Recently, with regards to the debt disputes between the appellant Suntech Power Investment Pte. Ltd (“SPI”) and the appellee Power Solar System Co., Ltd (“PSS”), the Court of Appeal of the Singapore Supreme Court struck out the appeal of SPI, upheld the first instance judgment, and held that SPI shall pay nearly USD 200 million and interests to PSS. During the first instance before the Singapore Supreme Court, Mr. Yang Wantao, a senior partner from Zhong Lun Law Firm, has offered expert opinions with regards to relevant PRC legal issues as an expert witness before the Singapore Supreme Court and such opinions have been accepted.
该案面临的挑战之一在于，一方当事人的代理律师能否作为专家证人出庭作证，如果能，法庭在审查该专家意见时，应该遵循何种标准。由于杨挽涛律师同时作为PSS公司的代理人处理其与SPI公司之间在上海法院长达数年的诉讼，因此其作为新加坡法院诉讼中专家证人的独立性会受到对方和法院的质疑。但是，PSS的清算人及新加坡律师团队在充分评估之后，决定聘请杨律师为专家证人。SPI公司的新加坡律师在新加坡高等法院庭审质证中也确实以此专门挑战了杨律师的独立性和专业性，新加坡高等法院也指出会严格审查杨律师的意见。最终，新加坡高等法院采纳了杨律师的全部专家意见，认为杨律师的意见“合理，审慎且有依据”，并在判决中写到“indeed, he struck me as quite a candid witness（实际上，在我看来，他是一个非常公正坦率的[专家]证人）”。
One of the challenges of this case is that whether the legal counsel of one party could appear before the court as an expert witness; if yes, what standard of examination the court should follow? As Mr. Yang is also representing PSS to deal with its lawsuits in Shanghai with SPI, so his independence will be challenged by the opposing party and the court. However, after full evaluations, PSS’ liquidator and Singaporean lawyers decided to appoint Mr. Yang as an expert witness. In the cross-examination, SPI’s lawyer indeed challenged Mr. Yang’s independence and expertise, and the Singapore Supreme Court also pointed out that it will scrutinize Mr. Yang’s opinions. Finally, the Singapore Supreme Court accepted all expert opinions of Mr. Yang, held that Mr. Yang’s opinions were “reasonable, measured and backed by authority” and wrote in the judgment that “indeed, he struck me as quite a candid witness.”