– Four members of the legal profession have been appointed Senior Counsel. They are:
(a) Mr George Lim Teong Jin, who was admitted as an advocate and solicitor on 20 January 1982;
(b) Ms Suriyiacala Jennifer Marie, who was admitted as an advocate and solicitor on 14 May 1986;
(c) Mr Maniam Andre Francis, who was admitted as an advocate and solicitor on 12 June 1991; and
(d) Dr Stanley Lai Tze Chang, who was admitted as an advocate and solicitor on 29 July 1995.
Their appointment was announced by The Honourable the Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong on the occasion of the Opening of the Legal Year today.
Appointment as Senior Counsel is a mark of eminence within the legal profession: an accolade given to those who possess outstanding ability as advocates, extensive knowledge of the law and the highest professional standing.
Senior Counsel are selected, pursuant to section 30 of the Legal Profession Act, Cap 161, by a Selection Committee comprising The Honourable the Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong, The Honourable Attorney-General Professor Walter Woon, The Honourable Justice of Appeal Chao Hick Tin, The Honourable Justice of Appeal Andrew Phang Boon Leong and The Honourable Justice of Appeal V K Rajah.
The practice of appointing lawyers as Senior Counsel began on 4 January 1997. There are now 50 Senior Counsel (including the 4 appointed today) appointed by the Selection Committee in Singapore.
The Singapore Academy of Law is the umbrella membership body of the legal community in Singapore and has more than 7,000 members. They include all advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court, members of the Singapore Judiciary and Legal Service officers, corporate counsel and faculty members of law schools. The President of the Academy is The Honourable the Chief Justice of Singapore.
The Academy’s activities are driven by three strategic priorities – enhancing legal knowledge, improving efficiency of legal practice through the use of technology and supporting the legal industry. The work in each of these areas is directed towards raising the standards and quality of legal practice and building a strong legal community in Singapore.
Members are kept updated on the latest developments impacting the profession, through a series of continuing legal education programmes which the Academy organises every year. The Academy also supports research into law reform and legal heritage, is the official law reporting agency in Singapore and is actively engaged in the publishing of other legal texts. On the technology front, the Academy is responsible for the development and management of LawNet, an IT portal which provides users instant access to a wide range of legal information and transactional databases.
Under its SingaporeLaw initiative, the Academy actively promotes the use of Singapore’s legal and dispute resolution services to the region. A subsidiary of the Academy, The Singapore Mediation Centre, focuses on providing commercial mediation services and conducts mediation training workshops regionally.