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On 27/11/2014, you requested the version in force on 27/11/2014 incorporating all amendments published on or before 27/11/2014. The closest version currently available is that of 04/05/2012.
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Engagement of book-keeper
11A.
—(1)  A solicitor shall not engage a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8) unless he has obtained the written approval of the Council to do so.
(2)  An application for the approval of the Council to engage a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8) shall be submitted to the Council in such form as the Council may require and shall be accompanied by a statutory declaration affirmed or sworn —
(a)
if the proposed book-keeper is an accounting firm, by the sole proprietor or managing partner (as the case may be) of the accounting firm —
(i)
stating that no proprietor or partner of the accounting firm, as the case may be, is an immediate family member of the solicitor;
(ia)
stating whether the person to be appointed to provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the accounting firm has completed any course specified under paragraph (2A) and, if that person has not completed such a course, undertaking that that person will complete the course within 12 months of being so appointed;
(ii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if the book-keeper encounters any of the issues referred to in paragraph (8); and
(iii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if there are any changes in the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (i);
(b)
if the proposed book-keeper is an accounting corporation, by the managing director of the accounting corporation —
(i)
stating that no director or member of the accounting corporation is an immediate family member of the solicitor;
(ia)
stating whether the person to be appointed to provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the accounting corporation has completed any course specified under paragraph (2A) and, if that person has not completed such a course, undertaking that that person will complete the course within 12 months of being so appointed;
(ii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if the book-keeper encounters any of the issues referred to in paragraph (8); and
(iii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if there are any changes in the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (i);
(ba)
if the proposed book-keeper is an accounting LLP, by the manager of the accounting LLP —
(i)
stating that no partner or manager of the accounting LLP is an immediate family member of the solicitor;
(ia)
stating whether the person to be appointed to provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the accounting LLP has completed any course specified under paragraph (2A) and, if that person has not completed such a course, undertaking that that person will complete the course within 12 months of being so appointed;
(ii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if the book-keeper encounters any of the issues referred to in paragraph (8); and
(iii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if there are any changes in the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (i);
(c)
if the proposed book-keeper is a firm or body corporate providing book-keeping services (other than an accounting firm, accounting corporation or accounting LLP), by the sole proprietor, managing partner or managing director of the firm or body corporate (as the case may be) —
(i)
stating that no relevant person is an immediate family member of the solicitor;
(ia)
stating whether the person to be appointed to provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the firm or body corporate has completed any course specified under paragraph (2A) and, if that person has not completed such a course, undertaking that that person will complete the course within 12 months of being so appointed;
(ii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if the book-keeper encounters any of the issues referred to in paragraph (8);
(iii)
stating the professional qualifications of persons who will provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the firm or body corporate and any relevant experience they may have in preparing accounts for a solicitor; and
(iv)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if there are any changes in the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (i) or (iii); or
(d)
if the proposed book-keeper is an individual, by the book-keeper —
(i)
stating that he is not an employee or immediate family member of the solicitor;
(ia)
stating whether he has completed any course specified under paragraph (2A) and, if he has not completed such a course, undertaking that he will complete the course within 12 months of being engaged by the solicitor as a book-keeper;
(ii)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if he encounters any of the issues referred to in paragraph (8);
(iii)
stating his professional qualifications and, if he is not a public accountant, any relevant experience he may have in preparing accounts for a solicitor; and
(iv)
undertaking that he will inform the Council in writing immediately if there are any changes in the matters referred to in sub-paragraph (i) or (iii).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(2A)  The Council may specify one or more courses for the purposes of paragraph (2)(a)(ia), (b)(ia), (ba)(ia), (c)(ia) and (d)(ia) by publishing the particulars of the specified courses on the website of the Law Society.
(3)  The Council may, in its discretion, refuse to grant its approval for a solicitor to engage a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8) if —
(a)
the book-keeper or any person who will provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the book-keeper does not, in the opinion of the Council, possess the requisite professional qualifications or relevant experience to carry out his duties;
(b)
the book-keeper or (if the proposed book-keeper is a firm or body corporate) any relevant person is an immediate family member of the solicitor;
(c)
the Council is of the view that the book-keeper or (if the proposed book-keeper is a firm or body corporate) any relevant person is unlikely to act independently of the solicitor; or
(d)
a notice of disqualification under paragraph (4) or rule 3(2) of the Legal Profession (Accountant’s Report) Rules (R 10) has been issued in respect of the proposed book-keeper or (if the proposed book-keeper is a firm or body corporate) any relevant person.
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
[S 660/2006 wef 01/01/2007]
[S 207/2007 wef 15/07/2007]
(4)  Where —
(a)
the Public Accountants Oversight Committee has made a disciplinary order against a public accountant under section 52(2) of the Accountants Act 2004 (Act 4 of 2004) (or an equivalent provision under the repealed Accountants Act (Cap. 2)) or against an accounting corporation or accounting firm or accounting LLP under section 53(2) of the Accountants Act 2004 (or an equivalent provision under the repealed Accountants Act);
(b)
the Council is satisfied that a solicitor has not complied with these Rules and a book-keeper engaged by the solicitor for the purposes of rule 11(8) has failed to inform the Law Society promptly of any issues referred to in paragraph (8);
(c)
the Council is satisfied that a book-keeper or any relevant person does not satisfy the minimum requirements as to qualifications, independence or experience required by the Council or any statutory declaration furnished to the Council under paragraph (2) was false in regard to any of those requirements; or
(d)
any undertaking under paragraph (2)(a)(ia), (b)(ia), (ba)(ia), (c)(ia) or (d)(ia), relating to the completion of any course specified under paragraph (2A), given by a book-keeper or in respect of a person appointed to provide book-keeping services on behalf of a book-keeper, as the case may be, has not been complied with,
the Council may, in its discretion, at any time notify the book-keeper that he is not qualified to be engaged as a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
[S 660/2006 wef 01/01/2007]
(5)  The Council may give notice, of the fact that a book-keeper is not qualified to be engaged as a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8), to any solicitor who appears to the Council to be likely to engage that book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8) or for the purpose of giving an accountant’s report under the Legal Profession (Accountant’s Report) Rules (R 10).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(6)  After a book-keeper has been notified that he is not qualified to be engaged as a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8) and until such notice of disqualification has been withdrawn by the Council, he shall not —
(a)
be engaged as a book-keeper for the purposes of rule 11(8); and
(b)
be qualified to give an accountant’s report under the Legal Profession (Accountant’s Report) Rules (R 10).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(7)  In coming to its decision, the Council shall (if the decision is based on any matter referred to in paragraph (4)(a)) take into consideration any observation or explanation made or given by the book-keeper or on his behalf by the Public Accountants Oversight Committee.
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(8)  Subject to paragraph (9), the issues which a book-keeper shall be required to undertake to inform the Council under paragraph (2)(a)(ii), (b)(ii), (ba)(ii), (c)(ii) and (d)(ii) are as follows:
(a)
the book-keeper is unable to reconcile the balance in the client’s cash book (or client’s column in the cash book) with the bank statements for all or any of the solicitor’s client accounts, conveyancing accounts or conveyancing (CPF) accounts in any month;
(b)
the book-keeper is unable to properly write up the books and accounts as required by rule 11;
(c)
the solicitor has received, held or authorised the withdrawal of client’s conveyancing money in contravention of the applicable provisions of these Rules or the Conveyancing Rules, or both;
(d)
the solicitor has failed to respond to such query from the book-keeper as is necessary to enable the book-keeper to carry out his duties referred to in sub-paragraph (a), (b) or (c).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
[S 660/2006 wef 01/01/2007]
(9)  The issues referred to in paragraph (8) shall not include trivial breaches due to clerical errors or mistakes in book-keeping, that were rectified upon discovery and did not result in any loss to the client.
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(10)  A book-keeper engaged by a solicitor for the purposes of rule 11(8) shall submit to the Council annually a statutory declaration as described in paragraph (2) and the statutory declaration shall be submitted not later than 2 weeks after each anniversary of the date when the Council granted its written approval for the book-keeper to be so engaged by the solicitor.
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(11)  In this rule, “immediate family member”, in relation to a solicitor, means a spouse, a child, an adopted child, a step-child, a sibling or a parent of the solicitor or (if the solicitor is a partner or director of a law firm, a limited liability law partnership or a law corporation) of any partner or director of that law firm, limited liability law partnership or law corporation (as the case may be).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
[S 660/2006 wef 01/01/2007]
[S 478/2008 wef 19/09/2008]
(12)  In paragraphs (2)(c)(i), (3)(b), (c) or (d) or (4)(c), “relevant person” means, in relation to a firm or a body corporate providing book-keeping services to a solicitor, any proprietor, partner, director, member or employee of the firm or body corporate (as the case may be), or any person who will provide book-keeping services to the solicitor on behalf of the firm or body corporate.
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
[S 660/2006 wef 01/01/2007]
(13)  Nothing in this rule shall deprive a solicitor of the right on the grounds of privilege as between solicitor and client to decline to produce to the book-keeper any document which the book-keeper may consider necessary for him to inspect for the purposes of carrying out his duties referred to in paragraph (8)(a) or (b).
[S 109/2004 wef 01/04/2004]
(14)  Where the solicitor so declines, the book-keeper shall set out the circumstances and particulars of the issue encountered when he informs the Council of the issue.