In 2013, the Singapore Ministry of Law awarded Jones Day a Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licence, allowing the Firm to advise on Singapore law matters in permitted areas. The licencing application period took place in July and August of 2012, and 23 foreign law practices submitted applications.
What does this mean?
In December 2007, the Singapore government accepted the recommendations of The Committee to Develop the Singapore Legal Sector, headed by Justice VK Rajah, to comprehensively review the entire legal services sector. The most significant set of proposals made by the Committee concerned the liberalization of the legal services sector, in particular the creation of the Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) scheme. The QFLP scheme provides for licences to be given to foreign law practices to practice Singapore law in permitted areas, primarily on commercial and corporate matters. Previously, the government permitted foreign law practices to practice Singapore law only within a Joint Law Venture with a Singapore law practice. In December 2008, the government awarded six QFLP licences and Jones Day was awarded one of the six.
The Firm is proud to have been awarded the QFLP licence and believe Singapore law will become more prevalent as the governing law for cross-border transactions in the future. With the continued growth of Asian economies—particularly emerging markets in India and Southeast Asia—we see not only a substantial increase in the frequency and complexity of transactions negotiated from Singapore, but also our Singapore Office taking a leading role in the development of our overall Asia practice. Our ability to advise on Singapore law will enable us to apply our institutional knowledge and experience to all aspects of transactions and disputes.