SINGAPORE – Global law firm Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP has said Mrs Lee Suet Fern, managing partner of its combined practice in Singapore, has stepped down from that role.
But Mrs Lee – wife of Mr Lee Hsien Yang – will continue to play a key role in its global strategy from offices here and in Hong Kong.
The couple said earlier this week they are preparing to leave Singapore – but have not said where they intend to live.
Responding to queries from The Straits Times, a spokesman for the firm in Washington DC said on Friday (June 16) that “the firm does not anticipate any material change in our Singapore team or practice”.
She added that Mrs Lee will “continue to spend a significant amount of time in Singapore as well as travel to Hong Kong, as she already does in support of her strong client relationships there, and as head of our international leadership team”.
Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP merged in 2015 with Stamford Law – founded by Mrs Lee – and became Morgan Lewis Stamford LLC, a Singapore law practice where the partners are concurrent partners of the global firm.
Mrs Lee, a top corporate lawyer, then became managing partner of the combined practice here.
The Straits Times understands Mr Ng Joo Khin, Mrs Lee’s deputy and a Morgan Lewis Stamford partner, has been made office managing partner as part of a long-planned transition, which allows Mrs Lee to keep a key role in its global strategy.
Mrs Lee remains on the advisory board of Morgan Lewis Bockius and will continue to be the head of the international leadership team.The team is made up in part of office managing partners of Morgan Lewis’s international offices worldwide. Sources say Mrs Lee will be based in the Singapore and Hong Kong offices.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang on Wednesday had issued a statement with his sister, Dr Lee Wei Ling, earlier this week saying they felt closely monitored and feared the use of state organs against them. The dispute centres on the house of their late father, former prime minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at 38 Oxley Road.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong raised questions over Mrs Lee’s role and that of her law firm in preparing the last will of the late Mr Lee.
Mr Lee Hsien Yang has said Stamford Law did not draft Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s final will.
Morgan Lewis said that it “stands by that account, and notes that no objections had previously been made to the final will, or the provision about demolition of the house, which was a well-known wish of Mr Lee Kuan Yew”.
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