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Singapore approves four new QFLPs

Linklaters, Gibson Dunn, Jones Day and Sidley Austin to practise Singapore law  

20 February 2013

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Just four international law firms have been licensed to practise Singapore law in the second round of approvals by the city state’s Ministry of Law.

Twenty-three applications for qualifying foreign law practice (QFLP) licences had been submitted by the closing date of 31 August 2012.

QFLPs can practise law in permitted areas through Singapore-qualified lawyers with practising certificates or foreign lawyers holding foreign practitioner certificates.

Just six firms were licensed as QFLPs in the first round of approvals in 2008. The second round, which was announced in July 2012, authorised four firms out of the 23 which had applied.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day, Linklaters and Sidley Austin have been approved to commence operating in Singapore as QFLPs from 1 April 2013.

QFLP licenses were previously awarded to Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose and White & Case.

The QFLP licence allows foreign law firms to practise Singapore law, excluding domestic areas of litigation and general practice (such as criminal law, conveyancing, family law and administrative law).

Prior to the introduction of QFLPs in Singapore, foreign law firms were required to enter into joint law ventures with domestic firms to practise local law. 

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