Dawn Quek

Dawn Quek

Principal
Wong & Leow LLC

Biography

Dawn Quek is a leading tax and private client lawyer in Singapore with many years of experience in corporate tax and international tax planning. She is the Head of the Wealth Management practice in Singapore and is the Asia Pacific representative on the Firm's Global Wealth Management Steering Committee.

Dawn is consistently ranked as a leading tax and private client/wealth lawyer by various legal publications including Chambers High Net Worth (HNW) Guide, International Tax Review Women in Tax Leaders Guide and the Legal 500 Asia Pacific. She was named "Private Client Lawyer of the Year" at the 2018 Asia Legal Awards by The Asian Lawyer, and named "Women in Wealth Management" at the 2018 and 2020 WealthBriefingAsia Awards.

Dawn is a key player in the local wealth management and financial services scene. She frequently participates in formal and informal consultations with government authorities on law reform on issues relating to the wealth management and financial services industry from a tax and legal perspective. She has also co-written articles on international tax planning issues in various tax and legal journals published by CCH and BNA. In addition, Dawn has been quoted extensively in publications such as the New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, Reuters, the Financial Times, the Straits Times, the Business Times and Asian Private Banker on issues and developments affecting the wealth management industry in Singapore.

Practice Focus

Dawn advises on tax and wealth management. She assists high net-worth families with their tax, trust and estate planning issues on a multijurisdictional basis, focusing on setting up family offices and using onshore and offshore trust structures and other vehicles to help clients hold and transfer wealth through generations. She advises financial institutions serving such families on issues and regulations that affect their business.

She also provides and coordinates regional and local tax advice for multinational corporations and financial institutions on cross-border transactions and tax restructuring. Her practice includes advising multinationals and financial institutions on the tax issues arising from the set-up of their regional operations, including structuring their operations, obtaining tax incentives, planning for indirect taxes (such as goods and services tax and stamp duty) and tax restructuring. She has a focus in tax structuring for financial institutions and funds, and advises in the fintech space. She also has extensive experience in advising on tax issues in respect of mergers and acquisitions, and has assisted many clients in resolving tax disputes.

Representative Legal Matters

  • Setting up pre- and post-IPO trusts for wealthy families with connections in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, India and the United States.
  • Advised on estate and succession planning for a wealthy Singaporean family in respect of the founder's block of shares in a Singapore-listed company, involving a complex trust structure and a shareholders' agreement.
  • Advising single family offices on the legal, regulatory and tax issues in respect of setting up in Singapore including assisting an established European family office on the set-up of a Singapore family office presence and working with a Singaporean family on professionalising their family office operations.
  • Advising various ultra-high net worth individuals on their application for Singapore permanent residence under the Global Investor Programme (GIP) and the establishment of their business from a regulatory, legal and tax perspective. 
  • Setting up structures for privately held businesses, involving estate and succession planning and tax planning for the underlying businesses, including obtaining tax incentives in Singapore.
  • Advising trustees in respect of trust disputes, strategies to minimise trustee exposure, review and update of standard trust deeds, as well as advice on tax issues with respect to the trusts that they administer.
  • Advising various multinational clients on the set up of the regional operations using Singapore as regional headquarters or as a trading principal (including the negotiation of tax incentives from various government organisations including the Economic Development Board, Maritime Port Authority of Singapore and International Enterprise Singapore). 
  • Assisting funds of funds, private equity funds and hedge funds on structuring for tax efficiency including negotiating and obtaining tax incentives from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
  • Advising financial institutions on legal issues that affect their businesses (such as changes to anti-money laundering legislation and exchange of information for tax purposes), various matters (including bond issues, financing transactions and structured finance) as well as the tax implications of various lines of business and structuring to obtain tax incentives. 
  • Assisting clients in dealing with and resolving disputes with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Law Society of Singapore - Member
  • Singapore Trustees Association - Executive Committee and Technical Committee member
  • Singapore Academy of Law - Member

Admissions

  • England & Wales (non-practicing)~United Kingdom (2009)
  • Singapore (2003)

Education

  • New York University School of Law (LL.M. Taxation) (2005)
  • National University of Singapore (LL.B.) (2002)

Languages

  • English
  • Mandarin

Previous Offices

  • Hong Kong