Philip Jeyaretnam

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Philip Antony Jeyaretnam
Personal details
Born 1964
Nationality Singaporean
Parents Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (deceased);
Margaret Jeyaretnam (deceased)
Relatives Kenneth Jeyaretnam; Harold Walker (former chairman AFC Bournemouth)
Education Corpus Christi College, Cambridge;
Charterhouse School;
United World College of South East Asia;
Raeburn Park School
Occupation Singapore CEO and global vice-chair at Dentons, Lawyer (Senior Counsel), Writer
Known for Young Artist Award (1993)
South-East Asian Write Award (2003)

Philip Antony Jeyaretnam, SC (born 1964) is the Singapore chief executive officer and global vice-chair at Dentons[1][2]. He is a Senior Counsel and a former President of the Law Society of Singapore. He is also a Singaporean lawyer and novelist. He is the son of Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, who was a prominent opposition politician in Singapore. His brother, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, is the secretary-general of the opposition Reform Party.


Philip received his early education at Raeburn Park School and the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, and at the Charterhouse School in Surrey, England. He then went on to Corpus Christi College at Cambridge University, where he read Law and graduated with First Class Honours in 1986. He was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1987, and was conferred the title of Senior Counsel in 2003, when he was only 38, one of the youngest lawyers to be appointed senior counsel. On 1 January 2011, he was appointed as managing partner of Rodyk & Davidson LLP, one of Singapore's leading law firms.[3] In 2016, he led the firm's combination with Dentons, forming Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP.[1] He holds the positions of Singapore chief executive officer and global vice-chair at Dentons.[2]

Philip is recognised as an expert in arbitration, construction law and litigation in major legal publications.[4][5][6] Described by Legal500 as a ‘star’ and ‘master tactician’ in 2014[7][8][9], Philip’s recent and significant cases include representing The Wall Street Journal on issues arising from its coverage of the 1MDB affair[10][11] and defending the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Programme against a suit by the Government of Papua New Guinea[12].

Philip's collection of short stories, First Loves, published in Singapore in 1987, claimed record sales on Singapore's Sunday Times bestseller book list. It won him the compliment as Singapore's "home-grown Maugham".[13] First Loves and his debut novel Raffles Place Ragtime (1988) were both nominated for the Commonwealth Writers Prize (South-east Asia and the South Pacific). His second novel, Abraham's Promise (1995) won a highly commended book award from the National Book Development Council of Singapore. He was presented with the 'Young Artist of the Year' award in 1993, the Montblanc-NUS Centre for the Arts Literary Award in 1997, and a S.E.A. Write Award in 2003.

In 1991, he was a Fulbright Fellowship visitor to the University of Iowa International Writing Program and to the Harvard Law School. He was also an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Building at the National University of Singapore from July 2006 to June 2007.

In 2015, Abraham's Promise was selected by The Business Times as one of the Top 10 English Singapore books from 1965–2015, alongside titles by Arthur Yap and Daren Shiau.[14]

Philip is a member of the Singapore Public Service Commission[15] and the Presidential Council for Minority Rights[16]. He has served as the Chairman of Maxwell Chambers since 2010[9] and is a member of the SIAC Regional Panel of Arbitrators[17]. In July 2005, Philip was appointed as a board member of the Singapore National Kidney Foundation by the then Minister for Health to help restore proper governance and public trust.[18][19] He is a former President of the Law Society of Singapore, and was Chairman of the Society of Construction Law from 2002 to 2004.

He used to chair the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit arts group the Practice Performing Arts School, founded by the late theatre doyen Kuo Pao Kun. In his view, the arts are as important as any other elements in the growth of a society. Writers, artists, composers, directors – whom he terms "ideas people" – are needed for a lively arts scene and that more should be done to encourage new ideas from artists. He also called for greater support from the private sector for “the serious arts”, since the popular arts are commonly “funded by the market and community organisations”.[20]


He is the younger son of the late-Singaporean opposition politician, J.B. Jeyaretnam (who was the first opposition politician to be elected to Parliament in post-independence Singapore), and Margaret Walker. This makes Philip of Sri Lankan Tamil and English descent.[21] Growing up, he was “inspired by both [his] parents who were lawyers”. He found his father’s court work “exciting” due to “the probing, the cut and thrust, the interplay between two opponents” which “appealed to [his] competitive streak”. Philip also said that his “best days are spent right in the thrust of battle in court” where he gets to “uncover things, to get to the truth”.[22] His older brother, Kenneth Jeyaretnam, is currently an opposition politician in Singapore (leading the Reform Party, which was founded by his father shortly before his death in 2008).



Short Stories[edit]

  • Campfire (1983, second-prize winner of the National Short Story Competition)
  • Evening Under Frangipani (1985, winner of the National Short Story Competition)
  • First Loves (1987, Times Books International; 2009, Marshall Cavendish Editions) ISBN 9971654172 ISBN 9789812618979
  • Strangler Fig (2014, collected in Singapore Noir)
  • Moonshine in Singapore (2015, collected in Singathology)


Articles (professional)[edit]

  • Co-author, "Injunctions and Interim Relief", Civil Litigation in Singapore (Sweet & Maxwell, 2016)[23]
  • Co-author, "The Granting of Mareva Injunctions in Support of Foreign Court Proceedings" (2016) 28 SAcLJ 503[24]
  • Author, "The Presentation of Expert Evidence at Trial", Law and Practice of Commercial Litigation in Singapore (Sweet & Maxwell, 2015)[25]
  • Author, "Indonesia Changes Course In Investor Protection", The Business Times, 26 June 2014 (Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings, 2014)[26]
  • Author, "Myanmar And The New York Convention: Not Just A Piece Of Paper", The Business Times, 28 May 2014 (Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings, 2014)[27]
  • Author, "S’pore’s Role In Int’l Arbitration In Asia", The Business Times, 20 May 2014 (Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings, 2014)[28]
  • Building and Construction Law, Singapore Academy of Law Annual Reviews (vols. 2000 - 2004; co-author)

Articles (non-professional)[edit]

  • Inheritance (1991) - English-written essay, subsequently translated into German in 1993.
  • Raffles Place Reviewed (2016, The Straits Times)[29]
  • Light Among The Shadows (2016, The Business Times Lifestyle)[30]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Rodyk & Davidson ties up with foreign firms Gadens and Dentons". The Straits Times. 2015-11-03. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b "Philip Jeyaretnam". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  3. ^ Philip Jeyaretnam, SC succeeds Helen Yeo as Managing Partner of Rodyk & Davidson, Rodyk & Davidson LLP: Lawyers, Advocates & Solicitors. Last retrieved 14 February 2014.
  4. ^, Law Business Research Ltd,. "Philip Jeyaretnam SC - Dentons - The Latest Legal News, Research and Legal Profiles - Who's Who Legal". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  5. ^ "Philip Jeyaretnam - Dentons Rodyk & Davidson LLP - Singapore - Lawyer Profile Asia-Pacific 2017 - Chambers and Partners". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  6. ^ "The Legal 500 > Dentons Rodyk > Singapore, SINGAPORE > Lawyer profiles > Philip Jeyaretnam, SC". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  7. ^ "The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 > Singapore > Dispute resolution > Local firms recommended Law firms, Lawyers". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  8. ^ "SAL - Chancery Bar 2015". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  9. ^ a b "Maxwell Chambers - Members". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  10. ^ "Najib's lawyers waiting on WSJ response, to file suit in Malaysia". AsiaOne. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  11. ^ "Najib’s suit against WSJ pending reply from paper’s lawyers, says Hafarizam". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  12. ^ "Singapore - Dispute Resolution: Litigation Lawyers & Law Firms - Asia-Pacific - Chambers and Partners". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  13. ^ "Makings of a home-grown Maugham". Singapore: Business Times Weekend Edition. 28–29 May 1988. p. 9. 
  14. ^ Yusof, Helmi. "Tomes that show us how we live". The Business Times. Singapore Press Holdings. Retrieved 5 January 2015. 
  15. ^ Newest member of PSC
  16. ^ "Other Presidential Councils". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  17. ^ "Singapore International Arbitration Centre". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  18. ^ "A few good men appointed to fix tilings at NKF". The Business Times. 21 July 2005. 
  19. ^ Singapore, National Library Board,. "National Kidney Foundation financial scandal (2005) | Infopedia". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  20. ^ 'Council Member – Philip Jeyaretnam', INSTEP Nov - Dec '05. Singapore : National Arts Council.
  21. ^ J. B. Jeyaretnam: Politician and activist who fought all his adult life for greater democracy in Singapore
  22. ^ "Philip Jeyaretnam: Soaring To New Heights - Prestige Online". Prestige Singapore. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  23. ^ "Apex Publications Services". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  24. ^ "The Granting of Mareva Injunctions in Support of Foreign Court Proceedings". Singapore Academy of Law Journal. 14 April 2016. 
  25. ^ Reuters, Thomson. "Sweet & Maxwell Singapore - Online Bookstore". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  26. ^ "Indonesia changes course in investor protection". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  27. ^ "Myanmar and the New York convention: Not just a piece of paper". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  28. ^ "The rise of international arbitration in Asia: The role of Singapore and Singapore law". Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  29. ^ "Raffles Place reviewed". The Straits Times. 2016-06-18. Retrieved 2017-05-26. 
  30. ^ "Light Among The Shadows". The Business Times. Retrieved 2017-05-26.