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Medical law and ethics lawyer Kuah Boon Theng appointed senior counsel

[SINGAPORE] Medical law and ethics lawyer Kuah Boon Theng was appointed senior counsel on Monday, in an announcement made by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon at the Opening of Legal Year 2018.

Ms Kuah, 50, director of Legal Clinic law firm, will join other senior counsel in the top ranks of Singapore's lawyers. To date, 63 senior counsel have been appointed.

The accolade - Singapore's equivalent to Britain's Queen's Counsel - is given to outstanding lawyers with extensive knowledge of the law and the highest professional standing.

The scheme started in 1997.

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Ms Kuah, who was admitted as an advocate and solicitor in March 1991, has been practising law for almost 30 years and has a special interest in healthcare law.

The National University of Singapore graduate obtained a Master of Arts degree in medical ethics and law from King's College University of London in 1993.

She has three children - two are undergraduates and a 13-year-old has special needs.

"I have a particular concern for working mothers who feel they have to give up practice," she said. "They are a valuable group we need to invest in, and I find that working mothers are the most organised and efficient, and go about their working quietly and efficiently."

She also credited her late mother, who died 14 years ago, as a source of her inspiration, recounting a pep talk they had in her early years when Ms Kuah struggled as an "anxious" working mother.

She had planned to quit being a lawyer and had discussed it with her mother, who was a housewife.

"She told me that she never had a choice to have a career and didn't understand why I wanted to give it up... it taught me not to take my career for granted and see it as a blessing and not a burden," said Ms Kuah.

When asked what her most memorable cases were, Ms Kuah said she learnt the most from the cases she took on and lost in her first few years of practice.

"It was these early lessons that taught me the most. You learn a lot more from failures than successes."

THE STRAITS TIMES