Professional Responsibility

Table of Contents

Raise Your Ethics IQ … with the Professional Ethics Digest 2020

This article provides an overview of the contents of the Professional Ethics Digest 2020, which was published in late March 2021. This Digest comprises summaries of 27 guidances rendered by the Advisory Committee of the Professional Conduct Council between May 2018 and December 2019 that are of general application or interest to legal practitioners.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2021 / 04 

Business Transactions Between Solicitors and Their Clients

This case note reviews the salient points of the coda to Law Society of Singapore v Tan Chun Chuen Malcolm [2020] SGHC 166, where the Court of Three Judges provided important guidance on the potential pitfalls of legal practitioners engaging in business transactions with their clients.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2021 / 01 

LRD Colloquium 2020: Notes of Proceedings

This publication summarises the proceedings of the Colloquium on ‘The Role of Lawyers in the Age of Disruption: Emerging Regulatory Challenges’, which was held on 19 May 2020, including the presentations by our panellists as well as highlights of the discussions and Q&A between our panellists and participants.

Publication Type: General
Publication Date: 2020 / 11

Truth Be Told: Navigating the Intricacies of Witness Preparation

The Law Society’s forum on ‘Witness Preparation: Where to Draw the Line?’ was held as a live webinar on 6 August 2020 and attended by over 400 members of the Law Society. Against the backdrop of the Singapore Court of Appeal’s 2018 decision in Ernest Ferdinand Perez De La Sala v Compañia De Navegación Palomar, SA, a multi-jurisdictional group of speakers examined the thorny questions surrounding witness preparation in both litigation and international arbitration over the course of two engaging panel discussions.

Read our article for some of the highlights of the forum.

Publication Type: Others
Publication Date: 2020 / 09

Why Etiquette Matters – Inspirations from C C Tan Award Recipients

Etiquette underlies the core of lawyering – it is not merely a list of do’s and don’ts to observe, but an integral component of a lawyer’s DNA, without which professional victories are merely empty or even Pyrrhic ones.

We look at the inspirational observations, anecdotes and advice from the citations and acceptance speeches of some of the C C Tan Award recipients.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2020 / 08

Professional Judgment as a Core Ethical Value

This paper was prepared by Gan Jhia Huei, and presented at Panel 2 on ‘Legal Ethics & Technology’ at the LRD Colloquium 2020.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2020 / 08

Future Lawyer Bytes: Legal Ethics & Technology

In this inaugural edition of Future Lawyer Bytes, Alvin Chen, who heads the Legal Research & Development department, shares some brief thoughts on how legal ethics interfaces with the use of technology in legal practice today, and whether lawyers’ codes of conduct will need to evolve against the backdrop of technological changes to the legal profession.

Publication Type: Interviews
Publication Date: 2020 / 04

Déjà Vu May Not Mean Disqualification By An Adversary

When does a lawyer or law firm owe an equitable duty of confidence to an adversary in Singapore, when acting for different clients in successive claims against the same adversary?

We examine this important question in our review of the Singapore Court of Appeal’s recent landmark decision of LVM Law Chambers LLC v Wan Hoe Keet and another and another matter [2020] SGCA 29.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2020 / 04

Acting Against the Same Opponent in Similar Matters

This article examines the competing policy considerations involved where a lawyer acts for different clients against the same opponent in similar claims. With reference to Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and English cases, it suggests that the interests of client choice and the protection of an adversary’s confidentiality should be rebalanced in Singapore.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2020 / 02

The Lawyer’s Duty to Assert Legal Advice Privilege

This article outlines the general contours of a lawyer’s duty to assert legal advice privilege, with reference to English common law cases. Four key issues are examined, including the rationale for and costs of asserting legal advice privilege.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2020 / 01

Much Ado About Nothing – The Civil Procedural and Ethical Perils of Inaction

Is silence always golden? This article reviews how the rules of ethics and civil procedure have sometimes intersected under the UK’s civil procedural regime, and considers their possible implications for Singapore.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2019 / 12

Developing the Inner Art of Lawyering

Based on actual queries submitted by lawyers to the Advisory Committee of the Professional Conduct Council, the Professional Ethics Digest 2019 is an important resource to help lawyers navigate the ethical terrain of legal practice and develop the inner art of lawyering.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2019 / 08

Group Witness Preparation – Psychology Matters

This article examines the risk factors underlying group witness preparation and the various practice contexts that such risks may arise in.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2019 / 07

Lawyers’ Duties to Prospective Clients

This article argues for a clearer definition of a “prospective client” under the Legal Profession Act to reduce uncertainty for both lawyers and enquirers when legal advice is sought.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2019 / 04

Disclosing Client Confidences to Your Spouse or Significant Other

Disclosure of confidential client information to a spouse or significant other often leads to murky ethical waters. This article examines when, if at all, a lawyer is permitted to disclose such information.

Publication Type: Commentaries
Publication Date: 2019 / 02

Risk Factors in Interviewing and Advising Elderly Clients – The 5Cs

This article offers a 5Cs checklist, derived primarily from the American Bar Association’s 4Cs of elder law ethics, of the risk factors that lawyers should observe in interviewing and advising elderly clients.

Publication Type: Research Papers
Publication Date: 2019 / 01