Hays have drawn attention to the growing number of tech companies and the proliferation of new technologies in major industries in Singapore. Industries such as banking and insurance are leading the way in demand for for legal work in the country. Law professionals with regional experience and technological expertise are particularly difficult to find. Law professionals specialised in the following areas are highly sought-after:
• Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT)
“Longstanding organisations which are incorporating technology into their value chains are seeking to nail down their compliance with nascent laws and regulations. Tech companies, likewise, are rushing to ensure that their innovative work is covered by IP rights. For these reasons, amongst others similarly led by digital disruption, we have seen a corresponding growth in demand for tech-savvy legal expertise,” says Grant Torrens, regional director at Hays Singapore. “Law firms are also riding the digital wave by modernising and improving the delivery of their services with legal tech to stay competitive. Thanks to automation, the notoriously endless amounts of administrative work which often bogs down legal professionals can now be automated.
“Blockchain technologies, in addition, will help improve processes in governmental and financial intuitions and the execution of contracts,” grant adds. “The good news for lawyers is that such technologies do not replace law professionals but instead lift the burden of paperwork and enable them to focus on their consultative roles.”
Another rising trend noted by Hays experts is the dearth in mid-tier law professionals in Singapore, which is fuelled by the increasing number of such talents who opt to leave the profession.
“In view of rapid business expansion plans, there has been a growing demand for associates with three to ten years of commercial experience to hit the ground running. To meet the issue of legal talent shortage, employers in Singapore, who usually prefer recruiting local candidates, are stepping up their efforts in training internally junior associates or even fresh graduates with no experience. This comes in the form of structured learning and development programmes led and carried out by senior lawyers, typically the head of legal in their firms/organisations.”
Other trends in Singapore’s legal industry include:
– The Singapore government has been steadfast in strengthening the country’s regional legal expertise. Through the recently launched “Lawyers Go Global” programme –– jointly initiated by the Ministry of Law, the Law Society of Singapore and International Enterprise –– Singapore lawyers and law firms have greater support in their globalisation endeavours
– Both local and foreign law firms establishing their regional headquarters in the city state because of its conducive environment for legal services operations will also stand to benefit from such readily available talent pool of Singapore qualified lawyers who have international exposure and knowhow.
– At the same time, senior legal professionals are under pressure to evolve their roles to beyond providing counsel. There have been heightened expectations from employers on their in-house counsels to also possess the business acumen to place their companies in the best position both legally and commercially.
– Hays experts urge lawyers looking to improve the employability or build their profiles to take it upon themselves to build their profiles and thought leadership through contributing articles on industry-related publications or related news columns and attending industry talks and networking events.