A robust legal industry serves as both an enabler for other sectors of the economy and a self-sustaining economic engine. Singapore's legal industry is vital to the country's economy. In 2017, the legal industry in Singapore generated $2.1 billion in nominal value added (VA), accounting for around 0.5 percent of Singapore's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Legal services worth $0.9 billion were exported from Singapore during the same time period.
Singapore’s legal industry is critical to maintaining the city-status state’s as an international financial and economic hub. A strong rule of law and high-quality legal services lay the groundwork for economic growth and offer firms confidence to invest in Singapore. Singapore has Foreign Law Practices (FLPs), Singapore Law Practices (SLPs), Qualifying Foreign Law Practices (QFLPs), and Joint Law Ventures (JLVs). There are also Formal Legal Alliances (FLAs), in which one or more SLPs, FLPs, and/or QFLPs form a “best buddies” relationship and collaborate as independent law firms.
Lawyers in Singapore are members of a merged profession, which means they can practise as both a solicitor and an advocate, albeit most lawyers specialise in one of three areas: litigation, conveyancing, or corporate law. In 2009, Parliament passed legislation to replace the “pupillage” system with structured training and make it simpler for lawyers to return to practise. The majority of international law companies specialise on corporate, finance, and banking law.