Prominent Singapore entertainment lawyer Samuel Souw Theng Beng has lost his license to practise law after a court ruled on Wednesday that he should be barred for a series of assaults against his staff.
Souw, who headed the eponymous Samuel Souw Law Corporation and the Beam Artistes talent management firm, had previously pleaded guilty to eight Law Society of Singapore accusations of assault between March and April 2019.
The Law Society subsequently recommended that action should be taken by The Court of Three, the highest body for the legal profession. Souw now faces criminal charges over the same incidents.
In a written judgement, the court said: “It is plain that a reasonable person would, without hesitation, say that as a solicitor [Souw] should not have done what he has done. His misconduct brings him discredit as a lawyer and brings discredit to the legal profession as a whole.”
Singapore media report that Souw poked the face of and pushed a female events executive. After being restrained by others in the office including his niece, Souw broke free and repeatedly slapped the face of his niece, before hitting another woman on the arm.
On other occasions Souw is reported to have thrown files, boxes and a metal stapler at the first woman. Channel News Asia reports that he threatened to kill the woman on one occasion. Audio and video of some of the assaults, which took place in the company offices, were uploaded to the internet.
The court found few mitigating circumstances. It described “such volatility and lack of self-control that it detracts from his ability to discharge his professional functions,” said the court. “His behavior was egregious, involving both protracted instances of physical and verbal abuse … and extreme threats.” It also said that eight examples of lack of self-control in little more than a month constituted a pattern of misbehavior.