In hot water—indeed, fighting for its very existence—with Singaporean regulators, 3 Degrees Asset Management is blaming its former lawyer.
The US$215 million fund was ordered closed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore last month over a pair of suspect trades that, according to the regulator, were designed to channel money to a company controlled by 3 Degrees founder Mohamed Ibrahim. But, according to the company, it's all a big misunderstanding due to the incompetence—or worse—of 3 Degrees' former general counsel, Ng Wee Chong.
3 Degrees, whose Nov. 9 execution date has been stayed pending a court hearing on Nov. 14, has sued Ng, accusing him of failure in "all legal aspects" of setting up the loans. In its order shutting 3 Degrees down, the MAS wrote that Ng had "no reason or incentive to structure the loans in that manner without Ibrahim's approval."
That charge was apparently based on a statement to the MAS from Ng last year, in which he claimed that the two loans were connected and that Ibrahim wanted no paper trail for them.
"All transactions were commercial, properly documented and arm's length in nature," Ibrahim told Bloomberg News. "It's a false allegation by a disgruntled former employee who's upset because he was terminated during his honeymoon."
Ng was fired by 3 Degrees in March of 2009.