ASEAN's Liberalization of Legal Services: The Singapore Case

Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 481-504, September 2013

23 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2014 Last revised: 12 Apr 2014

See all articles by Pasha L. Hsieh

Pasha L. Hsieh

Singapore Management University - School of Law

Date Written: September 27, 2013

Abstract

This article examines the liberalization of legal services in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (“ASEAN”) within the framework of the ASEAN Economic Community and ASEAN’s free trade agreements. Although trade in legal services is important to ASEAN’s goal as a “single market and production base,” the article challenges the weaknesses of ASEAN’s legal services liberalization. It then explores Singapore’s experiment on the regulations of foreign law firms and foreign lawyers, which have become substantially liberalized in the past decade. The article argues that while Singapore may serve as a positive example, ASEAN countries should be cautious of the gap between Singapore’s legal framework and the actual practice of foreign law firms. By analyzing the Singaporean concepts of Formal Law Alliances, Joint Law Ventures and Qualifying Foreign Law Practices, the article provides recommendations for ASEAN governments and legal communities for liberalization in the legal services sector.

Keywords: ASEAN, Singapore, FTAs, Legal Services, Foreign Lawyers, Law Firms, JLVs, QFLPs

Suggested Citation

Hsieh, Pasha L., ASEAN's Liberalization of Legal Services: The Singapore Case (September 27, 2013). Asian Journal of WTO & International Health Law and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 481-504, September 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2385561 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2385561

Pasha L. Hsieh (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - School of Law ( email )

55 Armenian Street
Level 4
Singapore, 179943
Singapore
68280345 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.smu.edu.sg/directory/pasha-l-hsieh

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