Appeals to the Minister for Law for exemption (or approval in advance)
Exemption from "Qualified Person" Requirements
Under Rule 16 of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules, the Minister for Law may exempt a person from any of the provisions of the "qualified person" requirements in Part II or III of the Rules, subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister may think fit to impose, and the person shall, to the extent of the exemption, be a “qualified person” (see 'Am I a Qualified Person?').
Under Section 14 of the Legal Profession Act, the Minister for Law may, in his discretion, if he is of the opinion that a person possesses such qualification or expertise as would contribute to, promote or enhance the quality of legal services in Singapore or the economic or technological development of Singapore, approve the person as a qualified person for the purposes of the Act, subject to such conditions as the Minister may think fit to impose.
Exemption from Part A
If you are a senior legal practitioner with substantial experience (for example, a partner in a law firm), you may wish to try seeking an exemption from the Minister for Law from the requirement to take Part A of the Bar Examinations.
However, please note that exemptions from Part A are not granted automatically, even if you fulfil the above requirements. All appeals for exemption are considered case-by-case on their individual merits.
Exemption from Part B and the Practice Training Period
Under Section 4 of the Legal Profession Act, the Minister for Law may exempt individuals from Part B of the Bar Examinations and the practice training period, as well as approve individuals as “qualified persons”, subject to such terms and conditions as the Minister may think fit to impose.
(i) You obtained an approved law degree from an approved university and you fulfil all the other "qualified person" criteria (please check the guide ‘Am I a Qualified Person?’);
(ii) You are admitted to practise in a common law jurisdiction; and
(iii) You have obtained at least 2 years of “relevant legal practice or work” and/or “relevant legal training” as defined in Rule 2 of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules.
However, please note that exemptions from Part B and the practice training period are not granted automatically, even if you fulfil all the above requirements. All appeals for exemption are considered case-by-case on their individual merits.
Exemption from the requirement to complete the 6-month training requirements within a continuous period of 8 months
(A) Practice Training Period
The general requirement under Rule 14(3) read together with Rule 17(1) of the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011 is that qualified persons must complete the 6-month practice training period within a continuous period of 8 months.
(B) “Relevant legal training” and/or “relevant legal practice or work”
Under the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules, the general requirement is that overseas graduates must, before commencing Part B and the practice training period, obtain 6 months of “relevant legal training” and/or “relevant legal practice or work” within a continuous period of 8 months.
If you are unable to fulfil the above requirements, you may wish to appeal to the Minister for Law for an exemption.
Appeal for Exemption Form
All appeals for exemption (from the "qualified person" requirements, Part B or the practice training period) must be made using the Appeal for Exemption Form. If you are seeking approval in advance before accepting a place at a university or before graduating, you should also use the same form.
Full details of the supporting documents required can be found within the Appeal for Exemptions Form.
- It can take around a few months for appeals to be processed as external parties may be consulted. It is your responsibility to submit your appeal in a timely manner. If you are in the final year of your law degree, you may submit an appeal prior to obtaining your degree and transcripts. However, we can only inform you of our decision after you have submitted certified true copies of your degree and academic transcripts.
- Please note that we receive a high volume of queries and it can take up to 14 working days (about 3 weeks) for us to reply. We will contact you if we require any further information or clarification. We will inform you of our decision by post in due course.
- Each appeal is considered case-by-case on its individual merits. We are unable to disclose the reasons why an appeal was successful or unsuccessful.
- Where your appeal was unsuccessful, please note that re-appeals on the same facts are unlikely to produce a different result. You should consider re-appealing only if there are new material facts or circumstances that demonstrate a stronger case for the particular exemption sought.