Legal Profession Act

(Original Enactment: Act 57 of 1966)

(20th December 1997)
An Act to establish the Board of Legal Education, to constitute the Law Society of Singapore and to amend and consolidate the law relating to the legal profession.
[11th February 1967]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Legal Profession Act.
2.—(1)  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Academy” means the Singapore Academy of Law established under the Singapore Academy of Law Act (Cap. 294A);
“advocate and solicitor”, “advocate” and “solicitor” mean an advocate and solicitor of the Supreme Court;
“Board” means the Board of Legal Education established under section 3;
“client” includes —
(a)in relation to contentious business, any person who as principal or on behalf of another person retains or employs, or is about to retain or employ, a solicitor, and any person who is or may be liable to pay a solicitor’s costs; and
[4/2000 wef 05/05/2000]
(b)in relation to non-contentious business, any person who, as a principal or on behalf of another, or as a trustee, executor or administrator, or in any other capacity, has power, express or implied, to retain or employ, and retains or employs or is about to retain or employ, a solicitor, and any person for the time being liable to pay a solicitor for his servicesany costs;
[4/2000 wef 05/05/2000]
“contentious business” means business done, whether as solicitor or as advocate, in or for the purposes of proceedings begun before a court of justice or before an arbitrator;
“costs” includes fees, charges, disbursements, expenses and remuneration;
“Council” means the Council of the Society established under section 47;
“court” means the High Court or a Judge when sitting in open court;
“Disciplinary Committee” means a committee appointed by the Chief Justice under section 90;
“Faculty” means the Faculty of Law of the National University of Singapore;
“Inquiry Committee” means an Inquiry Committee constituted under section 85;
“Judge” means a Judge of the High Court sitting in chambers;
“lay person”, in relation to an Inquiry Committee or Disciplinary Committee, means an architect, accountant, banker, company director, insurer, professional engineer, medical practitioner or a person who possesses such other qualifications as may be approved by the Chief Justice and the Attorney-General;
“legal officer” means a person appointed as a legal officer in the Singapore Legal Service;
“Malayan practitioner” means any qualified person entitled to practise before a High Court in any part of Western Malaysia;
“practising certificate” means a certificate issued by the Registrar under section 25;
“qualified person” means any person who —
(a)before 1st May 1993 —
(i)has passed the final examination for the degree of Bachelor of Laws in the University of Malaya in Singapore, the University of Singapore or the National University of Singapore;
(ii)was and still is a barrister-at-law of England or of Northern Ireland or a member of the Faculty of Advocates in Scotland;
(iii)was and still is a solicitor in England or Northern Ireland or a writer to the Signet, law agent or solicitor in Scotland; or
(iv)was and still is in possession of such other degree or qualification as may have been declared by the Minister under section 7 in force immediately before 1st January 1994 and has obtained a certificate from the Board under that section;
(b)on or after 1st May 1993 possesses such qualifications and satisfies such requirements as the Minister may prescribe under subsection (2); or
(c)is approved by the Board as a qualified person under section 7;
“register of practitioners” means the annual register kept by the Registrar under section 27;
“Registrar” means the Registrar of the Supreme Court and includes the Deputy Registrar and an Assistant Registrar;
“roll” means the roll of advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court kept under section 24;
“Rules Committee” means the Rules Committee constituted under any written law for the time being in force with the power to make rules regulating procedure in the Supreme Court;
“Society” means the Law Society of Singapore established under section 36;
“trust” and “trustee” extend to implied and constructive trusts and to cases where the trustee has a beneficial interest in the trust property and to the duties incident to the office of a personal representative, and “trustee”, where the context admits, includes a personal representative.
[17/84; 30/86; 15/89; 16/93; 41/93]
(2)  For the purposes of paragraph (b) of the definition of “qualified person” in subsection (1), the Minister may, after consultation with the Board, make rules to prescribe the qualifications, education and training for persons seeking to be qualified persons under this Act.
(3)  Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2), rules made thereunder may —
(a)prescribe the institutions of higher learning and the qualifications conferred thereby which may be recognised for the purposes of this Act;
(b)specify the minimum standard of attainment, including the class of honours, to be achieved by persons who possess any of the prescribed qualifications;
(c)prescribe such courses, tests or examinations to be undergone by persons who possess any of the prescribed qualifications;
(d)provide for the exemption of any person or classes of persons from any of the provisions thereof; and
(e)include such incidental, supplementary or transitional provisions as may be necessary or expedient.