Singapore, 8 January 2018 – The first batch of 24 specialists in Building and Construction law were announced by The Honourable the Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon today.
The Specialist Accreditation Scheme – introduced by the Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) – which accredits lawyers who have proven themselves in their area of practice, was started in 2017 as a pilot for Building and Construction lawyers.
The accredited lawyers are of two tiers – 11 received the title of Accredited Specialist meant for younger legal practitioners and another 13 who are more experienced lawyers, were designated Senior Accredited Specialist. They will be allowed to use these titles in their legal practice’s marketing collaterals for the next two years. Under the scheme, the accreditation is subject to renewal every two years to ensure that the highest standards are maintained.
Participation in the scheme is entirely voluntary. SAL received a total of 75 applications from lawyers who must have at least five years’ experience in Building and Construction law. They were assessed by a selection panel who took into consideration the complexity and type of cases handled as well as hours spent on the practise of this specialised area of law. Younger legal practitioners applying for the title of Accredited Specialist were also required to pass a written examination.
“The standard of applicants we have seen this year has been encouraging. All the specialists accredited are exceedingly competent and well-regarded lawyers” said Mr Chow Kok Fong (赵国锋先生), an arbitrator in the construction industry and a member of the Building and Construction Specialist Accreditation selection panel. “The long-term aim is to provide users of legal services with a comprehensive list of specialists to procure appropriate legal assistance, as well as invigorate the standards of practice across the Singapore Bar by recognising these specialists.”
From 2018, the Specialist Accreditation Scheme will be extended to include Maritime and Shipping law. More than 100 of such lawyers are expected to benefit. The format for accreditation will be the same as the two-tier system applied to Building and Construction law. The first batch of Maritime and Shipping accredited specialists will be announced at the Opening of the Legal Year 2019.
Mr Kenneth Tan, SC (陈伟庆先生) (founding partner of Kenneth Tan Partnership) commented about the extension of the scheme to Maritime and Shipping lawyers, “In a practice area like Maritime and Shipping, where we see significant regional and international work, accreditation would be useful to enhance our presence in the global marketplace. I believe the Specialist Accreditation Scheme will serve to crystallise the excellence in skill and knowledge we already see amongst local Maritime and Shipping lawyers.”
About the Singapore Academy of Law
The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) is a promotion and development agency for Singapore’s legal industry. Our vision is to make Singapore the legal hub of Asia.
SAL works with our stakeholders to set new precedents of excellence in Singapore law through developing thought leadership, world class infrastructure and legal solutions. Our mandates are to build up the intellectual capital of the legal profession by enhancing legal knowledge, raise the international profile of Singapore law, promote Singapore as a centre for dispute resolution, and improve the standards and efficiency of legal practice through continuing professional development and the use of technology.
As a body established by statute, SAL also undertakes statutory functions such as stakeholding services and appointment of Senior Counsel, Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public.
SAL is led by a Senate headed by Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon, and comprising the Attorney-General, the Supreme Court Bench and key leaders of the various branches of the legal profession. It has more than 12,000 members, including the Bench, all persons who are called as advocates and solicitors of the Supreme Court (i.e. the Bar) or appointed as Legal Service Officers, corporate counsel, faculty members of the three local law schools (i.e. National University of Singapore, Singapore Management University and Singapore University of Social Sciences) and foreign lawyers in Singapore.
More information can be found at www.sal.org.sg.
8 January 2018:
The Straits Times - Lawyer accreditation scheme extended
The Business Times - Accreditation scheme to be expanded to raise professional standards in legal industry
9 January 2018:
The Business Times - Accreditation scheme extended to maritime and shipping lawyers
Foo Kim Leng (Ms)
Tel: 6332 5365 / 9635 8850
Alyssa Nyam (Ms)
Tel: 6332 5371 / 9773 2333
For quotations regarding the views of legal practitioners in Singapore:
Chow Kok Fong (Mr)
Member of the Building and Construction Specialist Accreditation Selection Panel
Tel: 9786 6993
Kenneth Tan, SC (Mr)
Kenneth Tan Partnership
Tel: 6337 5822