Small Firms In Singapore Can Now Access Legal Talent

Singapore Law Watch has highlighted an article in the Singapore Business Times…

Saying that because the larger firms are no longer recruiting in the city state this is allowing firms further down the pecking order to recruit higher quality practitioners that would have normally been snapped up by the bigger firms.

Here’s the introduction to the article

(SINGAPORE) The big four law firms here are no longer sucking up all the pupils and junior lawyers as corporate work dries up. This gives their smaller rivals a chance to recruit some talent.

‘I understand that the big firms which usually scoop up all the pupils are not retaining a significant portion of them,’ said Stefanie Yuen Thio, head, corporate, TSMP Law Corporation.

‘In the red-hot legal market of past years, a lot of firms were hiring anyone with a law degree and a pulse,’ said Mrs Thio.

The big four with between 230 and 280 lawyers are Allen & Gledhill, Drew & Napier, Rajah & Tann and Wong Partnership.

Rajah & Tann told BT that it retained 35 out of its current batch of 42 pupils.

‘Our ability to maintain such strong pupil retention numbers – despite these trying times – underline our confidence that the firm is in a strong market position and will be more than able to ride out the economic storm,’ said senior counsel Steven Chong who’s also Rajah & Tann’s managing partner.

‘As always, starting salaries for the current batch of retained pupils will remain very competitive and in line with the pay levels of our main competitors,’ he said.

The firm has already hired a number of lawyers this year said Mr Chong, adding ‘obviously we have to be more careful with recruitment in the current climate.’

An Allen & Gledhill spokeswoman said that the firm takes in between 20 and 30 pupils.

Both Drew & Napier and Wong Partnership declined comment for this article. According to Drew & Napier’s website, it currently has no openings for lawyers.

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