Sunday, April 1, 2018

Singapore's legal industry confronts an English language problem : Top firms seek "foreign lawyers" with minimal experience to advise clients,draft letters, correspondence

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Drew&Napier and Wong Partnership are among Singapore's largest and best known law firms.
These advertisement tell a tale of firms sin dire need of lawyers who can read,write and speak English :


Handles foreign law matters in arbitration, litigation proceedings and dispute work. 
A minimum of 1-3 year’s PQE with relevant working experience in arbitration, litigation proceedings and dispute work. 

Your resume should be in 

MS Word or PDF format 

. It should include your qualifications, experience, current and expected salary, and a recent photograph. 

Kindly send your resume to:
The Human Resource Manager 

Drew & Napier LLC 

10 Collyer Quay 

#10-01 Ocean Financial Centre 

Singapore 049315 


(Only shortlisted candidates will be notified. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.)


A career at WongPartnership is unlike what you will find at other firms. We invest in our people by providing excellent training and guidance to help them fulfil their potential. With exposure to the most complex legal deals and opportunities such as overseas secondments, we provide our lawyers with professional experience of the highest quality that few law firms can provide. We are also consistently one of the best paying law firms in Singapore. 

We invite applications from highly motivated and committed individuals to join us as Foreign Lawyers .

Singapore Office 

We are looking for law degree holders from reputable overseas universities who are qualified to practise in other foreign jurisdictions. Candidates must have obtained a few years' experience practising in a foreign law firm or an in-house position with international firms. Our Foreign Lawyers take on advisory roles in foreign law matters, and work closely with our lawyers. 

The following opportunities are available in our International Practice : - 

Our International Practice focuses on international and cross-border work in Asia. We also have dedicated ASEAN, China, India and Middle East practices.
  • China
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Malaysia
  • Middle East
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
Applicants to our China Practice should possess relevant experience in handling corporate transactions and must be reasonably proficient in Chinese. 

Interested applicants are invited to send in their detailed resume together with a recent photograph to . 

Please note that only shortlisted applicants will be notified. In submitting your application to our firm, you agree and consent to the collection, usage and disclosure of your personal data in accordance with our Personal Data Policy, which is available at . In addition, you consent to be considered for all suitable positions, including the position you're applying for, within WongPartnership LLP.

Advertisements like the above do not go with glowing articles like this:


An inaugural list of 40 of Asia's brightest young lawyers is dominated by Singapore-based hot shots.

Fourteen of the "Forty Under Forty - Asia's Brightest Young Legal Minds", published last month in Asian Legal Business magazine, are based in the Republic, either with local or offshore firms.

They include City Harvest defence lawyer Paul Seah, 35, and high-fliers like Ms Koh Swee Yen, 34, and Mr Jaikanth Shankar, 35, from WongPartnership and Drew & Napier, respectively.

Submissions were made in July and lawyers across Asia could be nominated, although not those in Australasia or China.

Others on the list came from cities including Hong Kong, Jakarta and Seoul.

The 40 lawyers made the cut based on quality and complexity of work, career achievements, as well as recommendations from clients.

They included law firm partner Mr Seah, who defended former City Harvest Church finance manager Sharon Tan in the recently concluded trial, one of the longest high-profile white-collar crime cases in Singapore.

His main work area is civil and commercial disputes but he also specialises in insolvency and restructuring work and has represented a wide range of clients in high-profile cases.

"I am very encouraged to have received this recognition, but a lot of the credit goes to the sterling litigation team in Tan Kok Quan Partnership," he said yesterday. "Clients often look at how effective a team is rather than an individual lawyer, and the accolade is really a reflection of how good our team is."

Ms Koh, who has a slew of heavyweight cases under her belt, was praised for her "keen sense of strategy" and "great ability to quickly grasp her clients' perspective and understand their commercial issues". She was recently involved in representing foreign investors in proceedings related to investment treaty arbitrations with a claim of more than US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) involved.

Ms Koh, who graduated from the National University of Singapore with first-class honours, was also featured in the Legal Media Group's "Rising Stars 2015" publication, a global legal resource for buyers of legal services.

Separately, Singaporean Jacqueline Chan was rated one of the most influential private-equity lawyers around the world under 40 earlier this month by Private Funds Management, which publishes a monthly magazine.

Ms Chan, a partner in the Singapore office of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, has represented many of the largest private-equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, corporates, leading banks and financial institutions.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 23, 2015, with the headline '14 from S'pore among Asia's top 40 young lawyers'. Print Edition | Subscribe

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