Four firms have received Qualifying Foreign Law Practice (QFLP) licences from Singapore’s Ministry of Law (MinLaw) in the second round of the licence process, with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, Jones Day, Linklaters and Sidley Austin being the recipients.

 The four successful firms will have up to six months from April 1 to commence their operations as QFLPs, and their licences will be valid for an initial period of five years from the respective start dates, MinLaw said in an e-mailed release.

 In the first round, six foreign firms, namely Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith, Latham & Watkins, Norton Rose and White & Case were awarded QFLP licences.

 The QFLP licences allow Foreign Law Practices (FLPs) to practise in all areas of Singapore law, except domestic areas of litigation and general practice, for example, criminal law, retail conveyancing, family law and administrative law.

 Kevin Wong, Linklaters' managing partner in Singapore, said his firm was delighted at the outcome.  “This is a very welcome development and we are delighted to have been awarded the QLFP licence,” he said. “Linklaters has a long term commitment to Singapore and we are privileged to be an established member of its legal community. This licence will enable us to better serve our clients who increasingly require advice on Singapore law both to support their business activities in Singapore and as a key part of an integrated, multijurisdictional legal service. More broadly, this will open up further opportunities for Singapore lawyers in our global firm and help internationalise the Singapore legal profession.”

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