Dorothy Tan

Dorothy Tan

Deputy Head, Family & Divorce Practice Group

Dorothy Tan is the Deputy Head of the Family Law Practice Group in PKWA Law. She is a Senior Associate Director in PKWA Law.

Early Achievements and Court of Appeal wins

At just 25 years old, Dorothy led a team to successfully argue and win at the Court of Appeal. She argued on the new Singapore law on the division of matrimonial assets.

In her second Court of Appeal case, she successfully increased her clients’s share of matrimonial assets from 25% to 75% of $13.6 million.  This dramatic swing from 25% to 75% for her client is arguably one of the biggest amounts in appeals court history.

In another significant case, Dorothy went up against a Senior Counsel and won over $6 million for her homemaker client after a six-year legal battle.

Recognised Expertise

Dorothy's expertise is widely acknowledged:

  • Doyle’s Guide: Ranked as a Leading Family and Divorce Lawyer in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.
  • Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific: Listed as a "Top 100 Women in Litigation" in 2021 and 2022.
  • Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific:  Recognised as a “Litigation Star” in 2021, 2022 and 2024.
  • Asian Legal Business: Shortlisted for “Woman Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business in 2018 and 2024.
  • Singapore Business Review: Named one of Singapore's "Most Influential Lawyers aged 40 and under" in 2016.

Co-author of “Divorce Done Right” and Other Publications

Dorothy is a thought leader in family law. She co-authored "Divorce Done Right: A Guide to Family Law in Singapore," published in 2021, and contributes to the Lexis Practical Guidance – Family Law Module.

Awards and Accolades

Dorothy is widely regarded as one of the leading divorce lawyers in Singapore:

  • Recognised as a Recommended Singapore Family & Divorce Lawyer in Doyles Guide 2024.
  • Listed as a “Top 40 under 40” lawyer in Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific edition 2024.
  • Dorothy is named as a finalist for “Woman Lawyer of the Year 2024” by Asian Legal Business at its 20th Annual ALB SE Asia Law Awards 2024.
  • Dorothy is named as one of the Top 100 Women in Litigation in Asia-Pacific by Benchmark Litigation in 2021 and 2022.  The list of Top 100 Women in Litigation focuses on "the leading female litigators who have earned their place by participating in the most impactful litigation matters in recent history, as well as by earning the hard-won respect of their peers and clients as top players in their respective fields."
  • Dorothy has won two Court of Appeal cases, including one at the age of 25 where she argued successfully for the husband.  This is a landmark case because the Court of Appeal reaffirmed and summarised the new Singapore law on the division of matrimonial assets (Twiss, Christopher James Hans v Twiss, Yvonne Prendergast [2015] SGCA 52).
  • In her second Court of Appeal victory, Dorothy acted for the husband in a case described by the Court of Appeal judges, in a 60 page decision, as “complicated,” “challenging” and “highly unusual”.  Dorothy's client won 75% of $13.6 million in matrimonial assets, up from 25%. The substantial swing in matrimonial assets from 25% to 75% in favour of our client is arguably one of the highest awards in divorce cases in Singapore.
  • Dorothy is named as Litigation Star in family and matrimonial law in Asia-Pacific by Benchmark Litigation Asia Pacific editions in 2021, 2022 and 2024. The international publisher recognizes “litigation stars in each country as individuals who were recommended consistently as reputable and highly effective litigators by their clients and peers."
  • Dorothy is named as a Leading Family Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide to the Leading Family & Divorce Lawyers in Singapore in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024.
  • Shortlisted for “Woman Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business at the SE Asia Law Awards 2018 and 2024.
  • Dorothy is recognised as one of Asia’s top young lawyers in the Asian Legal Business 2016 listing of “40 under 40 – Asia’s Brightest Young Legal Minds”.
  • Dorothy was also named in the Singapore Business Review's “Singapore's most influential lawyers aged 40 and Under” list for 2016. Singapore’s most influential lawyers aged 40 are described as lawyers who "dominate the city's legal landscape."  Lawyers were selected from a hundred nominees based on thought leadership, influence and success.
  • Shortlisted for “Young Lawyer of the Year” by Asian Legal Business in 2017.

Publications

Appointments and Memberships

  • Singapore Mediation Centre Accredited Mediator.
  • Singapore Mediation Centre Accredited Collaborative Family Practitioner (CFP).
  • Appointed to Singapore Mediation Centre’s Panel of Collaborative Family Practitioners (CFP).
  • Associate Mediator of the Law Society Mediation Scheme Panel of Mediators.
  • Appointed by the Chief Justice to the Inquiry Panel of the Law Society of Singapore.

 

Languages:

English, Chinese

Awards & Recognition

Media & Publications

Appointments & Memberships

Client testimonials

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Christopher Twiss

In my hour of need, I was recommended to PKWA. Dorothy Tan LISTENED to my case and worked tirelessly over the holidays and weekends to meet impossible deadlines. A very upsetting and stressful time, but I will be forever grateful as Dorothy believed in my case and sought a fair and just resolution against insurmountable odds. At every juncture, Dorothy provided realistic, honest assessments and I proceeded based on her recommendations. If Dorothy and her team decide to champion your cause, you should consider yourself very fortunate.

AJ

Dorothy, a big thank you for all the support, guidance and recommendations you have given me. Your judgements and ability to steer the various proceedings were absolutely critical. I was able to give you my full trust. You have certainly made a lasting impact, one which I will not forget. Thank you.

Wendy Teo

Dorothy and team are true partners. When I first met with Dorothy, it was her empathy and professionalism that gained my trust and confidence to engage her service. Throughout the process, she and her team worked relentlessly to help me, explaining in detail the questions that I had and provided sound advice on my possible options and the potential outcome. I am very grateful for them, as they genuinely care and are there to listen; and what’s more, they are very competent, professional and approachable.

Ning

I chanced upon PKWA LAW after I had dried my tears. They seem to know their stuff well. We met about 4 times. Mr Lim and Ms Dorothy took the time to listen and assured me it could be done. We started everything all over again. Within 3 months, I got what that was deemed impossible! Knowing that with the order, I can now proceed to the next step comforts us tremendously. Thank you! Your team made a difference in our lives.

Anonymous

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks and gratitude for your patience, your timely and sound advice during this very difficult period.

Ms K

All of you show me that genuine great lawyers exist. Many more people out there who deserve justice ought to know you.

MN

Thank you so much for your effort and assistance in handling my case. I recognise it has been a long, arduous few years, and I sincerely appreciate your tenacity and professionalism in the process of dealing with an irrational adversary.

ZT

Dear Dorothy, I wanted to express my gratitude for your efforts and dedication to my case. I am grateful to you that you took all the stress and restored everything out for me. Your faith, knowledge and determination were something that solves my worries.

YH Teo

I engaged PKWA for legal advise in my marriage. They are professional and understanding. I especially want to thank Ms Dorothy Tan, Ms Yeow Ing Yee and Ms Christina Lim for their exceptional help, flexibility and patience during the challenging time.

Kaiying Chung

Professional and trustable lawyers. Special thanks to Dorothy, Ing Yee and Christina for assisting.

Suan Kheng Chew

I would like to thank Ms Dorothy Tan and Ms Corinne Wee for their excellent service. They are very professional and efficient in handling my case. Highly recommended!

YH Yeo

I engaged PKWA for legal advise in my marriage. They are professional and understanding. I especially want to thank Ms Dorothy Tan, Ms Yeow Ing Yee and Ms Christina Lim for their exceptional help, flexibility and patience during the challenging time.

SM T

Dorothy and her Team displays high professionalism throughout my divorce proceedings. Dorothy is very experienced and knowledgeable in this field and provided me with very good advice and was able to close my case swiftly, achieving the desired outcome. My utmost appreciation to them to take me through this most difficult journey.

Andrew

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Dorothy Tan who represented me during my divorce proceeding. Her calm demeanour, professional approach and honest advice engendered confidence in me throughout this painfully difficult period of my life. I always felt comfortable working with Dorothy, knowing that my best interests were being served, and am very satisfied with the final outcome of the divorce settlement. I strongly recommend Dorothy if you need an outstanding divorce legal counsel.

Bjorn Vang Jansen

PKWA Law represented me in my recent divorce, which was eventually resolved amicably and satisfactorily. Dorothy Tan and her team were a tremendous support throughout this stressful process. I have no hesitation in recommending PKWA Law and Dorothy to anyone looking for competent, knowledgeable, sympathetic, and efficient representation!

Mr K

Thank you so very much for the resolving the matters quickly. I am really glad that it’s over finally, at one point I thought things will never end. I am really glad that I don’t have to pay for any maintenance monthly. Thanks again for tolerating many questions and dealing with some of my anxiety at times.

Franck L

I wish to convey my appreciation to Dorothy and her team Ing Yee and Firdaus who represented me in my divorce. I have received excellent legal representation and professionalism in every aspect of the process. Dorothy took the time to listen to all my concerns and responded with clear, concise notes outlining all the different courses of action including the positives and negatives with each choice. I felt greatly assured by this outstanding team of professionals. I am grateful to have Dorothy and her team who handled this case with what I would consider perfection, dedication and utmost competence. It was a great pleasure working with this wonderful team.

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