Following the report of the Committee to review the Regulatory Framework of the Singapore Legal Services Sector submitted earlier this month, the Ministry has stated its intention to implement the key recommendations.
The 2012 consultation and subsequent report aimed to streamline the regulatory framework for domestic and foreign-qualified lawyers - the latter of which make up 20% of the Singaporean legal services sector - to ensure a consistent regime.
Included in the recommendations are the creation of a Professional Conduct Council - to oversee the implementation of new professional conduct rules - and a new entity regulator, the Legal Services Regulatory Authority, to regulate both domestic and international legal practices.
Currently, domestic legal practices are regulated by the Law Society of Singapore and foreign practices by the Attorney General’s Chambers.
The proposed regime also includes provision for the licensing of Alternative Business Structures (ABS), initially permitting Legal Disciplinary Practices where non-lawyers employees can own a share of the equity in a law firm.
The new regime is expected to be implemented later this year.
To discuss this further contact the Asia team.