28 Feb 2014 Posted in Press releases
The Ministry of Law (MinLaw) invited the six firms which were awarded the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences in 2008 to submit applications for the renewal of their licences, as their licences will be expiring in the second quarter of this year.
The QFLP licences will be renewed as follows:
- Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins and Norton Rose Fulbright, for a period of five years from the date of expiry of their licences;
- White & Case, for an initial period of one year from the date of expiry of its licence from 1 May 2014 to 30 April 2015.
- Herbert Smith Freehills has decided not to apply for a renewal of its licence, which expires on 30 April 2014. It will cease its operations as a QFLP within six months from the date of expiry of its licence, i.e. by 31 October 2014.
- In determining the renewal of the licences, MinLaw took into account each firm’s quantitative and qualitative performance during the five-year licence period relative to its earlier commitments. In addition, we considered the firm’s proposal in the following areas for the next five years:
- The value of work that the firm’s Singapore office will generate;
- The number of lawyers who will be based in the firm’s Singapore office;
- The strength of the practice areas that the firm’s Singapore office will offer; and
- The extent to which the Singapore office will function as the firm’s headquarters for the region.
- Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins and Norton Rose Fulbright will have their licences renewed for another five years.
- White & Case will be given a one-year conditional licence, which will be extended for a further four years subject to the firm being able to meet certain quantitative targets set by MinLaw.
- Herbert Smith Freehills has decided not to pursue the renewal of its QFLP licence. The firm had recently gone through a merger and indicated its preference not to commit to specific growth plans as part of the QFLP licence. To ensure a smooth transition from the QFLP scheme, the firm will be given a six months’ extension of its licence from the date of expiry.
- The QFLP scheme was introduced in 2008 following the recommendations of the Committee to Develop the Legal Sector chaired by Justice V K Rajah. The QFLP licences allow Foreign Law Practices (FLPs) to practise in permitted areas of Singapore law.
- The QFLP scheme seeks to support the growth of key economic sectors in Singapore, grow the legal sector and offer additional opportunities for Singapore lawyers. A total of 10 international firms have been awarded QFLP licences, each with a validity period of five years – six in 2008 and four in 2013.
- The QFLPs have contributed strongly to the growth of our legal sector. Over the five-year licence period from 2009 to 2014, the first group of six QFLPs generated S$1.2 billion in total revenue, of which, about 80% came from offshore work. The six QFLPs also currently employ more than 100 Singapore-qualified lawyers.
MINISTRY OF LAW
28 FEBRUARY 2014
Allen & Overy’s, Clifford Chance’s and Norton Rose Fulbright’s licences will expire on 30 April 2014; and Latham & Watkins’ licence will expire on 30 June 2014.
Permitted areas are all areas except domestic areas of litigation and general practice, for example, criminal law, retail conveyancing, family law and administrative law. The QFLPs can practise the permitted areas through Singapore-qualified lawyers with practising certificates or foreign lawyers holding the foreign practitioner certificate.
Last updated on 17 Mar 2014