25 Feb 2022

Watson Farley & Williams mourns death of Singapore office head

Leading maritime lawyer remembered as a ‘superb lawyer who inspired great trust and loyalty’

Headshot of Mei Lin Goh

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) is mourning the death from cancer of Mei Lin Goh, the longstanding head of its Singapore office.

Mei was a top-ranked, award-winning lawyer who specialised in advising on cross-border asset, project and structured finance transactions in the maritime and logistics, and energy sectors. 

WFW said in a statement that the firm ‘just won’t be the same without her’. ‘Mei, who joined the firm in September 1998, was loved and respected by all who knew and worked with her and will be hugely missed,’ it added.

Speaking to shipping news outlet Trade Winds, WFW senior partner George Paleokrassas said: “She was a superb lawyer who inspired great trust and loyalty in her clients but, above all, it is her qualities as a wonderful human being which set her apart.”
 
Mei began her career as a barrister with the Crown Prosecution Service in London before returning to Singapore in 1994. She spent three years with Khattar Wong & Partners, where she requalified in Singapore and Malaysia law, and then joined Sinclair Roche & Temperley ahead of the office's acquisition by WFW in 1998.
 
Standout deals in her career included advising 27 international and local banks in 2016 on the $14bn merger of Hapag-Lloyd and United Arab Shipping Company creating one of the five largest container shipping lines in the world.
 
In an interview published by Watson Farley in 2019, she addressed the challenges facing women lawyers.

‘The biggest challenge... is still trying to balance family and work pressures/requirements, as these increase with leadership and even now, although there are more men getting involved in domestic matters, the bulk of the responsibility still falls on the woman,' she said. ‘Women also do have to be prepared to put themselves forward more and to speak up – not to be aggressive or demanding but not to be afraid about coming forward.’
 
In a tribute posted on LinkedIn, Manik Verma, a legal director at Ince & Co in Singapore, wrote: ‘Mei was a wonderful person apart from being a great mentor to me. She was always kind, helpful and understanding. I had great pleasure in working with her at WFW for almost six years and more importantly, I wouldn't be where I am now.’
 

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