SINGAPORE : Singapore’s legal profession is growing steadily in numbers, but at the same time, trends indicate that the number of foreign lawyers is growing faster than local lawyers.
Newly—appointed president of the Law Society of Singapore, Lok Vi Ming, made the point at the opening of the new legal year on Friday.
The number of lawyers holding practising certificates in Singapore exceeded the 4,000—mark for the first time in 2012.
But between 2007 and 2012, the growth in the number of local lawyers was 27 per cent while that of foreign lawyers was 42 per cent.
So a call was made by Mr Lok for the profession and the Law Society to pull even closer together, and for foreign lawyers to lock hands with their local counterparts in cooperation and integration.
The legal community was also urged to act with dignity and decorum, especially when corresponding with one another when handling cases.
Mr Lok said: "We have colleagues and friends who are on the receiving end of pretty harsh letters and pretty harsh language. That is not the way we want to practise.
"It helps in the resolution of cases for lawyers to be courteous with each other and constructive in their approach, and if you write harsh letters, the effect can be fairly aggressive and destructive to the resolution of cases."
Newly—appointed Senior Counsel Lionel Yee said: "Sometimes, lay persons may think that an effective lawyer is aggressive to witnesses for the other side. But from my experience, when you treat witnesses, even those from the other side, with respect and courtesy, you will find you would be able to get much more effective and valuable testimony from them."
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