New authority to oversee law practices in Singapore

PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) has established the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) which will streamline licensing matters relating to law practices in Singapore under a single authority.

MinLaw said in a press statement that the new regime also introduces flexibility for law practices to apply for non-lawyers to become partners, directors or shareholders of their firms, subject to prescribed requirements and limits. This will give law practices greater flexibility to attract and retain non-lawyer talent.

Interested applicants may apply to the LSRA to be registered as Regulated Non-Practitioners.

The LSRA will implement a new integrated licensing regime which brings together certain regulatory functions previously undertaken separately by the Attorney-General's Chambers' Legal Profession Secretariat and the Law Society of Singapore.

MinLaw explained that this is to ensure that business criteria, such as names of law practices, foreign ownership and profit sharing, will be applied consistently.

LSRA will also have an e-Services portal which will ease all application of transactions. Members of the public can also tap on an integrated search function on the LSRA's website to search all law practices and collaborations registered with the LSRA, as well as all lawyers practising law in Singapore, by name, firm or practice area.