S'pore High Court judge releases full names of 6 trainee lawyers who cheated during Bar exams

Better to face the music and seek second chances from those willing to help them.

Belmont Lay | April 27, 2022, 04:07 PM

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A High Court judge in Singapore released the names of the six trainee lawyers who had cheated during the Bar exams.

Justice Choo Han Teck cited as his reason in another judgment released on April 27 that it is better for them "to face the publicity than to hide from it”.

The judge had on April 18 previously redacted their names from his earlier written judgment.

The six trainee lawyers are:

Monica Devaraj

Kushal Atul Shah

Sreeraam Ravenderan

Lynn Quek Yi Ting

Matthew Chow Jun Feng

Lionel Wong Choong Yoong

Redaction of names reversed

Justice Choo said he had initially redacted the names to allow the process of recovery by the graduates to be carried out quietly and uneventfully.

The application by the Attorney-General (AG) to reverse the redaction and sealing orders was then allowed.

Act of redemption to be approached publicly

The judge noted that redemption can occur in this case by "baring one's face and looking everyone in the eye, to see which kind of persons one confronts”.

He also acknowledged the “tremendous public interest” in the graduates’ identities was "borne" by "curiosity, indignation, as well as sympathy”.

As a result of exposing their identities, Justice Choo said the trainee lawyers might face those who will not forgive them, but also encounter those who would encourage them to "try again" and "get it right".

The judge also said the Law Society of Singapore is now responsible for helping the six law graduates.


The cheating first came to light earlier in April 2022.

The law graduates had cheated in Part B of their Bar exams in 2020.

Five of the students used WhatsApp to share answers in six of the papers.

They were made to retake the six papers.

The sixth student colluded with another examinee and cheated in three of the papers.

As punishment, one law graduate's application for admission to the Bar was delayed by one year.

The other five had their application for admission delayed by six months.

According to Justice Choo's earlier judgement, the majority of these six graduates were trained in "big and renowned" firms, including two foreign offshore firms here.

He also questioned if the mode of "present-day examinations" was more conducive for cheating and if such a culture had been brewing in the earlier stages of an applicant's education.

The 2020 Bar Examination had been held online.

The examination was open-book, which meant that candidates could refer to their notes.

Names initially redacted

Justice Choo had said initially that redacting the names was not to prejudice the trainee lawyers' long-term prospects, but also warned that future cheats may not get off leniently.

The AG had objected to admitting the six students to the Singapore Bar at an admission hearing.

Five more trainee lawyers have been caught cheating during the exams in 2020 as well, but have not been named.

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