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Singapore’s Ministry Of Law Defers Decision On The Renewal Of The Licences Of The First Batch Of Qualifying Foreign Law Practice Firms By One Year To 2020

Issued: February 28 2019

Singapore’s Ministry of Law will be deferring the decision on the renewal of the licences of the first batch of Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) firms by one year to 2020. This is to synchronize the timeline for the first and second batches of QFLPs to better allow the ministry to assess all the QFLPs’ contributions to Singapore across the board, the ministry said in a press release. The firms’ QFLP licences will be extended in the interim.

There have been two rounds of QFLP licences issued; the first batch – Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose Fulbright and White & Case – were awarded their licences in 2009 and successfully renewed their licences in 2014. Their current licences are due to expire in 2019. The second batch – Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day, Linklaters and Sidley Austin – were awarded their licences in 2013. Their licences were due to expire in 2018 but the ministry decided to defer the decision on renewal to 2020.

The ministry says it will assess each firm’s performance and contribution to Singapore and their respective proposals for the new licence period in 2020, before deciding on the renewal of their QFLP licences.

The QFLP scheme was introduced in 2008 following the recommendations of the Committee to Develop the Legal Sector, chaired by then-Justice V K Rajah. The scheme seeks to grow the legal sector, support the growth of Singapore’s key economic sectors and offer additional opportunities to Singaporean lawyers.


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