Annual Teaching Excellence Awards 2015

NUS Law congratulates Prof Alan Tan ’93, Prof Walter Woon ’81, Assoc Prof Joel Lee, Assoc Prof Stephen Phua ’88, Assoc Prof Umakanth Varrotil  '10 (Ph.D), and Asst Prof Swati Jhaveri on being awarded the Annual Teaching Excellence Awards for 2015!


Recognised for their high level of commitment to teaching during the year, the recipients were presented with the award by Dean Simon Chesterman on 13 January 2015 at the faculty’s “Semester Welcome Lunch”. 

Professor Alan Tan
Alan Tan specialises in Aviation Law, Maritime Law, Criminal Law and Environmental Law. Born in Penang, Malaysia, Alan was educated at the Penang Free School and Raffles Junior College, subsequently obtaining an LL.B from NUS and an LL.M and a J.S.D. from Yale Law School. He was the winner of the Koh Han Kok Prize for International Law at NUS, and his doctoral thesis on the law and politics of shipping regulation won the Ambrose Gherini International Law Prize at Yale Law School.  

Alan was Vice-Dean for Graduate Studies and Research at NUS Law (2006 to 2010) and Director (Projects) in the Office of the Provost at NUS (2011 to 2012), overseeing the newly-established Yale-NUS College's double degree programs. He was also Director of the NYU@NUS Dual Degree program through which students obtained two LL.M degrees from the New York University and NUS Law Schools. In 2009, he was appointed as Hauser Global Visiting Professor at New York University School of Law, where he taught global aviation law and policy. He has also taught at the University of Sydney and served as a consultant to various governments and donor agencies, including the Vietnamese government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Alan has also been engaged as a consultant on aviation liberalization in Asia by the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Arab League and various national governments.


Professor Walter Woon

 Walter Woon’s research interests and speciality are in Criminal Law, Company Law and International Law. A graduate of NUS Law’s class of ’81, Walter was Sub-Dean and Vice-Dean of the Faculty from 1988-1991. He later became a Nominated Member of Parliament from 1992-1996, and was Legal Adviser to President and Council of Presidential Advisers 1995-1997. Walter was also Ambassador for Singapore between 1998 and 2006 in Germany, Greece, the European Union, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the Vatican.


He was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of St Gregory the Great in 2006, was Solicitor-General from 2006-2008, and Attorney-General from 2008 – 2010. Currently, Walter is Chairman of the Singapore International Law Society, Dean to the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, and President of the Goethe Institute Singapore.



Associate Professor Joel Lee

Joel Lee runs the faculty's Negotiation and Mediation Workshops. A graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and Harvard Law Schools, Joel is a consultant with CMPartners (USA) and a principal mediator with and a trainer of the Singapore Mediation Centre.  

Joel has extensive experience as a consultant and trainer for corporate clients such as Standard Chartered Bank, Freshfields, the Singapore Institute of Management, Service Quality Centre, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, the Government Insurance Corporation of Singapore, SingTel, IE Singapore and EDB.  

Joel is an adjudicator with the Financial Industry Disputes Resolution Centre and a member of the ADR Advisory Council of the Subordinate Courts of Singapore. He is also a member of the International Mediation Institute's Independent Standards Commission and Intercultural Taskforce. In November 2014, the Singapore International Mediation Institute was launched with Joel as the institute’s chairman. 

Joel was Vice-Dean for Student Affairs (2011-2014) at NUS Law and has taught overseas at the University of Copenhagen (Denmark), University of Law, Economics and Science of Aix-Marseille (Aix-en-Provence France) and Anglia Law School (UK).


Associate Professor Stephen Phua

Stephen Phua teaches Income Tax, Goods and Services Tax, Corporate Taxation, International Tax and Business & Finance for Lawyers in the Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore. He is a consultant with the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS) and an examiner with the Chartered Institute of Taxation in London. He is also an Eastern Scholar, Shanghai, PRC and a Visiting Professor at the International Law School of East China University of Law and Politics in Shanghai, PRC. He is a member of INTR, OECD and is a program advisor to the International Tax and Investment Center in Washington DC.  

He was a visiting scholar/professor to several leading universities in Australia, Canada, China, Japan and the USA. He was a member of the Tax Advisory Group in Ministry of Finance. He served as a member for more than a decade on each one of the three tax tribunals in Singapore (Income Tax Board of Review, Goods and Services Tax Board of Review and Valuation Review Board). Prior to joining IRAS, he was a tax consultant in a leading law firm in Singapore.


Associate Professor Umakanth Varrotil

Umakanth specialises in corporate law and governance, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance. While his work is generally comparative in nature, his specific focus is on India and Singapore. He has co-authored two books on Singapore law and practice, published articles in international journals and founded the Indian Corporate Law Blog. He has also taught on a visiting basis at the Fordham Law School, New York and at various law schools in India. He is the recipient of several academic medals and honours.  

Prior to his foray into academia, Umakanth was a partner at a pre-eminent law firm in India. During that time, he was also ranked as a leading corporate/mergers & acquisitions lawyer in India by the Chambers Global Guide.




Assistant Professor Swati Jhaveri

Swati previously taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Law from 2006 -2014. Her areas of research include public law and the law of torts. She has published in these areas in Public Law, the Tort Law Review and the International Journal of Constitutional Law. While at CUHK, she was awarded the Vice Chancellor's Exemplary Teaching Award. She was also awarded a competitive research grant from the General Research Fund of the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong to investigate the post-1997 impact of judicial review on legislative process and content.  

Swati obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Jurisprudence (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) from the University of Oxford. She previously practiced law at Allen & Overy, specialising in international commercial arbitration. She is a Solicitor of the Hong Kong SAR and England & Wales and is a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.