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Reform needed in addressing ambiguity of the Legal Profession Act. Juris Illuminae

In House Counsel = Criminals Under Section 33 of the LPA?

The following article is from The Singapore Law Review website and written by Ng Junyi.

It is unfortunate that in the recent parliamentary debates over the 2009 Amendments to the Legal Profession Act [LPA] Parliament has not taken the opportunity to clarify the ambiguity over whether Section 32 and 33 of the LPA criminalises in-house counsels providing legal services to the employers.

The Turner case which started it all

The President of the Law Society, Senior Counsel Michael Hwang explained how this apparent anomaly in the LPA stems from the decision of Turner (East Asia) Pte Ltd v. Builders Federal (Hong Kong) Ltd [1988] Sing. L.R. 1037 (H.C.) [Turner]. In Turner, Chan Sek Keong JC (as he then was) held that an act is the act of an advocate and solicitor “when it is customarily (whether by history or tradition) within his exclusive function to provide” citing the example of “giving advice on legal rights and obligations”.

Visit The Singapore Law Review for the full write-up.