To Act or Not to Act, that is the Question

21 February 2024 (5pm - 6.15pm)

B2, Havelock Hall, State Courts, 1 Havelock Square, (S) 059724 


Most lawyers do not choose our clients – our clients choose us. Lawyers act on the instructions of their clients. A good lawyer, as we are taught, acts with professionalism and diligence to earn the confidence and trust of the client. But what should a lawyer do if a client refuses to heed good counsel? What if a client insists on a taking a course of action that the lawyer believes is not in the client’s best interest, or worse, goes against a lawyer’s duties as an officer of the court? 


Our speaker Mr Jimmy Yim SC will be exploring some of these difficult questions with reference to relevant ethical principles and recent cases, followed by a fireside chat where the Honourable Justice Valerie Thean will join Mr Yim SC to discuss these issues as well as other issues of concern to the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee.


This session will have particular relevance for law firm leaders as well as both experienced and younger members of the Bar. The discussion will focus on real life issues commonly faced by lawyers in their interactions with their clients and with the court, including (i) the lawyer’s decision process as to when to terminate or decline to take up a retainer; (ii) what to do if a client insists on taking certain positions contrary to the lawyer’s advice; (iii) avoiding pitfalls associated with a client’s use of social media; (iv) balancing duties owed to the client with duties owed to the Court; (v) what to do if approached to act against a former client; (vi) what to do if the lawyer may be called as a witness in proceedings; and (vii) termination of retainer and managing a potentially unhappy client.


Member Rate
$70.00 (before GST)

Non-Member Rate
$90.00 (before GST)

CPD Points : 1

Past Event

Event Programme 


Time Programme
4.30pm  Registration and Refreshments
5.00pm - 5.05pm  Opening Remarks
  by Mr Hui Choon Kuen, Dean, AGC-Legal Service Academy; and
Chair of the Professional Standards & Ethics Working Group, SAL
5.05pm - 6.15pm  Fireside Chat
  by The Honourable Justice Valerie Thean, Supreme Court of Singapore; and
Mr Jimmy Yim SC, Chairman, Drew & Napier LLC
6.15pm End of Session



The Honourable Justice Valerie Thean
Supreme Court of Singapore


Justice Valerie Thean has been a High Court Judge of the Supreme Court since 30 September 2017. She was first appointed a Judicial Commissioner of the Supreme Court on 30 September 2014 (and was concurrently Presiding Judge of the Family Justice Courts from 1 October 2014 until 29 September 2017). She presently co-chairs the Ethics and Professional Standards Committee with Mr Jimmy Yim, S.C.


She was awarded the President’s Scholarship in 1988 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours) from Downing College, Cambridge University, in 1991. She subsequently obtained her Master of Laws from Harvard Law School, in 1995. Justice Thean joined the Singapore Legal Service in 1992. After her first posting as a Justices’ Law Clerk, she held various appointments within the public service, including Assistant Registrar at the Supreme Court, District Judge at the then Subordinate Courts, Senior State Counsel at the Attorney General’s Chambers, Director-General (Legal) and Deputy Secretary of the Ministry of Law and Senior District Judge of the Family and Juvenile Justice Division of the State Courts.


Mr Jimmy Yim SC
Chairman, Drew & Napier LLC


Jimmy Yim, Senior Counsel, is Chairman of Drew & Napier LLC, one of Singapore’s most established law firms.  The firm has a reach of the entire South East Asia through its Drew Network Asia (DNA) firms, which are Shearn Delamore & Co of Malaysia, Makarim & Taira S of Indonesia, MVGS of Philippines and Tilleke & Gibbins of Thailand.


Mr Yim has four decades of legal experience in civil and commercial law and international arbitration.  He has been involved in dispute resolution of contracts governed by the laws of  different jurisdictions and spanning across a wide spectrum of industries from energy,  infrastructure, telecommunication and technology before the Supreme Court and numerous tribunals under the SIAC, ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL.


As a leading dispute practitioner, Mr Yim is recognised as one of Singapore’s top dispute lawyers by all independent legal ranking publications such as Asia Legal Business, Best Lawyers, Chambers, The Legal 500 and Asialaw Profiles.  When Mr Yim was appointed Senior Counsel in January 1998, he had the honour of being one of the youngest Senior Counsel below 40 years of age at that time.


Mr Yim has also been involved in works of charity in relation to the law.  In 2002, he founded the Catholic Lawyers Guild to assist the Church and laity on legal issues.  In 2004, Guild began its offering of pro bono services to church members and remains a service to the Church today.


In 2006, Mr Yim co-chaired a committee of the Law Society of Singapore to do a complete study on pro bono available and any deficiency in Singapore.  The Committee had also the active participation of Sundaresh Menon, the present Chief Justice of Singapore, who was at that time Judicial Commissioner. Mr Menon was seconded from the Supreme Court to assist the Committee.  They surveyed the landscape and made a number of recommendations including the contribution of 25 hours per lawyer pro bono/per annum and the establishment of a new pro bono office which evolved into the present Pro Bono SG.


In January 2023, the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon announced that Mr Yim would co-chair a committee with Justice Valerie Thean to develop a strategy to reaffirm the moral centre and values of the legal profession, and to enable lawyers and those who aspire to a career in the law to understand the legal profession as a calling to be answered with honesty, integrity and dedication.

SILE Accredited CPD Activity

Number of Public CPD Points: 1.0 

Practice Area: Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Training Level: General 


SILE Attendance Policy

Participants who wish to obtain CPD Points are reminded that they must comply strictly with the Attendance Policy set out in the CPD Guidelines. For this activity, this includes signing in on arrival and signing out at the conclusion of the activity in the manner required by the organiser, and not being absent from the entire activity for more than 15 minutes. Participants who do not comply with the Attendance Policy will not be able to obtain CPD Points for attending the activity. Please refer to for more information.


L I F T E D by SAL

For enquiries related to this event, please email

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