Singapore Makes It Easier For O’seas Trained Sing Lwyrs To Be Admitted To Bar

There have been hints over the past few months that this was going to happen..

Yahoo news reports that the Law Ministry in Singapore have decided that overseas Singaporean lawyers who have at least two years’ legal experience,  can be admitted to the Bar after passing Part A of the Bar Examination, which tests their knowledge of Singapore law.
They can now skip Part B of the Bar Examination, which includes a five—month practical law course, as well as any training contract requirements.

Overseas graduates or lawyers with just six months’ experience, they will have to sit for both Part A and Part B of the Bar Examination. However, their 12—month training contract period will be reduced to six months.

Commenting on the changes, Law Minister K Shanmugam said: "We have received feedback from experienced lawyers overseas that they want to return to Singapore to practise law.

"We have an opportunity to enhance our position in the global competition for talent and these changes enable us to take full advantage of the window of opportunity.

The report goes on to say:

"Singapore will continue to be an important legal and arbitration hub for the region. The return of our experienced lawyers will augment our talent pool and make our legal sector more vibrant."

The changes are seen as timely as they would address the needs of expanding local law firms as well as the new foreign ones which have been allowed to set up their business in Singapore since last year.

Siraj Omar, managing director of Premier Law, said: "People who have worked overseas would have experienced different things. In the corporate arena, they would have been exposed to a wider range of deals. They would now be able to bring that experience back to Singapore."

Martin Green, managing partner at Stephenson Harwood, said: "Singapore competes with other major international financial jurisdictions, for example, Hong Kong and Tokyo in Asia and London and New York elsewhere for a limited amount of legal talent. What Singapore is doing with its incremental liberalisation steps is to make Singapore a more attractive jurisdiction."

For more details on the changes to the admission requirements, visit