PRIVILEGES OF ADVOCATES AND SOLICITORS
—(1) Advocates and solicitors shall, subject to the provisions of any written law, have the exclusive right to appear and plead in all courts of justice in Singapore according to the law in force in those courts; and as between themselves shall, subject to section 31, have the same rights and privileges without differentiation.
(2) Nothing in subsection (1) shall affect the right which is hereby declared of —
the Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, State Counsel, Deputy Public Prosecutors and qualified persons appointed temporarily to perform the duties of those persons to appear and plead on behalf of the Government in those courts;
the Public Trustee, the Official Assignee, Assistant Public Trustees and Assistant Official Assignees to appear and plead in those courts under any of the provisions of any law relating to those offices; and
(3) Notwithstanding subsection (1), an advocate and solicitor who practises in a Joint Law Venture or its constituent foreign law practice, a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice or a licensed foreign law practice shall not be entitled to practise Singapore law except in accordance with Part IXA and any rules made under section 130W.
—(1) A Selection Committee comprising the Chief Justice, the Attorney-General and the Judges of Appeal may appoint an advocate and solicitor or a legal officer as Senior Counsel if the Selection Committee is of the opinion that, by virtue of the person’s ability, standing at the Bar or special knowledge or experience in law, he is deserving of such distinction.
(2) At every meeting of the Selection Committee, 3 members shall constitute a quorum, and no business shall be transacted unless a quorum is present.
(3) A decision at a meeting of the Selection Committee shall be adopted by a simple majority of the members present and voting except that, in the case of an equality of votes, the Chief Justice shall have a casting vote in addition to his original vote.
(4) Subject to this section, the Selection Committee may establish its own practice and regulate its own procedure.
(5) The appointment of a Senior Counsel shall be deemed to be revoked if the Senior Counsel —
[Deleted by Act 19 of 2008]
being a legal officer, is dismissed from the Singapore Legal Service;
being a member of the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore or the School of Law of the Singapore Management University, is dismissed from the Faculty ;
is convicted of an offence by a court of law in Singapore or elsewhere and sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 12 months or to a fine of not less than $2,000 and has not received a free pardon;
becomes of unsound mind;
2 Paragraph (e) of section 30(5) will be deleted and substituted by the following paragraph when item 1(26)(b) in the Second Schedule to the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act 2008 (Act 21 of 2008) is brought into operation:
becomes mentally disordered and incapable of managing himself or his affairs;”.
is an undischarged bankrupt; or
enters into a composition with his creditors or a deed of arrangement with his creditors.
[40/96; 20/2007; 19/2008]
(5A) The appointment of a Senior Counsel shall be deemed to be revoked if, upon an application under section 82A(10) or 98(1) —
the Senior Counsel is suspended from practice or struck off the roll; or
a court of 3 Judges of the Supreme Court recommends that the appointment of the Senior Counsel be revoked.
(6) No person shall be appointed as a Senior Counsel unless he has for an aggregate period of not less than 10 years been an advocate and solicitor or a legal officer or both.
(7) On 21st April 1989, those persons who, on the date immediately preceding that date, are holding office as the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General shall be deemed to have been appointed as Senior Counsel under this section.
(8) Any person who, on or after 1st June 2007, holds office as the Attorney-General or the Solicitor-General shall, if he is not a Senior Counsel, be deemed to have been appointed as Senior Counsel under this section on that date or the date on which he is appointed Attorney-General or Solicitor-General, whichever is the later.
—(1) Senior Counsel shall rank in precedence after the Attorney-General and the Solicitor-General according to their seniority of appointment as Senior Counsel.
(2) If 2 or more Senior Counsel are appointed on the same day, they shall take precedence according to the date on which they were admitted as advocates and solicitors.
—(1) Subject to this Part and Part IXA, no person shall practise as an advocate and solicitor or do any act as an advocate and solicitor unless —
his name is on the roll; and
he has in force a practising certificate.
(2) For the purposes of this Act, a person is an unauthorised person if —
his name is not on the roll;
he does not have in force a practising certificate; or
(3) A Judge may, if he thinks fit, on the application of a solicitor who is a master under Part II, allow a pupil of the solicitor (being a pupil who has completed not less than 4 months of pupillage) to appear, on behalf of the solicitor or the Singapore law practice in which the solicitor practises, before —
a Judge or the Registrar in chambers;
a District Judge, a Magistrate, the Registrar of the Subordinate Courts or a Deputy Registrar of the Subordinate Courts in chambers; and
a District Judge or a Magistrate to mention a case or to apply for bail.
—(1) Any unauthorised person who —
acts as an advocate or a solicitor or an agent for any party to proceedings, or, as such advocate, solicitor or agent —
sues out any writ, summons or process;
commences, carries on, solicits or defends any action, suit or other proceeding in the name of any other person, or in his own name, in any of the courts in Singapore; or
draws or prepares any document or instrument relating to any proceeding in the courts in Singapore; or
wilfully or falsely pretends to be, or takes or uses any name, title, addition or description implying that he is duly qualified or authorised to act as an advocate or a solicitor, or that he is recognised by law as so qualified or authorised,
shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both and, in the case of a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding $50,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both.
(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), any unauthorised person who, directly or indirectly —
draws or prepares any document or instrument relating to any movable or immovable property or to any legal proceeding;
takes instructions for or draws or prepares any papers on which to found or oppose a grant of probate or letters of administration;
draws or prepares any document or instrument relating to the incorporation or formation of a limited company;
on behalf of a claimant or person alleging himself to have a claim to a legal right writes, publishes or sends a letter or notice threatening legal proceedings other than a letter or notice that the matter will be handed to a solicitor for legal proceedings; or
solicits the right to negotiate, or negotiates in any way for the settlement of, or settles, any claim arising out of personal injury or death founded upon a legal right or otherwise,
shall, unless he proves that the act was not done for or in expectation of any fee, gain or reward, be guilty of an offence.
(3) Any unauthorised person who, for or in expectation of any fee, gain or reward, offers or agrees to place at the disposal of any other person the services of an advocate and solicitor shall be guilty of an offence.
(4) Subsection (3) shall not apply to any person who offers or agrees to place at the disposal of any other person the services of an advocate and solicitor pursuant to a lawful contract of indemnity or insurance.
(5) Every person who is convicted of an offence under subsection (2) or (3) shall be liable for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months and for a second or subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.
(6) Any act done by a body corporate which in the case of a person would be an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3) or is of such a nature or is done in such a manner as to be calculated to imply that the body corporate is qualified or recognised by law as qualified to act as a solicitor, or has the capacity or powers of a law corporation or a limited liability law partnership when in fact the body corporate does not, shall be an offence and the body corporate shall be liable on conviction for a first offence to a fine not exceeding $25,000 and for a second or subsequent offence to a fine not exceeding $50,000.
[4/2000; 41/2005; 20/2007]
(7) Where an act mentioned in subsection (6) is done by a director, an officer or an employee of the body corporate, the director, officer or employee shall (without prejudice to the liability of the body corporate) be liable to the punishments provided in subsection (5).
(7A) Where an act mentioned in subsection (6) is done by a partner, an officer or an employee of a limited liability partnership, that partner, officer or employee shall (without prejudice to the liability of the limited liability partnership) be liable to the punishments provided in subsection (5).
(8) Where any firm does an act which in the case of a person would be an offence under subsection (1), (2) or (3), every member of the firm shall be deemed to have committed that offence unless he proves that he was unaware of the commission of the act.
(9) Any person who does any act in relation to a contemplated or instituted proceeding in the Supreme Court which is an offence under this section shall also be guilty of a contempt of the court in which the proceeding is contemplated or instituted and may be punished accordingly irrespective of whether he is prosecuted for the offence or not.
(10) In this section, “document” and “instrument” do not include —
a will or other testamentary document; or
a transfer of stock containing no limitation thereof.
34. Section 33 does not extend to —
theAttorney-General or the Solicitor-General or any other person actingunder the authority of either of them;
thePublic Trustee, the Official Assignee, Assistant Public Trusteesand Assistant Official Assignees acting in the course of their dutiesunder any law relating to those offices;
theDirector of Legal Aid and Assistant Directors of Legal Aid actingin the course of their duties under the provisions of the LegalAid and Advice Act (Cap. 160) ;
anyother public officer drawing or preparing instruments in the courseof his duty;
anyperson acting personally for himself only in any matter or proceedingto which he is a party;
anybona fide and full-time employee of an insurance company negotiating forthe settlement of or settling a claim made or contemplated againstany person or body corporate in cases where the claim, arising outof personal injury or death, relates to a risk insured by that insurancecompany;
[Deleted by Act 23 of 2004]
anyfull-time member of the academic staff of any department of theNational University of Singapore or of any department of law inany other institution of higher learning in Singapore who is a qualifiedperson rendering any opinion or acting in an advisory capacity onany matter in which he has been instructed by an advocate and solicitor;
anyaccountant drawing or preparing documents in the exercise of hisprofession;
anyproceeding before the Industrial Arbitration Court or the SyariahCourt;
anyperson merely employed to engross any instrument or proceeding;
anyapproved company auditor drawing or preparing any instrument which heis empowered to do under any law for the time being in force relatingto companies; or
anyagent duly authorised to the satisfaction of the Registrar of TradeMarks drawing or preparing documents in any matter relating to trademarks.
—(1) Sections 32 and 33 shall not extend to —
any arbitrator or umpire lawfully acting in any arbitration proceedings;
any person representing any party in arbitration proceedings; or
the giving of advice, preparation of documents and any other assistance in relation to or arising out of arbitration proceedings except for the right of audience in court proceedings.
(2) In this section, “arbitration proceedings” means proceedings in an arbitration which —
—(1) A court may, on the application of the Public Prosecutor, order any unauthorised person convicted of an offence under section 33(1), (2) or (3) or against whom a court has taken into consideration such an offence in sentencing him —
to repay any fee, gain or reward received in respect of any such offence to the person who made the payment; or
to pay any fee, gain or reward referred to in paragraph (a) to the Society for the benefit of the person who made the payment.
(2) The Society shall hold and pay out any moneys received pursuant to an order made under subsection (1)(b) in the manner prescribed under subsection (5).
(3) In any proceedings under subsection (1), a certificate purporting to be issued by the Public Prosecutor certifying the amount of any fee, gain or reward referred to in subsection (1)(a) paid by a person to an unauthorised person shall be prima facie evidence of the amount that the unauthorised person is liable to repay under subsection (1)(a) as at the date of the certificate.
(4) An amount ordered to be paid under subsection (1) shall carry interest as from the date of the order and at the same rate as a judgment debt.
(5) The Council may, with the approval of the Chief Justice, make rules for the purposes of subsection (2).
(6) In this section, “fee, gain or reward” does not include disbursements.
—(1) No costs in respect of anything done by an unauthorised person as an advocate or a solicitor or in respect of any act which is an offence under section 33 shall be recoverable in any action, suit or matter by any person whomsoever.
(2) Any payment to an unauthorised person for anything done by that unauthorised person which is an offence under section 33 may be recovered by the person who paid the money in a court of competent jurisdiction.