Singapore creates legal industry regulatory body

November 19, 2015 The Singapore Ministry of Law has created an authority to regulate various aspects of the legal industry. the new body is known as the Legal Services Regulatory Authority (LSRA) and will oversee all licensing matters related to law practices as well as review applications to allow non-lawyers to become partners at firms.

The LSRA will consolidate some different regulatory functions previously spread through multiple authorities underneath its own authority. That will include licensing of foreign law practices, foreign law practice collaborations with Singapore law practices and registration of foreign-qualified lawyers, all of which were previously handled by the Attorney-General's Chambers' Legal Profession Secretariat. Additionally, the new authority will handle various approval processes that previously ran through the Law Society of Singapore.

In addition to those functions, the new authority now allows for law firms to apply for non-lawyers to become partners, directors or shareholders of their firms. A shareholding cap of 25 percent is in place for such cases. Persons can petition the authorit to be registered as Regulated Non-Practitioners. The stated intention for the new processes is to enable firms to attract non-lawyer talents with other skills that may be valuable to the firm.

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