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Buachaill, Lawyer
Category: Republic of Ireland Law
Satisfied Customers: 10528
Experience:  Barrister 17 years experience
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I have sent money to the bank account of a Singapore based

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I have sent money to the bank account of a Singapore based firm with which I have no business relationship.

The reason I did this is that I had worked with a financial advisor who named me the firm as a clearing house and for two transactions instructed me to send funds to this account. It turns out that the financial advisor company is a scam company and that the Singapore firm has no business relationship with it.

The Singapore police has confirmed that on the account of the Singapore firm the money I sent, has been received. It may well be that a fraudulent employee sent the money to anywhere overseas without that the management of the Singapore firm took notice.

I have sent a registered mail to the Singapore firm, asking to refund the money to my account and gave a deadline end of May. I did not receive any response and did not receive any money, either.

I think that - as there is no relationship between myself and the Singapore firm and as the Singapore firm has received my money and I have a proof of it, it should be pretty straightforward to get the money back, as long as the Singapore firm is not bankrupt. To my understanding this is a case of unjust enrichment. Am I right?

How can I get the money back from the Singapore firm? Should I ask a Singapore based lawyer to send a letter? If so: where can I find a suitable lawyer and how much may that cost? Should I sue the Singapore firm? How can I do this? How much may this cost me? I live in Spain and cannot do too much in Singapore myself...

Thanks and best regards!
1. At the outset, you are correct that this is a case of restitution of monies paid over due to a mistake. In this regard, the Singapore law of unjust enricment is similar to the UK law of mistaken payments laid down in Lipkin Gorman v. Karpnale and it allows restitution for cases of payments made due to a mistake of fact or law. So you should be able to successfully recoup your monies provided the Singapore company is not bankrupt.
2. The best method to recoup your monies is to hire a Singapore solicitor to send a letter requiring payment in default of which legal proceedings can be issued in Singapore. As you want the mistaken payment to be enforceable in Singapore, then you are better off sue there from the outset, as there may be problems enforcing a foreign judgment in Singapore if the Singapore courts believe they should have had jurisdiction over the matter from the outset. I am unable to recommend a firm of solicitors in Singapore as the Terms & Conditions of this Website preclude that occurring. However, i would say to you that there are many London firms of solicitors with offices in Singapore and you should be able to utilise one of these firms to bring proceedings on your behalf.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Do you have any idea of the cost I should expect the solicitor to charge me? Are there cost differences between solicitors in Singapore or are prices regulated?

3. There are cost differences between solicitors in Singapore, as prices are not regulated. However, prices are high and you will expect to pay City of London rates.