ANNOUNCEMENT 14 Feb 2012

On February 14, 2012, the Singapore Ministry of Law announced the implementation of a package of measures to give Singapore Law Practices (SLPs) greater flexibility to grow and work more closely with Foreign Law Practices (FLPs). 

NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS

2

  • 1 harmful
  • 0 neutral
  • 1 liberalising

SOURCE

Ministry of Law, Allowing Singapore Law Practices more flexibility to grow and enhance international competitiveness. Available at: https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/news/announcements/allowing-singapore-law-practices-more-flexibility-to-grow-and-enhance-international-competitiveness_1.html

Inception date: 01 Jun 2012 | Removal date: open ended
Still in force

FDI: Entry and ownership rule

On February 14, 2012, the Singapore Ministry of Law announced the implementation of a package of measures to give Singapore Law Practices (SLPs) greater flexibility to grow and work more closely with Foreign Law Practices (FLPs). 

Foreign lawyers employed in eligible SLPs will be able to take a greater profit and equity share up to a maximum of 33 per cent in the SLP, an increase from 25 per cent previously. 

This also applies to eligible FLPs based overseas which tie up with eligible SLPs. They will also be able to take a greater profit and equity share up to a maximum of 33 per cent in the SLP, an increase from 25 per cent previously. Lawyers who are partners in each law practice will be allowed to take concurrent partnership positions in the other practice.
Eligible SLPs which tie up with eligible FLPs based in Singapore fall under two categories:

  1. Formal Law Alliance (FLA): This allows SLPs and FLPs based in Singapore increased scope for collaboration within an amended framework. Under the alliance, both firms will have the benefit of: co-branding, billing, sharing of office premises, resources and client information. In addition, the foreign practice is allowed to take a greater profit and equity share up to a maximum of 33 per cent in the SLP, and to allow concurrent partnerships between their partners. This applies to both the individual and entity levels.
  2. Joint Law Venture (JLV): This allows all both Singaporean and foreign lawyers to hold concurrent partnerships in the JLV and the relSLP. Previously, only Singaporean lawyers of the relevant practice were allowed to hold concurrent partnerships in the JLV. In addition, the JLV is allowed to take a greater profit and equity share up to a maximum of 33 per cent in the SLP. This applies to both the individual and entity levels. Previously, JLVs were only allowed to profit-share up to 49 per cent in the SLP in " permitted areas of legal practice”. 

Qualifying Foreign Law Practices (QFLPs): Meant to develop Singapore's legal sector, QFLPs are now permitted to form FLAs or JLVs, and retain their QFLP licence. Previously, QFLPs were not permitted to form FLAs or JLVs.

AFFECTED SECTORS

 
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AFFECTED PRODUCTS

 
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Inception date: 01 Jun 2012 | Removal date: open ended
Still in force

Tax-based export incentive

On February 14, 2012, the Singapore Ministry of Law announced the implementation of a package of measures to give Singapore Law Practices (SLPs) greater flexibility to grow and work more closely with Foreign Law Practices (FLPs).

The Tax Incentive for International Arbitration with Hearings in Singapore (IArb incentive) was launched with the aim to encourage law practices to increase the provision of legal services rendered for international arbitration with substantive hearings held in Singapore. Eligible law practices will receive a 50 per cent tax exemption for a period not exceeding five years on their qualifying income exceeding a base amount, derived from international arbitration cases which culminate in hearings held in Singapore within the incentive period. 

 
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