Desmond Ong

Singapore Office

Profile and Expertise

Desmond spent his early years of practice at Messrs Allen & Gledhill and Messrs Rajah & Tann. In 1998, Desmond became the Managing Partner of Messrs J Koh & Co, a niche practice specialising in corporate restructuring and complex litigation work. Under his stewardship, the firm grew to over 60 employees across offices in four jurisdictions.

In 2003, DLA Piper acquired Messrs J Koh & Co and Desmond became the Managing Director of its Singapore office and head of its South East Asian practices. In 2008, Desmond set up and managed the Singapore operations of Eversheds, another leading international law firm. In 2013, Desmond returned to focus on local work by setting up his own boutique firm which subsequently merged with JLC Advisors LLP.

Desmond has been consistently named as a leading individual in the Asia Pacific Legal 500, in both the Dispute Resolution and Corporate categories – one of the very few individuals to be cited in both sections. He has also been repeatedly cited by Asian Legal Business as one of the “Hottest 100 lawyers” in Asia.


Throughout his career spanning almost two decades, Desmond has been involved in many complex cases. Desmond has advised, amongst others, Nick Leeson in relation to the collapse of Barings Bank, Chen Jiulin in relation to the trading losses of China Aviation Oil, the corruption charges against Airocean’s CEO and most recently, City Harvest Church. Desmond has also advised and represented governments, statutory boards, listed companies, REITs and MNCs.


L.L.B., National University of Singapore

Bar Qualifications

Singapore / England & Wales


English, Mandarin