The Singapore Academy of Law (SAL) has awarded 29 specialist accreditations to lawyers with expertise in shipping and maritime law as part of its Specialist Accreditation scheme this year
Under the two-tier system, 24 lawyers were awarded the title of senior accredited specialist and five junior lawyers were awarded the title of accredited specialist.
Established in 2017, the Specialist Accreditation programme is a voluntary scheme intended to recognise high levels of proficiency by legal practitioners in their chosen area and promote continued personal professional development. It provides a reliable means of identifying legal practitioners who have proved themselves to possess the requisite skills and knowledge in a practice area and promotes continued development of standards, quality and delivery of legal services.
SAL, a promotion and development agency for Singapore’s legal industry based out of offices at the country’s Supreme Court building, aims to build an exhaustive directory of specialists from both tiers of the scheme for those seeking legal services. The organisation defines ‘maritime and shipping’ law as relating to all aspects of shipping and admiralty matters for all stakeholders in the shipping industry including shipowners, charterers, operators, shipbuilders, cargo interests, insurers and financial institutions.
Applicants for the senior accredited specialist designation need at least 10 years of post-qualification experience in their respective field of specialism for consideration. A selection panel comprising industry practitioners and members of the judiciary assessed the applicants, taking into consideration the complexity and type of cases handled and time spent practicing law in the specialism. Junior lawyers applying for the accredited specialist designation needed at least five years’ post-qualification experience and to pass a written examination.
Lawyers recognised under the scheme are permitted to use the title of senior accredited specialist or accredited specialist for two years from the date of accreditation, with accreditation renewed every two years.
Firms represented in this year’s accreditation include Oon & Bazul LLP, Haridass Ho & Partners, Allen & Gledhill LLP, Joseph Tan Jude Benny LLP, Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP, AsiaLegal LLC, Gurbani & Co LLC, Ang & Partners, Resource Law LLC, and Hill Dickinson LLP.
SAL chief executive Serene Wee said “We are encouraged by the positive response to the accreditation scheme.
“The scheme benefits both lawyers and users of legal services – the former benefit from the increased recognition the accreditation offers them, while users of legal services can tap on a comprehensive list of specialists when procuring legal assistance. We look forward to the continued contribution of appointees to the development of law and practice.”
In an interview published by SAL, Resource Law LLC managing director S Mohan, who is a senior accredited specialist, said “You have new players coming into Singapore [such as] shipping companies, ship management companies, new commodities trading houses setting up here who may not be that familiar with the market… So if they are looking for market expertise I think the accreditation will help.”
Certificates of specialist accreditation were distributed by Judge of Appeal Stephen Chong in a ceremony on 24 January, when legal specialists in the area of building and construction were also recognised.