Lee case set to go before Court of Three Judges
With a disciplinary tribunal finding prominent lawyer Lee Suet Fern guilty of grossly improper professional conduct, the next step is for the Law Society to apply for a show-cause hearing before a Court of Three Judges.
The tribunal had found Mrs Lee's actions were of sufficient gravity to refer the case to the Court, which is the highest disciplinary body to deal with lawyers' misconduct.
The Law Society, which filed the charges against Mrs Lee, has one month from Feb 18 - the day the tribunal issued its verdict - to make its application to the High Court.
Responding to queries, a Law Society spokesman said it could take at least six months from the date of filing for the Court of Three Judges to hear the case, based on experience.
Mrs Lee, the wife of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew's younger son Hsien Yang, could be fined, suspended or disbarred as a lawyer if the charges are made out. But the Court may exonerate her if the charges are not.
It will be open to Mrs Lee's lawyers to contend that the findings of the disciplinary tribunal (DT) were incorrect.
However, the decision of the Court of Three Judges cannot be appealed, the spokesman noted.
In a statement yesterday, Law Society president Gregory Vijayendran said: "At that hearing, the Court is empowered to determine any question necessary for the purpose of doing justice in the case, including any question as to the correctness, legality or propriety of the determination of the DT, or the regularity of the DT proceedings."
The case centres on the role Mrs Lee played in the preparation and execution of Mr Lee's last will signed on Dec 17, 2013.
Mr Lee died on March 23, 2015 at the age of 91.
In January last year, the Attorney-General's Chambers complained to the Law Society about possible professional misconduct involving Mrs Lee.
Deputy Attorney-General Lionel Yee further asked that the case be referred to a disciplinary tribunal. Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon then appointed a two-man tribunal.
The tribunal subsequently found Mrs Lee guilty of grossly improper professional conduct in her handling of the late Mr Lee's last will.
In comments that Mr Lee Hsien Yang shared on his Facebook page on Sunday, Mrs Lee said she disagrees with the tribunal's report and intends to "fight this strongly when it is heard in open court".
The Straits Times understands that anybody can obtain a record of the closed-door proceedings of the tribunal from the DT Secretariat for a fee.
"I urge the public to look at these and come to their own independent conclusions," Mrs Lee said.