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The Singapore Law Gazette

Celebrating Thirty Years of the Singapore Law Gazette

This month we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Singapore Law Gazette, or Law Gazette or SLG as many know it to be. The magazine is the official publication of the Law Society and is managed by the Publications Committee, a standing committee of the Law Society. Here we share 30 interesting facts and tidbits about the magazine over the years.

  1. The inaugural issue was published in July 1992.
  2. The Law Gazette started off as a bi-monthly publication (once every two months).
  3. This was the first cover of the inaugural issue:
  1. The first editorial board comprised Philip Pillai, Peter Cuthbert Low, Loo Ngan Chor, TC Choong, Kim Seah Teck Kim, Choo Wai Hong, Choo Han Teck, Chan Leng Sun and Jeremiah Choy.
  2. The first associate editor was Kevin Lee. The first publisher was Asia Law & Practice Ltd, based in Hongkong.
  3. Non lawyers could subscribe to the Law Gazette and the price in the 1990s was $145 for a one year subscription of six issues.
  4. In the first issue, some lawyers were interviewed about Practice Direction 1 dated 9 January 1993 which dispensed with the wearing of bands and wing collars for court attire. Lawyers said the bibs were “stifling” and that “lawyers who are more comfortable perform better”.
  5. The inaugural issue also carried an article on faster document deliveries for law firms. It said, “Lawyers can look forward to faster delivery of documents by the end of the year when a document exchange (DX) centre is set up by DX Singapore (Pte) Ltd in the CBD. William Oswald, a director of the company said, ‘A DX centre is a central point where messengers deliver and collect correspondence. Each firm has its own DX number and lockbox where other firms can deliver documents through a spring flap opening.’”
  6. An advertisement in the September/October 1992 issue offered new lawyers an instalment plan to pay for their first black
  7. In the September/October issue, NEC advertised the “world’s smallest handphone”
  8. In the January/February 1993 issue, an article on mediation was published. It said, “The legal profession was introduced to the concept of mediation at a ‘Mediation of Disputes’ workshop organised jointly by SIAC and SAL. The workshop on 21 November 1992 was the first encounter many (if not all) of the participants had with the concept of mediation as a form or resolution for complex disputes”. Interestingly, the workshop was held at the City Hall’s Surrender Chamber.
  9. In the early years, each issue carried a profile and interview with a senior lawyer. The first lawyer to be profiled was Joseph Grimberg.
  10. Regular columns in each issue in the 1990s included President’s Column, Legislation Update, Practice Pitfalls, News, Profile, Law Bulletin, Case Reports, Practice Management, Wills and Classifieds.
  11. Up until December 2017 the Law Gazette was printed in hard copy format and every month’s issue would be delivered to each lawyer’s doorstep as well as to the judges at the courts and the Ministry of Law.
  12. An article in the February 1996 issue covered starting salaries for fresh graduates. Back in the day, of seven firms polled, the highest starting salary was $
  13. In August 1996, an article was written by Rajesh Sreenivasan explaining the meaning of the internet, world wide web and electronic mail.
  14. Information on Wills used to be published in each issue of the Law Gazette. Each issue easily carried 50 entries or more. Today with the Wills Registry, we get fewer notices in the monthly Information on Wills. The notice nowadays is disseminated via e-mail to lawyers.
  15. From May 1995 the Law Gazette became a monthly magazine and has remained so.
  16. It was the nightmare of every editor – discovering an error after an issue had gone to print as you have no recourse except to publish a correction and apology in the next issue. With online content these days, errors can be corrected easily and
  17. In 1996 with a change of publisher to FT Law & Tax, the Law Gazette masthead was refreshed. More articles and regular columns were introduced, including a lifestyle section titled “Lawyers at Leisure”
  18. The cover of each issue was conceptualized by the editorial board, or later the Publications Committee, supported by the Publications Department of the Secretariat.
  19. One of the cover designers for the Law Gazette hailed from South Africa, and his name was Haydn. For his innovative cover designs, the Society awarded him a “Friend of the Law Society” award.
  20. The Law Gazette carried a special edition to commemorate the Law Society’s 40th anniversary in 2007. The cover featured the photos of members born in the year 1967, placed in montage style on a picture of the Society’s office building at 39 South Bridge Road. For this special issue, because we wanted to feature old photos, a few members of the Publications Committee went to the Straits Times office to trawl through their archives to select suitable photos. This was before the age of digital photos.
  21. In August 2015, the Law Gazette carried a tribute to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew titled “A Present of the Past for the Future”. It was a combined issue that also paid tribute to the old Supreme Court building. On the cover was an illustration of Mr Lee by local artist Lee Kow Fong.
  22. The Publications Committee also initiated the annual Law Gazette awards, to recognise the writers whose articles are selected as best feature.
  23. At the height of the magazine’s hard copy print circulation, the monthly print run was 6,000 copies.
  24. December 2017 was the last issue of the hard copy Law Gazette. High printing and delivery costs as well as the need to keep up with the times necessitated the switch to an online version.
  25. In January 2018 we officially rolled out the first online issue via a dedicated website that was commissioned specially for the Law Gazette. Three months prior to the launch, we tested out the new website by converting the hard copies from October to December 2017 into online issues.
  26. In 2021, the top three most read articles were:
    1. Making it mandatory to be vaccinated against Covid-19 by Ng Zhao Yang, Esther Pang and Chuan Lee
    2. The British rule of Singapore: An evaluation by Prof Tommy Koh
    3. Microsoft Word hacks by Stella Chen

    However, articles relating to practice, overcoming practice woes, excelling in practice, are also popular.

  1. Today the online Law Gazette receives an average of 24,000 visits a month, with readers from all over the world. The highest readership by country is as follows: Singapore, USA, Malaysia, UK, Hong Kong, Australia, India, China, Indonesia, South Korea. The Law Gazette is mostly read on desktop, followed by mobile and lastly, tablet.


Director, Publications
The Law Society of Singapore