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The Singapore Law Gazette

CEO’s Message

Dear Members,

As Council, Committees and Secretariat busy ourselves with the 2019 workplans and budget, we are all aligned to the common objective of ensuring that the Law Society remains relevant to and serves the needs of our members. We ask ourselves these questions all the time: what do our members need and want to deliver the highest standard of service to their clients? What can the Law Society do to ensure that our members are future-proof? Where is the sweet spot for the Law Society to leverage on our strengths to best serve our members? What is Law Society’s place in the ecosystem viz-a-viz other stakeholders? How does the Law Society maximise our limited resources given the various constraints and competing demands?

It is with these objectives in mind that we roll out our recent initiatives:

Tech Updates

Members can look forward to a second round of Tech Start for Law in mid-April this year, with a 50-70% subsidy of the first year cost of adopting legal tech solutions. This follows the successful conclusion of the first round of Tech Start for Law on 28 February 2018 under which we received more than 150 applications. We are also looking to roll out complementary initiatives to assist law firms in business transformation and future-proofing their practices. Stay tuned for more updates. 

This month’s SmartLaw event, Beyond Keywords: Making the Case for Visual Analytics in eDiscovery, was held on 20 February 2019 and participants had the chance to view a demonstration of the latest generation review platform, Nuix Ringtail, and learn about:

  • The changes and challenges in eDiscovery practices
  • How to serve clients with large data volumes more efficiently and quickly
  • How to use data visualisations to find evidence faster

Do reach out to us at lpi@lawsoc.org.sg if you would like to be informed of our latest tech initiatives and schemes.

Practice Pal Scheme 

Practice Pal is an interim measure intended to assist our members with the smooth running of their practice, for example, if there are hearings to be attended to, deadlines to be complied with, pregnant lawyers on maternity or medical leave, including the temporary managing of clients’ ongoing files. 

We particularly encourage each sole practitioner to have a standing arrangement with another practice pal/buddy to help with their practice if the former is indisposed due to serious illness, prolonged hospitalisation and/or temporary physical disability. This scheme also serves as a buddy system for sole practitioners to rely on if they face issues at work, such as threatening behaviour by disgruntled clients or former clients.

If you have queries regarding this scheme, please drop us an e-mail at pracpal@lawsoc.org.sg.

Memorial Ceremony @ 39 SBR 

We will avail our conference room at 39 South Bridge Road for families and colleagues at the Bar to observe a memorial ceremony for any deceased member of the Bar (with the consent of the deceased lawyers’ family of course). Just give us a call at 6538 2500 to make the arrangements.

LG2 Branding Exercise

As part of Lawyers Go Global (LG2) programme, we will be launching a branding exercise very shortly to promote the standing of Singapore lawyers overseas. Late last year, we commissioned a qualitative survey of respondents (comprising mostly business decision makers) in five foreign countries to discern the competitive advantage of the Singapore lawyer. It is certainly heartening that some of the traits we identified in a Singapore lawyer, such as “Client Centric”, “Integrity”, “Hardworking”, “Adaptable”, and “Multi-Cultural”, strongly resonated with the survey respondents. Based on feedback from the survey, we have crafted a tagline – “The Singapore Lawyer – Asian Values, Global Outlook”. 

Litigation Conference 

The Litigation Conference 2019 will be taking place from 22-23 April. The focus of this year’s conference is on the proposed Civil Justice Reforms and SMS Edwin Tong SC will be the Keynote Speaker for the conference. Please sign up here (https://www.litigationconference.com.sg/2019). Subsidies are available for small law firm lawyers as well as junior category members.

Refreshed Practice Directions (PDs) and Guidance Notes (GNs)

We rolled out our updated PDs and GNs in two batches on the following dates: 

  • 1 June 2018 
  • 31 January 2019

The nomenclature used across all our PDs and GNs is now standardised and we aligned the contents with the Legal Profession (Professional Conduct) Rules 2015 (S 706/2015) and current practices. Since the introduction of section 59(3) of the Legal Profession Act (Cap 161, 2009 Rev Ed) on 18 November 2015, the Council may issue “practice directions, guidance notes and rulings as the Council thinks appropriate relating to professional practice, etiquette, conduct and discipline” after consulting the Professional Conduct Council (PCC). We therefore consulted the PCC who provided helpful guidance. The current and complete list of updated PDs and GNs can be found on our Ethics Portal

Chief Executive Officer
The Law Society of Singapore