SINGAPORE: The court of appeal has dismissed with costs a 130—million—dollar claim by the Raffles Town Club (RTC) against its former club directors, drawing one of Singapore’s longest civil trials to a close.
The club’s current directors —— Margaret Tung and Lin Jian Wei —— had made a bid to reclaim from the four former directors, payouts the club had to make to shareholders.
This was after a class action suit by about 5,000 club members was thrown out in 2010 because the High Court found that the four former directors, who included former "remisier king" Peter Lim, had acted honestly in good faith, and had made commercial decisions in the best interest of the company.
The members had sued the club for breaching its contract that it would be a "premier" and "exclusive" club after they found that the club had accepted more than 19,000 members.
In the 38—page judgment on Wednesday, the court ordered that Ms Tung and Mr Lin personally foot the legal bills of the former directors.
It also found that the pair, as the sole shareholders and directors of the club, had conspired to injure the former directors by suing them in the club’s name.
This was after three of the four former directors —— Mr Peter Lim, Mr Lawrence Ang and Mr William Tan —— filed appeals.
The court said this was because the pair had commenced the suit "for no reason other than to increase the assets of RTC directly and, correspondingly, the value of their shareholdings in RTC", as well as to cause financial harm to the former directors.
It found that if the club were to have succeeded in its action, Ms Tung and Mr Lin would effectively have been able to retrieve the judgment proceeds for themselves.
The three judges noted, however, that no unlawful means were used in their conspiracy.
In a statement issued through his lawyer, Mr Lim said: "I’m very happy that I have been vindicated at all levels, by both the High Court and the Court of Appeal. I believe it is fair that my legal costs are to be paid by Lin Jian Wei and Margaret Tung personally and not by the club, as the Court of Appeal found that they were the ones behind the entire action, and had acted in bad faith in getting RTC to sue me."
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