7 Jun 2007 Posted in Announcements
Senior Minister of State for Law Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee tabled the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill in Parliament today. The main aim of the Bill is to implement the recommendations made by the Review Committee formed to evaluate the Joint Law Venture (JLV) and Formal Law Alliance (FLA) schemes, and the recommendations of the Third Committee of Supply of Lawyers. Both committees were chaired by former Attorney-General Chan Sek Keong. These recommendations were earlier publicised. 1
Recommendations of the Review Committee on JLV and FLA Schemes
The JLV and FLA schemes were launched in 1999 to allow local firms to collaborate with foreign law firms to provide a convenient and efficient mode for delivery of legal services in cross-border financial transactions. A Review Committee was formed in July 2005 to review the two schemes. The Committee found that the range of legal services in foreign laws and Singapore law available in Singapore was satisfactory and met the current legal needs of the strategic service sectors of the economy. The schemes were found to be structurally sound and appropriate to their objectives.
The Review Committee made several recommendations to enhance the schemes.
Supply of Lawyers
The Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers (the “Third Committee”) was formed in December 2005 to review the supply of lawyers, as part of periodic reviews to ensure that the supply of lawyers keeps pace with demand.
- The Third Committee noted the rising demand for legal talent as well as the attrition of the Singapore Bar in recent years and among its recommendations, made the following:
- Consider the feasibility of setting up a second law school in Singapore to produce an additional estimated 90 students.
- Allow Singapore law firms to hire foreign legal talent who may eventually qualify to practise Singapore law in the areas of finance, banking and corporate work and other areas of legal or regional practice as may be approved by the Attorney-General if they pass a Qualifying Exam.
Other Proposed Amendments to the Act
- Apart from amendments relating to the recommendations made by the two committees, the following amendments are proposed;
- Enhance the penalty for practising without a practising certificate
Currently, any person practising law without a valid practising certificate is liable to a fine of up to $1,000 or to imprisonment of up to 6 months or both. This penalty, prescribed in 1966, will be enhanced to act as an effective deterrent to errant lawyers.
- Mandatory legal practise management course
The amendments provide that all lawyers complete a legal practice management course before being allowed to practise as a sole proprietor, a partner in a law firm or a director in a law corporation; and
- Service as Assistant Public Prosecutors in AG's Chambers recognised as pupillage
Assistant Public Prosecutors (APP) receive rigorous training for conducting prosecutions and criminal trials in the Subordinate Courts. It is thus proposed that the service as APP in the Attorney General's Chambers be recognised as pupillage.
- The Attorney-General and Solicitor-General will be deemed appointed as ex officio Senior Counsels
ISSUED BY MINISTRY OF LAW
9 MARCH 2007
 MinLaw press release for recommendations of Review Committee on JLV and FLA schemes issued on 7 March 2006. MinLaw press release for recommendations of Third Committee on the Supply of Lawyers issued on 17 August 2006.
Last updated on 25 Nov 2012