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  #381 (permalink)  
Old 23-06-2015, 09:41 AM
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That will never happen. lawyers are notorious for being elitists and snobbish. they are not going to accept random foreigners holding some random Indian or china law school law degree who cannot string an english sentence together amongst their rarefied ranks.
The infiltration of Pinoys, and Indian nationals is already happening. In the firms I have worked at, the lawyers/partners will sign off the work that these legally-trained FTs do. The FTs may or may not be Registered Foreign Lawyer. The Managing Partner of one of the mid-tier firms acknowledged that he would rather employ such persons than a Singapore-qualified lawyer. Although the standard of work may be affected (and I have experienced the laziness and the work of such FTs), most clients accept such standards of work. Especially since clients are paying the same amount anyway (with fee caps, fix fees, etc), it makes business sense to hire one lawyer/partner to oversee many such FTs.

Regarding retention, some of the firms I have worked with have 0 to 20% retention rates, which is pathetic. I know that the IP department of one of the larger firms employed new associates with some experience, but none of the trainees were retained.

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  #382 (permalink)  
Old 23-06-2015, 10:55 PM
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The infiltration of Pinoys, and Indian nationals is already happening. In the firms I have worked at, the lawyers/partners will sign off the work that these legally-trained FTs do. The FTs may or may not be Registered Foreign Lawyer. The Managing Partner of one of the mid-tier firms acknowledged that he would rather employ such persons than a Singapore-qualified lawyer. Although the standard of work may be affected (and I have experienced the laziness and the work of such FTs), most clients accept such standards of work. Especially since clients are paying the same amount anyway (with fee caps, fix fees, etc), it makes business sense to hire one lawyer/partner to oversee many such FTs.

Regarding retention, some of the firms I have worked with have 0 to 20% retention rates, which is pathetic. I know that the IP department of one of the larger firms employed new associates with some experience, but none of the trainees were retained.
These firms you speak about are probably doing low end work.

Law, like many other industries, is a stratified sector which is divided into firms doing top tier work (funds, M&A, equity / debt capital markets, asset financing, international disputes etc) and those doing the low end work (personal injury, conveyancing, debt collection etc).

Top tier firms will never employ pinoys or indians fresh out of the Subcontinent. Those bottom tier ones will, but then again the client gets what he pays for.

The difference is that the legal profession is still very much a closed fraternity of local Singaporeans. Unlike say a an Indian national who is in the middle to top level management in a bank who will pull in his own kind, the top lawyers in the top law firms will not induct someone other than a Singaporean into the ranks of the partnership.

Retention is bad, but is no worse than other years. The bottle neck is the law students getting a TC.

Assuming an aspiring young lawyer successfully crosses the hurdles of TC and retention and slog it out for a couple of years, their career options increase dramatically (international firms, banks, in house, other big firms or even non-legal posiitions like in civil service).

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  #383 (permalink)  
Old 24-06-2015, 12:14 PM
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Top tier firms will never employ pinoys or indians fresh out of the Subcontinent. Those bottom tier ones will, but then again the client gets what he pays for.
Wake up and smell the coffee. There are plenty of lawyers from India (India-qualified) doing top tier work in both international and local firms in Singapore, at partner and junior levels.

Not so much from the Philippines but it may just be a matter of time.

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  #384 (permalink)  
Old 07-07-2015, 06:02 PM
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Wake up and smell the coffee. There are plenty of lawyers from India (India-qualified) doing top tier work in both international and local firms in Singapore, at partner and junior levels.

Not so much from the Philippines but it may just be a matter of time.

no la wake up and smell the chai


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  #385 (permalink)  
Old 31-07-2015, 02:00 PM
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So what is this cohort's NQ salary like? 'Moderate' downwards by how much? Maybe some of the ex-trainees who are on call break can help out here? =)
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  #386 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:34 PM
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These firms you speak about are probably doing low end work.

Law, like many other industries, is a stratified sector which is divided into firms doing top tier work (funds, M&A, equity / debt capital markets, asset financing, international disputes etc) and those doing the low end work (personal injury, conveyancing, debt collection etc).

Top tier firms will never employ pinoys or indians fresh out of the Subcontinent. Those bottom tier ones will, but then again the client gets what he pays for.

The difference is that the legal profession is still very much a closed fraternity of local Singaporeans. Unlike say a an Indian national who is in the middle to top level management in a bank who will pull in his own kind, the top lawyers in the top law firms will not induct someone other than a Singaporean into the ranks of the partnership.

Retention is bad, but is no worse than other years. The bottle neck is the law students getting a TC.

Assuming an aspiring young lawyer successfully crosses the hurdles of TC and retention and slog it out for a couple of years, their career options increase dramatically (international firms, banks, in house, other big firms or even non-legal posiitions like in civil service).
Uhm... Are you aware that quite a few lawyers in the big4 firms are non Singaporean? At last count, I know of at least 10 EPs in A&G who come from across the causeway, and another few who herald from other parts of the world, such as Laos and Myanmar. R&T has a similar number as well.

In fact, opening foreign law offices naturally involves the managing partners over in those branches holding dual partnerships - both in the Singapore head office firm and in the foreign branch firm. As such, you could safely say that any big4 which has affiliate offices overseas would almost invariably have non-Singaporean partners inducted as partners in the singapore office.

I therefore wouldn't agree on the point about only Singaporeans being inducted. If you're a rainmaker who's capable of originating millions in fees every year, your nationality doesn't quite matter yes?
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  #387 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:40 PM
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So what is this cohort's NQ salary like? 'Moderate' downwards by how much? Maybe some of the ex-trainees who are on call break can help out here? =)
No change from the previous year, at the big4 I work at. Pretty standard package. Dunno where some of these jokers plucked the 25% reduction figure from. It's all kept constant through a clever use of the fraudulent front loading system, which allows the firms to nominally raise the base but reduce the bonus, or vice versa.

At the ending of the day, it's all an exercise in taking money out of one hand and putting in the other. True total comp hasn't moved for donkey years. Neither up nor down.
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  #388 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:48 PM
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For the number of hours the average lawyer puts in a week, the pay is paltry. Worse with the industry wide pay cuts now.

This is not a case of the privileged few griping that they are paid too little.

You try to put in 14 hours a day, 75 hour weeks, on a consistent basis. And watch your social life and physical health slip away.

Why do you think so many young lawyers leave in droves?

Young lawyers are being made to do the most menial tasks for which their bosses can't bill their clients. And in the end, their partners complain that there is not enough revenue to justify higher bonuses.

There is something seriously wrong with the legal services model.
It's the luck of the draw my friend. I'm a 4yr PQE in a big4, and life is amazing. I work efficiently, barely meet my 1400 hr annual billing quota, and hardly do any OT. I know others put in about twice as much for the same return and burn out, but it doesn't happen to all - only those who end up with the short end of the stick.

14hrs a day sucks. It's a bad draw. Hope you find somewhere better to go soon!
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  #389 (permalink)  
Old 04-08-2015, 10:48 PM
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Uhm... Are you aware that quite a few lawyers in the big4 firms are non Singaporean? At last count, I know of at least 10 EPs in A&G who come from across the causeway, and another few who herald from other parts of the world, such as Laos and Myanmar. R&T has a similar number as well.

In fact, opening foreign law offices naturally involves the managing partners over in those branches holding dual partnerships - both in the Singapore head office firm and in the foreign branch firm. As such, you could safely say that any big4 which has affiliate offices overseas would almost invariably have non-Singaporean partners inducted as partners in the singapore office.

I therefore wouldn't agree on the point about only Singaporeans being inducted. If you're a rainmaker who's capable of originating millions in fees every year, your nationality doesn't quite matter yes?

Obviously the poster above wasn't talking about M'sians lah. Of course many prominent Singapore lawyers have been Malaysians. Heck, even Wee Chong Jin the first Chief Justice was born in Malaysia.

He/she was obviously talking about the class of FTs like NRI, Pinoys, and PRC (the kind that proliferate the finance and IT sector).

I do agree that with our local firms expanding overseas, the top management will become more inclusive to non-Singaporeans. But if you're talking about the lockstep of every cohort who will eventually rise up to partnership, generally it is still very much made up of Singaporeans. After all, the legal profession is still structured to be very protectionist here.
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  #390 (permalink)  
Old 12-08-2015, 05:53 PM
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Default Salary in the Singapore Legal Service

Thought I share my experience about the Singapore Legal Service (SLS) here. I am practicing in one of the bigger law firms in Singapore. At partner level. Thought I should do a "pay back" and join the SLS. They offered me a salary which made me fell off my chair. On a yearly total remuneration basis, it was effectively a 55-60% pay cut! The SLS salary was structured into many components. And I have to complete the year before all the components are payable. The monthly salary offered in the SLS was 40% of my fixed salary which I take back from the firm. I wonder whether they are serious in trying to bring in private sector expertise.
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