jessup International Law Moot Court Competition collaborated to bring this publication to fruition.

Author(s)/Editor(s)/Contributor(s): Eleanor Wong, Lok Vi Ming SC and Vinodh Coomaraswamy SC (general editors)

Date of Publication: Jun 2008

Member's Price: $80.00(before GST)
Associate Student's Price: 
$64.00 (before GST)
Non-Member's Price: 
$120.00 (before GST)

Member's Price: SGD 80.00
Usual Price: SGD 130.80

Member's Price: SGD 80.00
Usual Price: SGD 130.80

CPD Points : N/A


The confluence of which is an authoritative text that deals in detail with specific aspects of trials or parts of trials, different types of advocacy (eg, criminal, appellate and ADR), and broad, overview questions with tips and advice on attaining success, achieving a healthy work-life balance, dealing with the Media, and adhering to the unwritten but essential Code of Etiquette.


The intrinsic value of this book lies in the anecdotes and samples of effective practice which the contributors share unreservedly. Specific examples of how general principles might play out in a Singapore court or case are provided, and different strategies that are available to counsel at different stages of a case and the concrete considerations that may affect decisions are amply discussed. Each contributor’s oratory style is preserved in his or her respective chapter.


In essence, Modern Advocacy is a look into the minds of Singapore’s legal eagles; an opportunity for aspiring advocates to learn the ropes of the trade from those who have succeeded; an eye-opener for those who wish to learn more about Singapore’s trial procedure; and an engaging read for others to end the day with.


Author(s)/Editor(s)/Contributor(s): Eleanor Wong, Lok Vi Ming SC and Vinodh Coomaraswamy SC (general editors)

Joseph Grimberg SC
K Shanmugam SC
Ang Cheng Hock
Kenneth W K Tan SC
Steven Chong SC
Alvin Yeo SC
Tan Kok Quan SC
Davinder Singh SC
Lok Vi Ming SC
Vinodh Coomaraswamy SC
Harry Elias SC
Tan Chee Meng SC
Evangeline Poh
Michael Khoo SC
Sant Singh SC
Quentin Loh SC
LP Thean
Philip Jeyaretnam SC
Chelva R Rajah SC
Leslie Chew SC
Justice Woo Bih Li
Justice Choo Han Teck




Chapter 1 One Man’s Experience
By Joseph Grimberg SC
Chapter 2 Case Theory
By K Shanmugam SC and Ang Cheng Hock
Chapter 3  Pleadings
By Kenneth W K Tan SC
Chapter 4 Advocacy in Interlocutory Applications
By Steven Chong SC
Chapter 5 Preparation for Trial
By Alvin Yeo SC
Chapter 6 Affidavits, Examination-in-Chief and Re-examination
By Tan Kok Quan SC
Chapter 7 Cross-examination
By Davinder Singh SC
Chapter 8  Expert Witnesses
By Lok Vi Ming SC
Chapter 9 Evidence and Admissibility
By Vinodh  Coomaraswamy SC
Chapter 10 Opening Statements
By Harry Elias SC
Chapter 11  Closing Submissions
By Tan Chee Meng SC and Evangeline Poh
Chapter 12 Criminal Advocacy I - The Pre-trial Stage
By Michael Khoo SC
Chapter 13 Criminal Advocacy II - The Trial
By Sant Singh SC
Chapter 14 Advocacy in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
By Quentin Loh SC
Chapter 15 Appellate Advocacy
By L P Thean
Chapter 16 Advocacy for the Long-haul
By Philip Jeyaretnam SC
Chapter 17 Ethics and Etiquette
By Chelva R Rajah SC
Chapter 18 Relations with the Media
By Leslie Chew SC
Chapter 19 The Good Advocate - Some Uncommon Pointers
By The Honourable Justice Woo Bih Li
Chapter 20 Overview from the Bench
By The Honourable Justice Choo Han Teck
  • Modern Advocacy - Perspectives from Singapore
  • 978-981-18-0795-4
  • Digital
Modern Advocacy – Perspectives from Singapore is an enjoyable read.  Each chapter is authored by a different leading practitioner and covers a particular stage or area in the dispute resolution process, from the formulation of case theory at the start of each case all the way through to closing submissions at the end of trial.  There are also “bonus” chapters providing perspectives from the bench. 
The strength of the book lies in the thoroughness of its scope and the diversity of voices it contains.  It strikes a good balance between being a guide on what is required from the advocate as a matter of law and rules, and a showcase of various successful personal approaches to advocacy.  As a young lawyer, I found it especially helpful and interesting to read of the personal experiences, strategies and views of senior lawyers and judges, and my favourite chapters were those rich in the personality of the author.


Advocacy is an art form, which is practiced to mediocrity by many and mastered by a select few.  For an apprentice, the path towards mastering the art of advocacy will seem like a perennial peregrination.  There are numerous facets to the art, thus it is often insufficient for one to merely study the techniques of advocacy.  One has to also appreciate the nuances of the art form in order to surmount it completely.  Modern Advocacy – Perspectives from Singapore aims to impart practical tips and skills to those embarking on this prodigious journey of mastery.
One of the greatest achievements of the book is that it is a step-by-step manual crafted by some of Singapore’s preeminent legal minds.  The book contains pointers which one will inevitably pick up from either practicing the craft or dialoguing with seniors from within the industry.  But to have such pointers and guidelines delineated by industry veterans in one publication is a goldmine in itself.  Their passion for the art and expertise in the art form shines throughout the book.  Modern Advocacy – Perspectives from Singapore also provides a gateway into these amazing psyches as it contains notes from Honourable Justices cautioning lawyers against relegating the art of advocacy to a mere ‘postal service’ and Senior Counsels providing a philosophical perception of the role of advocacy ‘in society at large’.
A common theme resonating from Modern Advocacy – Perspectives from Singapore is the need for one to equate advocacy to a warlike art.  The most skilled, primed and flexible mind tends to win the numerous battles involved in a single war.  An advocate needs to be skilled in the subtleties of the art and be primed with all the facts of a case. More importantly, an advocate has to be flexible so as to be able to adjust battle plans whenever deemed necessary.  This will enable one to gain the stature of being an accomplished warhorse.  However, in addition to being accomplished, all champions of this paradigm also iterate the need to forge lasting reputations infused in professionalism.  Having professionalism entrenched in one’s schema is monumental as such a reputation is an armour crucial in the garnering of respect of one’s peers.  This respect, in turn enables one to enjoy a ‘charmed’ and ‘long-lasting’ career in advocacy.
Modern Advocacy – Perspectives from Singapore is truly a significant contribution to the emergent native texts on advocacy and it is also a laudable step towards creating a comprehensive Singapore-centric legal literature pool. 

Write Your Own Review
Only registered users can write reviews. Please Sign in or create an account

Recently Viewed Products