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Lawyers Go Global programme to help Singapore law firms go abroad

LAWYERS and law firms thinking of taking their practice abroad or finding fresh networking opportunities can now look to a new programme called Lawyers Go Global.

Launched by the Ministry of Law (MinLaw), the Law Society of Singapore (LawSoc) and International Enterprise (IE) Singapore, it will provide lawyers here with overseas mission trips, training on foreign markets and branding and marketing in the next few years.

The aim is to help small and medium sized law firms, who "may have valuable niche expertise but may lack the resources to do their own market research and explore overseas markets on their own", said MinLaw.

For firms that have already ventured abroad, it could also help them expand their networks and deepen their understanding of the markets where they operate, MinLaw added.

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Over the next three years, eight mission trips, each lasting four to five days, will bring lawyers here to Asean countries, China and India. The 35 lawyers on each trip will get to network with at least 30 foreign businesses and law firms.

LawSoc, with the support of MinLaw and IE Singapore, will also organise workshops on networking skills, legal regimes and business norms, as well as branding strategies for law firms abroad.

LawSoc will also launch a marketing campaign by the end of 2018 to raise the profile of Singapore lawyers abroad, after engaging with a consultant to assess how Singapore lawyers are viewed here and in five other overseas markets.

The programme is in line with the goal to internationalise local law firms by the Professional Services Industry Transformation Map (ITM), launched last week.

It also stems from the recommendation of the Committee on the Future Economy (CFE) Working Group on Legal and Accounting Services, which urged law firms to venture abroad to capture a greater share of international demand for legal and accounting services.

Legal services are projected to grow at 5.5 per cent a year in the Asia-Pacific region between 2014 and 2019, and legal work in Asia is also expected to grow in areas like infrastructure, MinLaw said.

The programme will be funded by IE Singapore under its Local Enterprise and Association Development (LEAD) programme.

Singapore lawyers interested in participating in Lawyers Go Global can contact goglobal@lawsoc.org.sg for more information.

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