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.
Throughout his career spanning almost two decades, Desmond has been involved in many complex cases. He 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.
An avid sportsman, he is currently the chairman of Tampines Rovers Football Club, a position he’s held since September 2017. Desmond had also served as a director of the Singapore Dance Theatre from 2005 to 2020.