Jeya was called to the Singapore Bar in March 1990 whereupon he joined M/s Haridass Ho & Partners as a legal assistant. In July 1994, he was admitted as Partner of M/s Haridass Ho & Partners. He left M/s Haridass Ho & Partners in April 1996 to establish M/s Fong Jeya Partnership. In 1999, he joined M/s Joseph Tan Jude Benny as an Equity Partner. Jeya left M/s Joseph Tan Jude Benny in November 2002 to set up AsiaLegal LLC.Appointments / Professional Memberships
- Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
- Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London
- Member of the Singapore Academy of Law
- Member of the Law Society of Singapore
- Member of the Insolvency Practitioners’ Association of Singapore
Jeya is a Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, London. He was appointed on the panel of Arbitrators in the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators for shipping/transport and sports claims. Jeya is also a member of Insolvency Practioners Association of Singapore.Litigation Experience
Jeya has advised on and handled numerous cases in various areas of practice, including shipping and admiralty cases, insolvency, banking, insurance and reinsurance matters. He also has extensive experience in handling arbitrations, both international and domestic, and mediation.
Jeya has conducted many trials, a number of which have been reported in the Singapore Law Reports (SLR). These cases cover the areas of admiralty and shipping, reinsurance, banking, performance bonds/guarantees, building construction, international sale of goods and insolvency matters.
In the area of Admiralty and Shipping, Jeya has been involved in various types of admiralty work including:-
- an action in the Singapore court where he acted for the owners of the vessel “Asia Star” in The “Asia Star”  SGHC 115, which involved the alleged breach of a time charterparty on the Vegoilvoy form (this case was also reported in the Business Times, Shipping Section);
- an arbitration involving the construction of a 55-metre luxury yacht in Singapore;
- He was also lead counsel in several cases before the Court of Appeal notably The “Nordic Freedom”  1 SLR 232 and Coscol Marine Corporation v The Owners of the Ship or Vessel “SALINA” (Admiralty in Rem No 101 of 1997). His shipping experience also includes bill of lading claims, charter-party disputes and cargo claims;
- Jeya was principally involved in the investigations of various vessels including the “Unggal Jaya”, “Aussie 1” and “Penrith”.
Jeya also has a keen interest in sale of goods and carriage of goods by sea disputes. He was counsel in several cases that are reported in the SLR. The most memorable was Swee Hong Exim Pte Ltd v. Saigon Shipping Co (1 & 2)  3 SLR 76
which involved various shipments of produce from Singapore to Vietnam on board vessels belonging to the Vietnamese Government. He was part of a team that advised Saigon Shipping Company between 1993 and 1995, a company owned by the Vietnamese Government. The point of contention was the ‘phap nhan’ or legal status of the import and export department of Saigon Shipping. A further example of a case on carriage of goods by sea wherein Jeya was lead counsel is M C Trading Co. Ltd v. Chin Chi Hau Pte Ltd  SGHC 207
Jeya was also involved in another notable case being the Court of Appeal decision of Dauphin Offshore Engineering & Trading Pte Ltd v The Private Office of HRH Sheikh Sultan bin Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan  1 SLR 657
. The issue was whether shipowners could terminate the shipbuilding contract and call on the performance guarantee procured by the builder in favour of the owner. The Court of Appeal opined on whether unconscionable conduct and fraud were separate and distinct grounds in applying for an injunction to prevent a financial institution from paying on the performance guarantee. This case is now cited as authority that there are two separate and distinct grounds in obtaining an injunction against a call on a bond/guarantee.
In the area of reinsurance, Jeya was before the Court Appeal and successfully resisted an appeal against the decision of Justice Judith Prakash in Overseas Union Insurance Ltd v Turegum Co. Ltd  3 SLR 567
. This was the first reinsurance matter to be litigated in Singapore and involved facultative reinsurance. The slips evidencing the contracts were scratched in the years 1968 to 1971. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of first instance and enunciated the important proposition that although the slips were silent on the issue of dispute resolution, the lead underwriter could agree to an arbitration clause in the policy of reinsurance to be issued, and bind the following market.
Jeya also handled another reinsurance matter of particular interest which involved a novel issue of whether a commutation was a loss within the retrocession contract, and whether the ‘loss’ fell within the ambit of a typical Notice of Loss clause contained in the Excess of Loss Treaty. The decision of Overseas Union Insurance Ltd v Home & Overseas Insurance Limited  2 SLR 497
is authority for the proposition that a commutation is not a loss within the terms of the retrocession contract. Jeya succeeded at first instance and on appeal. This is the first reported decision on this point in commonwealth jurisdictions.
In company and insolvency matters, Jeya acted for a company in liquidation and for the liquidator against the former directors in relation to claims for breach of directors’ duties, undue preference and fraudulent trading – Liquidator of W&P Piling Pte Ltd v. Chew Yin What  4 SLR 218
and also in the application filed pursuant to Section 285 of the Companies Act to examine the former directors of the company viva voce in relation to the company’s “missing assets” and related transactions Liquidator of W&P Piling Pte Ltd v. Chew Yin What  3 SLR 164
. He also acted for the liquidator in Yap Jeffery Henry and Another v Ho Mun-Tuke Don  3 SLR 427
, where the creditors of the company in liquidation applied to court to have the liquidator of company removed. He also represented the liquidator in the liquidation of a shipyard in Singapore. A point that arose in the myriad of issues, was whether a legal firm representing the Liquidator (the appointment being sanctioned by the Court) could appoint ad hoc Counsel to undertake specific applications or matters. This issue proceeded to the Court of Appeal and Jeya succeeded in arguing that the ad hoc appointment of counsel for specific tasks on behalf of the Liquidator did not contravene the provisions of the Companies Act.
In 2015, Jeya represented Mechel Carbon (Singapore) Pte Ltd, a Singapore subsidiary of the Mechel Carbon Group, based in Russia on an insolvency matter involving a syndicate of European banks that claimed a total of US$425 million against the Group. This matter was litigated before the High Court of Singapore and also involved proceedings in Russia and England.The matter was resolved satisfactorily for the client.
Jeya has been instructed in many arbitration disputes. These include arbitrations under the auspices of the SIAC, SIA, GAFTA, and ICC involving various commercial, building construction and admiralty and shipping disputes. The longest arbitration he has conducted was 45 hearing days. The dispute was between a developer and the main contractor in the construction of 17 terrace houses at Jalan Sayang, Singapore. A notable case was when Jeya was engaged by a nominated sub-contractor (NSC) to claim progress payments, additions and alterations and variation claims against the developer. The developer counterclaimed for delay in completion of works in the 3 block 25-storey condominium project. After a lengthy arbitration hearing the NSC succeeded on all claims and dismissed the counterclaim.
Jeya recently acted in the following arbitration-related court proceedings:-
- a matter where the issue of whether an arbitrator should be removed under Section 16(1)(b) Arbitration Act (Cap 10, 2002 Rev Ed) was considered for the first time in Singapore: Yee Hong Pte Ltd v. Powen Electrical Engineering Pte Ltd  3 SLR 512;
- a dispute involving an application for a stay of court proceedings in favour of arbitration under s.6 of the International Arbitration Act (Cap143A): Dalian Hualiang Enterprise Group Co Ltd and Another v Louis Dreyfus Asia Pte Ltd  4 SLR 646.
Amongst numerous other arbitrations Jeya was appointed as lead counsel, of note were two recent oil & gas disputes pertaining to the charter of the “Windermere” to a listed vehicle in Malaysia for DP-2 operations in the East Coast of Malaysia. Jeya acted for the owners and suppliers for dive personnel in this dispute. The two arbitrations were run consecutively and the owners were successful in obtaining an award in both references. This arbitration was conducted under the auspices of SIAC.
In 2015, Jeya successfully concluded 4 arbitrations under the auspices of LMAA and SCMA involving the charter of 4 vessels by a Malaysian oil & gas major (mid/downstream) for a project in India.
Jeya is regularly instructed in family law matters. He specializes in dealing with expatriate clients located in Singapore. The issues involve assets within and outside Singapore. To date, Jeya has represented more than 30 expatriate clients and resolved complex issues of habitual residence, tax implications, pension funds and distribution/division of assets in multi-jurisdictions. Non-Litigation Experience
Apart from his litigation experience, Jeya was appointed counsel to oversee the closure of two Japanese banks in Singapore. In 1998, he was intimately involved in the closure of Daiwa Bank Limited and in 2000, the Asahi Bank Limited. These involved dealings with the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the closure of financial institutions licensed and supervised by MAS. The issues at hand were, inter alia
, vesting of balances in dormant and closed accounts with the Public Trustee, determining liability of the bank on cashier’s orders or bank drafts issued in various jurisdictions and the validity thereof, review and termination of employment contracts, tenancy agreements, etc. Both branches were successfully closed in Singapore within six months of his appointment as counsel.