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Singapore to improve training for lawyers, aid returnees and transferees.

Editorial Staff

The Law Society of Singapore has announced a shake up in the training regime and measures to help those returning to practice and foreign lawyers seeking transfer in a bid to become a regional centre for law.

The training regime in Singapore has, hitherto, been less stringent than in, for example, Hong Kong against which, in so many ways, Singapore measures itself.

The current system, called pupillage, requires a new lawyer to become attached to an established practitioner for six months. However, due to increased specialisation, lawyers are completing their pupillage with a limited exposure to different kinds of work.

Under the new system, called the Training Contract, the firm rather than in individual will be responsible.

It is a move similar to that undertaken in the UK several years ago as articles were replaced with training contracts.

The trainee may be seconded to another firm for part of that time to widen the skill-set available.

Another change is to allow those with extensive overseas experience to apply for a waiver of the requirement to take the Bar exam. However, this waiver will apply, at least for the time being, to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents.

In addition, Singapore will launch a new legal training institute.