Doing legal business in Singapore

Singapore is Southeast Asia’s leading commercial and financial hub. It’s renowned for its outward-looking economy, political stability and first-rate infrastructure.

Singapore ranks second in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business 2020 data. This tremendous growth has been stimulated by a stable and business-friendly regulatory structure – also attributing to a burgeoning legal services industry in the country.

The country has a longstanding trade relationship with the UK and is home to over 1,000 British companies and 30,000 British expatriates.

As an English speaking, ultramodern business centre, Singapore has a lot to offer English and Welsh law firms and their clients.

Practising in Singapore

Foreign lawyers can practise foreign and international law in Singapore law firms.

You do not need to register your presence or your intention to provide legal services for occasional or ‘fly-in, fly-out’ services.

Foreign lawyers in Singapore are regulated by the Legal Profession (International Services) Secretariat of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. They may work as employees, partners or directors in:

  • qualifying foreign law practices
  • foreign law firms
  • joint law ventures (JLV)
  • formal law alliances (FLA)
  • Singapore law firms

They can also work as in-house advisers for both Singapore companies and international companies operating in Singapore.

Professional indemnity insurance is mandatory in Singapore for both local and foreign lawyers.

The following areas of law are reserved for Singapore lawyers:

  • family
  • criminal
  • conveyancing
  • succession
  • constitutional and administrative
  • trust (in any case where the settler is an individual)

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