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Contents

Long Title

Part I PRELIMINARY

Part II SINGAPORE INSTITUTE OF LEGAL EDUCATION

Part IIA ADMISSION OF ADVOCATES AND SOLICITORS

Part III PRACTISING CERTIFICATES

Part IV PRIVILEGES OF ADVOCATES AND SOLICITORS

Part V THE LAW SOCIETY OF SINGAPORE

Division 1 — Establishment, purposes and powers of Society

Division 2 — Members of Society and subscriptions

Division 3 — Council of Society

Division 4 — Election of members of Council

Division 5 — Officers of Council

Division 6 — Powers of Council

Division 7 — Proceedings of Council

Division 8 — General meetings of Society

Part VI PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE, CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINE OF SOLICITORS

Part VIA LAW CORPORATIONS

Part VIB LIMITED LIABILITY LAW PARTNERSHIPS

Part VII DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS

Part VIII REMUNERATION RECEIVED BY SINGAPORE LAW PRACTICES OR SOLICITORS, OR IN RESPECT OF PRACTICE OF SINGAPORE LAW

Part IX RECOVERY AND TAXATION OF COSTS

Part IXA JOINT LAW VENTURES, FORMAL LAW ALLIANCES, FOREIGN LAW PRACTICES, REPRESENTATIVE OFFICES, FOREIGN LAWYERS, AND SOLICITORS PRACTISING IN JOINT LAW VENTURES OR FOREIGN LAW PRACTICES

Part X MISCELLANEOUS

FIRST SCHEDULE Intervention in Solicitor’s Practice

SECOND SCHEDULE Inadequate Professional Services

Legislative History

Comparative Table

 
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Legal Profession Act
(CHAPTER 161)

(Original Enactment: Ordinance 57 of 1966)

REVISED EDITION 2009
(1st June 2009)
An Act to establish the Singapore Institute of Legal Education, to constitute the Law Society of Singapore and to amend and consolidate the law relating to the legal profession.
[8/2011 wef 03/05/2011]
[11th February 1967]
PART I
PRELIMINARY
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Legal Profession Act.
Interpretation
2.
—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Academy” means the Singapore Academy of Law established under the Singapore Academy of Law Act (Cap. 294A);
“active practice” does not include practice as a locum solicitor;
“advocate and solicitor”, “advocate” and “solicitor” mean an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court;
“Board of Legal Education” means the Board of Legal Education established under section 3 in force immediately before the date of commencement of section 3(a) of the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2011;
“client” includes —
(a)
in relation to contentious business, any person who, as a principal or on behalf of another person, retains or employs, or is about to retain or employ, a solicitor, and any person who is or may be liable to pay a solicitor’s, a law corporation’s or a limited liability law partnership’s costs; and
(b)
in relation to non-contentious business —
(i)
any person who, as a principal or on behalf of another, or as a trustee, an executor or an administrator, or in any other capacity, has power, express or implied, to retain or employ, and retains or employs or is about to retain or employ, a solicitor, a law corporation or a limited liability law partnership; and
(ii)
any person for the time being liable to pay a solicitor, a law corporation or a limited liability law partnership for his or its services any costs;
“constituent foreign law practice”, in relation to a Joint Law Venture, means the foreign law practice which constitutes part of the Joint Law Venture;
“constituent Singapore law practice”, in relation to a Joint Law Venture, means the Singapore law practice which constitutes part of the Joint Law Venture;
“contentious business” means business done in or for the purposes of proceedings begun before a court of justice or before an arbitrator;
“costs” includes fees, charges, disbursements, expenses and remuneration;
“Council” means the Council of the Society established under section 47;
“court” means the High Court or a Judge when sitting in open court;
“Disciplinary Tribunal” means a Disciplinary Tribunal appointed by the Chief Justice under section 90(1);
“foreign law” means the law of any state or territory other than Singapore, and includes international law;
“foreign law practice” means a law practice (including a sole proprietorship, a partnership or a body corporate, whether with or without limited liability) providing legal services in any foreign law in Singapore or elsewhere, but does not include a Singapore law practice;
“foreign lawyer” means an individual who is duly authorised or registered to practise law in a state or territory other than Singapore by a foreign authority having the function conferred by law of authorising or registering persons to practise law in that state or territory;
“foreign practitioner certificate” means a certificate issued by the Attorney-General in respect of the registration of a foreign lawyer under section 130I;
“Inquiry Committee” means an Inquiry Committee constituted under section 85(10);
“Institute” means the Singapore Institute of Legal Education established under section 3;
“Joint Law Venture” means a Joint Law Venture licensed under section 130B;
“Judge” means a Judge of the High Court sitting in chambers;
“law corporation” means a company approved as a law corporation under section 81B;
“lay person”, in relation to the Inquiry Panel or an Inquiry Committee, means an architect, an accountant, a banker, a company director, an insurer, a professional engineer, a medical practitioner or any other person (not being an advocate and solicitor or a Legal Service Officer) who meets such criteria as may be approved by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General;
“Legal Service Officer” means an officer in the Singapore Legal Service;
“licensed foreign law practice” means a foreign law practice licensed under section 130E;
“limited liability law partnership” means a limited liability partnership approved as a limited liability law partnership under section 81Q;
“locum solicitor” means an advocate and solicitor engaged (whether concurrently or otherwise) on a temporary or freelance basis by one or more law firms, law corporations, limited liability law partnerships or solicitors practising on their own account;
“practice trainee” means a qualified person who is serving his practice training period;
“practice training contract” means a formal training arrangement between a qualified person and a Singapore law practice, pursuant to which the qualified person receives, and the Singapore law practice provides, supervised training in relation to the practice of Singapore law;
“practice training period” means the period during which a qualified person is required to receive supervised training in relation to the practice of Singapore law before he can be admitted as an advocate and solicitor;
“practise Singapore law” means doing work, or transacting business, in relation to the laws of Singapore, being work or business of a kind that is the right or privilege of an advocate and solicitor under Part IV;
“practising certificate” means a certificate issued by the Registrar under section 25;
“qualified person” means any person who —
(a)
possesses such qualifications as the Minister may prescribe under subsection (2), or may deem under section 14(2) or (3) to be so prescribed, and satisfies such requirements as the Minister may prescribe under subsection (2);
(b)
was approved by the Board of Legal Education as a qualified person under section 7 in force immediately before 9th October 2009; or
(c)
is approved by the Minister as a qualified person under section 15A(1) in force immediately before the date of commencement of section 3(e) of the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2011 or under section 14(1);
“Qualifying Foreign Law Practice” means a foreign law practice licensed under section 130D;
“register of practitioners” means the annual register kept by the Registrar under section 27;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Supreme Court and includes the Deputy Registrar and an Assistant Registrar;
“relevant legal officer” means —
(a)
a Legal Service Officer; or
(b)
a legal officer of such statutory body or law office in the public service as the Minister may prescribe by rules published in the Gazette;
“Review Committee” means a Review Committee constituted under section 85(6);
“roll” means the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court kept under section 24;
“Rules Committee” means the Rules Committee constituted under any written law for the time being in force with the power to make rules regulating procedure in the Supreme Court;
“Senate” means the Senate of the Academy established under section 5 of the Singapore Academy of Law Act;
“Singapore law practice” means —
(a)
the practice of a solicitor who practises on his own account;
(b)
a firm of solicitors;
(c)
a limited liability law partnership; or
(d)
a law corporation;
“Society” means the Law Society of Singapore established under section 37;
“trust” and “trustee” extend to implied and constructive trusts and to cases where the trustee has a beneficial interest in the trust property and to the duties incident to the office of a personal representative, and “trustee”, where the context admits, includes a personal representative.
[11/79; 5/81; 17/84; 30/86; 15/89; 16/93; 41/93; 4/2000; 23/2004; 41/2005; 42/2005; 20/2007; 19/2008]
(2)  For the purposes of the definition of “qualified person” in subsection (1), the Minister may, after consulting the Board of Directors of the Institute, make rules to prescribe the qualifications, education and training for, and any other requirements that must be satisfied by, persons seeking to be qualified persons under this Act.
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), rules made thereunder may —
(a)
prescribe the institutions of higher learning, and the courses provided and qualifications conferred thereby, which may be recognised for the purposes of this Act, and may include provisions for the review by the Institute of the syllabus and contents of such courses and examinations leading to such qualifications;
[8/2011 wef 03/05/2011]
(b)
specify the minimum standard of attainment, including the class of honours, to be achieved by persons who possess any of the prescribed qualifications;
(c)
prescribe such courses, tests or examinations to be undergone by persons who possess any of the prescribed qualifications;
(d)
provide for the exemption of any person or classes of persons from any of the provisions thereof by the Minister or by the Institute; and
[8/2011 wef 03/05/2011]
(e)
include such incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions as may be necessary or expedient.
[41/93; 20/2007]
(4)  References to an employee of a solicitor or law firm or law corporation or limited liability law partnership shall be construed to include a locum solicitor engaged by the solicitor or law firm or law corporation or limited liability law partnership, as the case may be, and references to being employed by a solicitor or law firm or law corporation or limited liability law partnership shall be construed accordingly, in the following provisions:
(a)
(b)
the definition of “specified person” in section 79(2);
(c)
paragraphs 1(1)(a)(ii), 5(1)(d) and 8A(1)(d) of the First Schedule; and
(d)
(5)  In the definition of “specified person” in section 79(2), reference to a member of a law firm shall be construed to include a locum solicitor engaged by the law firm.
[23/2004]
(6)  Unless it is expressly provided to the contrary —
(a)
references to a partnership in this Act; or
(b)
references to a law firm or firm in this Act, except in Part IXA,
shall not include a reference to a limited liability partnership.
[41/2005]