SILE – Legal Profession (Qualified Persons)

By | March 12, 2017

SILE – Legal Profession (Qualified Persons)

Qualified Person

Being a Qualified Person is one of the requirements for individuals who wish to be admitted to the Singapore Bar.

The requirements of being a Qualified Person are determined by the Ministry of Law and set out in the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules. The information presented on the Institute’s webpages is for reference only, and is not a substitute for the applicable legislation. Unless otherwise stated, the information provided on the Institute’s webpages assumes that a person was enrolled in an applicable law degree on or after 1 January 2006, or is intending to pursue a law degree but has not started yet.

There are different requirements for becoming a Qualified Person depending on the university from which a person obtains the applicable law degree. Apart from the Approved Universities in Singapore, the legislation currently recognises certain applicable law degrees from Australia and New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America

Please refer to the infographic setting out the five steps for law graduates from overseas scheduled universities to be admitted to the Singapore Bar.

Relevant Legal Training or Relevant Legal Practice or Work

Relevant legal training or relevant legal practice or work is a requirement under:

  • Rules 8, 9 and 9A

of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules.

A person who is not a law graduate of National University of Singapore or Singapore Management University, and who has not been exempted from the requirement of having received relevant legal training or having been engaged in relevant legal practice or work, will have to provide the Institute with a letter or letters from a law practice, chambers (UK and Scotland) or corporation or other entity (as the case may be) stating that he has for a period of not less than 6 months within a continuous period of 8 months, received relevant legal training, been engaged in relevant legal practice or work, or received relevant legal training and been engaged in relevant legal practice or work.

The letter must be addressed to the Institute and must state the following:

  1. that the person concerned had received:

    1. supervised training in relation to the practice of Singapore law under a formal training arrangement with that Singapore law practice;

    2. supervised training, as a pupil, or through reading in the chambers, of a practising barrister of the United Kingdom or of a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland of more than 7 years’ standing; or

    3. supervised training in relation to the practice of foreign law under a formal training arrangement with that foreign law practice.

      OR

  2. that the person concerned had been engaged in:

    1. active practice as –

      1. a legal practitioner, by whatever name called, in any jurisdiction other than Singapore; or

      2. a foreign lawyer in Singapore; or

    2. work of a legal nature which is performed as a legal counsel in that corporation or other entity the equity securities of which are listed on the official list of a securities exchange in Singapore or elsewhere.

      AND

  3. The exact period (dd/mm/yyyy – dd/mm/yyyy) during which the person had received relevant legal training or had been engaged in relevant legal practice or work;

  4. The total number of days of leave (which includes medical, annual and compassionate leave) taken and any closure of the law practice or corporation during that period; and

  5. The contact details (including telephone number and email address) of a partner or director of the law practice, chambers, corporation or other entity, willing and able to verify the above information.

The definition of relevant legal training and relevant legal practice or work can be found in rule 2 of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules. It is not necessary to obtain the prior approval of the Institute before commencing relevant legal training or relevant legal practice or work. Neither is it a requirement to work under a supervising solicitor.

The calculation of relevant legal training and relevant legal practice or work is the same as that for practice training period under a practice training contract, details of which can be found at: http://www.sile.edu.sg/admission-requirements/practice-training-period#Calculation_of_the_Practice_Training_Period.

IMPORTANT:
For relevant legal training or relevant legal work or practice to be recognised under Rules 8, 9 and 9A of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules, a person must have received the training or been engaged in the practice or work AFTER he passed the final examination of the degree referred to in that Rule.

Registration as a Qualified Person

For those who will be undertaking the practice training period after completing the Part B Bar Course and Examinations, registration as a Qualified Person will be part of the application process for the Part B Bar Course and Examinations.

For those:

  • who are exempted from practice training period, or
  • who intend to serve their practice training period before the Part B Bar Course and Examinations,

please read the Guide to the Application Process for Qualified Persons to Register carefully before opening the online application form accessible in the Guide.

Before commencing his practice training period or when registering for the Preparatory Course leading to Part B of the Singapore Bar Examinations (whichever is the earlier), a Qualified Person must:

  1. Apply online to register his name with the Institute under Rule 24(1) of the Legal Profession (Admission) Rules 2011.

  2. Produce to the Institute such documents* supporting his claim to be a qualified person as the Institute may require,

  3. If he intends or is required to serve a practice training period, inform the Institute of such details of his practice training period as may be required by the Institute and obtain the Institute’s approval of the manner in which he is to serve the practice training period,

  4. Pay to the Institute the prescribed fee of SGD214 (inclusive of GST), and

  5. Serve on the Attorney-General and the Law Society of Singapore, a copy each of every form and document referred to in (a), (b) and (c) above.

* This includes a letter from a law practice or organisation as evidence of having received relevant legal training or having engaged in relevant legal practice or work or both in accordance with the provisions of the Legal Profession (Qualified Persons) Rules. Please refer to the Guide to the Application Process for Qualified Persons for further details.

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