Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill

Bill No. 6/1970

Read the first time on 9th March 1970.
An Act to amend the Legal Profession Act, 1966 (No. 57 of 1966).
Be it enacted by the President with the advice and consent of the Parliament of Singapore, as follows: —
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act, 1970.
Amendment of section 2
2.  Section 2 of the Legal Profession Act, 1966 (hereinafter in this Act referred to as “the principal Act”) is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the definition of “annual certificate” appearing therein; and
(b)by deleting the definition of “Society” appearing therein and substituting therefor the following: —
“ “Society” means The Law Society of Singapore established by section 41 of this Act.”.
Amendment of section 14
3.  Section 14 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the expression “section 10” appearing in the third line of subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the expression “paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section 9”;
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “pupillage” appearing in the last line of paragraph (c) of subsection (4) thereof the words “or in the absence thereof such other evidence as the court may require that he has served such pupillage with diligence”; and
(c)by deleting the figures “10” appearing in the marginal note thereto and substituting therefor the expression “9 (1)”.
Amendment of section 18
4.  Subsection (1) of section 18 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the words “for one or more special reasons and” appearing in the second and third lines thereof.
Amendment of section 29
5.  Section 29 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(1)  Every solicitor shall in every year before he does any act in the capacity of an advocate and solicitor deliver or cause to be delivered to the Registrar an application for a practising certificate in such form or forms as may be prescribed by and in accordance with rules made under this section, such application to be accompanied by —
(a)a declaration in writing stating —
(i)his full name;
(ii)the name under which he practises if different from his own name, or the name of the solicitor or firm of solicitors employing him; and
(iii)the principal and any other address or addresses at which he practises in Singapore;
(b)a certificate from the Council or such other evidence as the Registrar may require that he is not in arrears in respect of any contribution to the Compensation Fund, subscription or levy lawfully due to the Society under the provisions of this Act and that he has paid all such subscriptions and contributions payable prior to the issue of a practising certificate pursuant to sections 51 and 78 of this Act;
(c)an accountant’s report pursuant to section 77 of this Act or a certificate from the Council that owing to the circumstances of his case such report is unnecessary; and
(d)the prescribed duty,
and the Registrar shall thereupon issue to the solicitor a practising certificate authorising him to practise as an advocate and solicitor in Singapore.”; and
(b)by inserting immediately after subsection (4) thereof the following new subsections: —
(5)  Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council may make rules regulating the issue of practising certificates.
(6)  Any rules made by the Council under this section shall be signed by the President of the Society and submitted to the Chief Justice and shall come into operation upon the Chief Justice signifying his approval.”.
Amendment of section 30
6.  Subsection (2) of section 30 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Board” appearing in the fourth line thereof the expression “, the Jurong Town Corporation”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 32
7.  Section 32 of the principal Act is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Cancellation of practising certificates
32.—(1)  The Council may, if it appears to it that a practising certificate has been issued to any solicitor contrary to the provisions of this Act or that the accountant’s report submitted by any solicitor does not comply with the provisions of section 77 of this Act, apply to a judge by originating summons for an order directing the Registrar to cancel such certificate.
(2)  Such application shall be served on the advocate and solicitor concerned and upon the hearing thereof the judge may make such order as he may think fit and may also make such order for the payment of costs as may be just.
(3)  Disciplinary proceedings may be taken against any solicitor if in, or in relation to, an application for a practising certificate he makes a false statement material to the application.”.
Repeal of sections 33 and 34
8.  Sections 33 and 34 of the principal Act are hereby repealed.
Amendment of section 37
9.  Subsection (2) of section 37 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the words “founded in” appearing in the last line of paragraph (e) thereof and substituting therefor the words “arising out of personal injury or death and founded upon”.
Amendment of section 38
10.  Subsection (1) of section 38 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the word “claim” appearing in the fifth line of paragraph (f) thereof the words “arising out of personal injury or death”;
(b)by deleting paragraph (h) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(h)any full-time member of the academic staff of the Faculty of Law of the University of Singapore acting solely in an advisory capacity upon instructions from a practising advocate and solicitor;
(i)any accountant performing work normally undertaken by him immediately before the date of the coming into operation of this Act:
Provided that such accountant shall not be authorised to draw or prepare any document or instrument relating to movable or immovable property or to any legal proceeding;”;
(c)by re-lettering the existing paragraphs (i), (j) and (k) thereof as paragraphs (j), (k) and (l) respectively;
(d)by deleting the full-stop appearing at the end of paragraph (l) thereof and substituting therefor a semi-colon; and
(e)by adding thereto the following new paragraph: —
(m)any agent duly authorised to the satisfaction of the Registrar of Trade Marks drawing or preparing any form prescribed from time to time by rules made under the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 185).”.
Repeal of section 39
11.  Section 39 of the principal Act is hereby repealed.
Amendment of cross-heading to Part V
12.  The principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the cross-heading “SINGAPORE ADVOCATES AND SOLICITORS SOCIETY” appearing under Part V thereof and substituting therefor the cross-heading “THE LAW SOCIETY OF SINGAPORE”.
Amendment of section 41
13.  Subsection (1) of section 41 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the expression “the “Singapore Advocates and Solicitors Society” ” appearing therein and substituting therefor the expression “The Law Society of Singapore”.
Amendment of section 42
14.  Section 42 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting subsection (3) thereof; and
(b)by renumbering the existing subsection (4) thereof as subsection (3).
Amendment of section 51
15.  Subsection (1) of section 51 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “Council” appearing at the end thereof the words “and shall be payable to the Society by every solicitor in each year prior to his application for a practising certificate”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 53
16.  Section 53 of the principal Act is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Statutory member
53.  The immediate past President of the Society shall be a statutory member of the Council each time it is constituted.”.
Amendment of section 54
17.  Subsection (1) of section 54 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the word “seven” appearing in paragraphs (a) and (b) thereof and substituting therefor in each case the word “five”.
Repeal and re-enactment of section 55
18.  Section 55 of the principal Act is hereby repealed and the following substituted therefor: —
Persons entitled to vote
55.  Every advocate and solicitor who has in force a practising certificate on the date of nomination as provided in section 56 of this Act shall be entitled to vote for the election of the members of the Council under paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of section 54 of this Act.”.
Amendment of section 56
19.  Subsection (2) of section 56 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after the word “shall” appearing in the second line thereof the words “take place within twenty-one days after the annual general meeting and shall”; and
(b)by deleting the words “take place” appearing in the second and third lines thereof and substituting therefor the word “be”.
Amendment of section 57
20.  Section 57 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the word “five” appearing in the first line of paragraph (b) thereof and substituting therefor the word “two”.
New of section 70A
21.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 70 thereof the following new section: —
Proceedings of Council, its staff and the Inquiry Committee to be secret
70A.  Save insofar as may be necessary for the purpose of giving effect to any resolutions or decisions of the Council or the Inquiry Committee secrecy shall be maintained in all proceedings conducted by the Council, its staff and the Inquiry Committee.”.
Amendment of section 71
22.  Subsection (1) of section 71 of the principal Act is hereby deleted and the following substituted therefor: —
(1)  (a)  The Council shall each year convene an annual general meeting which shall be held in November of that year.

(b)At least ten days’ prior notice of such annual general meeting shall be given to all members of the Society.”.

Amendment of section 77
23.  Subsection (1) of section 77 of the principal Act is hereby deleted and the following substituted therefor: —
(1)  Every solicitor shall with every application made by him for a practising certificate, unless he satisfies the Council that owing to the circumstances of his case it is unnecessary to do so, deliver to the Registrar a report signed by an accountant, in this section referred to as an “accountant’s report”, and shall deliver a copy of such accountant’s report to the Society.”.
Amendment of section 78
24.  Subsection (2) of section 78 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the words “on each occasion on which he applies for an annual” appearing in the first and second lines thereof and substituting therefor the words “in each year prior to his application for a practising”; and
(b)by deleting the words “an annual” appearing in the first line of the proviso thereto and substituting therefor the words “a practising”.
Amendment of section 82
25.  Subsection (1) of section 82 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after the word “property” appearing at the end thereof the words “unless a certificate of fitness for occupation in respect thereof has been issued by the Chief Building Surveyor or other relevant authority”.
Repeal of section 83
26.  Section 83 of the principal Act is hereby repealed.
Amendment of section 87
27.  Subsection (2) of section 87 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting the word “or” at the end of paragraph (j) thereof;
(b)by deleting paragraph (k) thereof; and
(c)by re-lettering the existing paragraph (l) thereof as paragraph (k).
Amendment of section 90
28.  Section 90 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting immediately after subsection (1) thereof the following new subsection: —
(1A)  The Inquiry Committee shall also report to the Council where the Inquiry Committee is satisfied that there are no grounds for such an application or complaint.”;
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “investigation” appearing in the last line of paragraph (b) of subsection (2) thereof the expression “and may require any person to give information in relation to such books, documents or papers”; and
(c)by inserting immediately after the word “solicitor” appearing in the first line of subsection (3) thereof the words “and any other person”.
Amendment of section 91
29.  Section 91 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the words “sufficient cause” appearing in the first line of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) thereof and substituting therefor the words “cause of sufficient gravity”; and
(b)by inserting immediately after the word “inform” appearing in the first line of subsection (2) thereof the words “the advocate and solicitor and”.
Amendment of section 92
30.  Subsection (1) of section 92 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting the words “sufficient cause” appearing in the second line thereof and substituting therefor the words “cause of sufficient gravity”.
Amendment of section 96
31.  Subsection (1) of section 96 of the principal Act is hereby amended by deleting paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) thereof and substituting therefor the following: —
(a)that no cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action exists under section 87 of this Act; or
(b)that while no cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action exists under the said section 87, the advocate and solicitor should be reprimanded; or
(c)that cause of sufficient gravity for disciplinary action exists under the said section 87.”.
Repeal of section 98
32.  Section 98 of the principal Act is hereby repealed.
Amendment of section 99
33.  Section 99 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the words “or a Disciplinary Committee as the case may be” appearing in the second and third lines of subsection (1) thereof; and
(b)by deleting the word “civil” appearing in subsection (5) thereof and substituting therefor the word “Judgment”.
Amendment of section 109
34.  Subsection (1) of section 109 of the principal Act is hereby deleted and the following substituted therefor: —
(1)  In any proceedings under this Part any publication purporting to be printed under the authority of the General Council of the Bar in England or The Law Society in England, setting out any Rules or decisions made under the authority of those bodies relevant to the subject-matter of the proceedings shall, until the contrary be proved, be the evidence thereof.”.
Amendment of section 112
35.  Subsection (1) of section 112 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by inserting at the end of paragraph (c) thereof the word “and”;
(b)by deleting the expression “; and” appearing at the end of paragraph (d) thereof and substituting therefor a full-stop; and
(c)by deleting paragraph (e) thereof.
Amendment of section 124
36.  Section 124 of the principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after subsection (2) thereof the following new subsection: —
(3)  In any case where a solicitor and his client consent to taxation of a solicitor’s bill the Registrar may proceed to tax the bill notwithstanding that there is no order therefor.”.
Amendment of section 125
37.  Section 125 of the principal Act is hereby amended —
(a)by deleting the full-stop appearing at the end thereof and substituting therefor a colon; and
(b)by inserting immediately thereafter the following proviso: —
Provided that if one of the parties holds out and does not agree to taxation the cost of obtaining an order of court shall be the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars.”.
New section 132A
38.  The principal Act is hereby amended by inserting immediately after section 132 thereof the following new section: —
Interest on client money
132A.—(1)  Rules made under section 76 of this Act shall make provision for requiring a solicitor, in such cases as may be prescribed by the said rules, either —
(a)to keep on deposit in a separate account at a bank for the benefit of the client money received for or on account of a client; or
(b)to make good to the client out of the solicitor’s own money a sum equivalent to the interest which would have accrued if the money so received had been so kept on deposit.
(2)  The cases in which a solicitor may be required to act in accordance with any rules made pursuant to this section may be defined, among other things, by reference to the amount of any sum received or the period for which it is or is likely to be retained or both; and such rules may include provision for enabling a client (without prejudice to any other remedy) to require that any question arising under the said rules in relation to the client’s money be referred to and determined by the Society.
(3)  Except as provided by any rules made pursuant to this section, a solicitor shall not be liable by virtue of the relation between solicitor and client to account to any client for interest received by the solicitor on moneys deposited at a bank being moneys received or held for or on account of his clients generally.
(4)  Nothing in this section, or in any rules made pursuant to this section, shall —
(a)affect any arrangement in writing, whenever made, between a solicitor and his client as to the application of the client money or interest thereon; or
(b)apply to money received by a solicitor being money subject to a trust of which the solicitor is a trustee.”.
Transitional provision
39.  Nothing in this Act shall affect —
(a)the status of any statutory or elected member of the Council who has been such a member for the year 1970; or
(b)the validity of any practising certificate issued for that year.