Christie, Hamish Alexander v Tan Boon Kian [2021] SGHC 62 – bankrupt’s payments to family members clawed back – unfair preference and undervalue transactions

Christie, Hamish Alexander (as private trustee in bankruptcy of Tan Boon Kian) v Tan Boon Kian and others [2021] SGHC 62 

Significance: The bankrupt made certain cheque payments to his family members in the clawback period prior to his bankruptcy. The trustee in bankruptcy applied to claw back these payments for being unfair preference (as two of the family members were also creditors of the bankrupt) and undervalue transaction (this was essentially a gift to his daughter which she used to pay for expenses for her wedding, which cost a total of about S$135,000).  The statutory presumption of unfair preference was not found to have been rebutted. The court found that it would not be justified to not order a claw back for the gift to the daughter as it would otherwise be tantamount to the bankrupt’s creditors footing the bill of the daughter’s “lavish wedding”.

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