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The Singapore Law Gazette

Legal Writing Seminar 2018

This year, the Publications Committee went back to basics and we organised a seminar titled “Legal Drafting Skills: Calling a Spade a Spade and Writing for Effectiveness” on 2 October. The Publications Committee organises a writing seminar each year and we have covered a range of topics over the years, including corporate legal opinion writing, writing for clients, writing case notes, drafting effective submissions and drafting effective ADR case statements.

At this year’s seminar, we had an illustrious panel with Justice Choo Han Teck of the Supreme Court and Senior Counsel Dr Michael Hwang as speakers, and Adrian Tan, partner at TSMP Law Corporation, as moderator. The seminar was attended by 157 participants, which was an usually good turnout.

Justice Choo gave excellent tips on how to write a compelling argument, how to be persuasive and convincing and what to eschew so as not to do a disfavour to one’s own case. You can read the full transcript of his delivery here.

Dr Hwang, who is a known advocate for writing in plain English and has earned the moniker of “Father of Continuing Education” for establishing the first legal workshops for the Society back in 1977, spoke on a subject close to his heart, writing in plain English, with examples from many fascinating cases on the dos and don’ts of clear and lucid writing. In his typical generous and leave-no-stone-unturned fashion, Dr Hwang also provided a suggested reading list for those who wish to further hone their craft.

The panel discussion which followed was a lively one as Adrian, with his signature wit, quizzed the speakers about their favourite books and reading habits. All in, it was an afternoon well spent, learning from the best in the business.

Panel Discussion

Justice Choo Han Teck

Dr Michael Hwang

Vincent Leow, co vice-chair of the Publications Committee, who was emcee for the seminar

Participants at the seminar


Director, Publications
The Law Society of Singapore