Sands sues S’pore law group again after conference mishaps


Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s Singapore casino has filed a second lawsuit against a lawyers’ group that refused to pay its bills for a May conference, even as both sides discuss a settlement.

The latest suit comes after Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson said June 23 that he was ready to settle with the lawyers “any day they want” and he would “rather make love than war.”

Marina Bay Sands Pte., a unit of Sands, is seeking S$641,246 ($466,496) from IPBA 2010 Pte over unpaid bills, according to a lawsuit filed with the Singapore High Court on June 28. The organizer of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association conference said in its June 8 lawsuit Sands misrepresented a “complete disaster” as a world-class venue.

Sands, which hasn’t served the latest lawsuit, and IPBA met for settlement talks late last week, Yap Wai Ming, chairman of IPBA’s organizing committee, said yesterday in an e-mailed response to questions.

The casino resort has six months to formally turn over the papers to IPBA, following which the law group will have eight days to respond, according to court papers.

Lisa Williamson, a spokeswoman for Marina Bay Sands, declined to comment.

IPBA paid S$200,000 of the S$841,245.75 bill, according to court papers. Sands will deduct S$300,000 from its latest claim if it manages to recover the amount from an earlier lawsuit, the resort said in court papers.

‘Limelight Again’

Sands “wanted to see if we could resolve everything and they would discontinue the actions later,” Yap said. “Once they serve on us, we are obliged to respond and they may not want this in the limelight again.”

Delegates at the conference complained of unfinished rooms, power failures, closed facilities and lost luggage. The Bar Association’s annual general meeting discussed an “unprecedented” motion empowering it to sue Sands, according to IPBA’s lawsuit.

Sands used the attendance of Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew at the event to speed up its casino permit, according to the June 8 suit.

The conference, chaired by Lee Suet Fern, daughter-in-law of Lee Kuan Yew, was held May 2-5, only days after Las Vegas Sands opened parts of the $5.5 billion resort. The resort was originally scheduled to open at the end of 2009.

The case is Marina Bay Sands Pte Ltd. v IPBA 2010 Singapore Pte Ltd. S464/2010 in the Singapore High Court.

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