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Singapore High Court awards client over $106,900 as recovery of unpaid salary in employment dispute, dismissing plaintiff's $17.6 million claim


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Walter Silvester


“The Court not only dismissed the Plaintiff’s claims but also allowed the Defendant’s counterclaim for a total of $106,900 against the Plaintiff with costs of $90,000 and disbursements of $56,871.55 awarded to the Defendant to cover his legal expenses incurred as a result of the Plaintiff’s failed claim.”


Omae Capital Management Pte Ltd v Tetsuya Motomura [2015] SGHCR 8 /Omae Capital Management Pte Ltd v Tetsuya Motomura [2020] SGHC 126

[Employment Law – Termination of Employee’s Employment without notice, recovery of unpaid salary]


The Defendant was the Plaintiff’s ex-employee in this case. The Plaintiff was alleging that the Defendant intentionally concealed the ongoing investigations into the Defendant in Tokyo so as to obtain the job with the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff also alleged that because of this concealment, they were deceived into submitting a Form 22A to the Monetary Authority of Singapore that was untrue which caused the Plaintiff to claim for damages amounting to a total of $17,593,867.70


The Plaintiff’s claim eventually fell through entirely as they did not participate in the trial. Furthermore, Mr Silvester also successfully argued for the Defendant’s counterclaim against the Defendant. In the Defendant’s counterclaim, the main argument was that the Plaintiff forcing the Defendant to turn in a resignation letter amounted to termination without notice and not a valid resignation by the Defendant. The counterclaim also included a claim for the reimbursement of the rental deposit previously paid by the Defendant.


In summary, the counterclaim was successful and the Defendant managed to get:

  1. $43,400 for arrears in salary as the Plaintiff was found to have not paid fully for three months’ of the Defendant’s salary;
  2. $50,100 for three months’ salary in lieu of notice as the Plaintiff was found to have terminated the Defendant’s employment without notice as required by his employment contract; and 
  3. $13,400 for the return of the Defendant’s rental deposit that the Plaintiff was supposed to reimburse. 


Mr Silvester also successfully argued for the costs and disbursements for the sums of $90,000 and $56,817.55 respectively for which the Plaintiff was liable to pay to the Defendant.

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