|Bar: More pros than cons in liberalisation|
©The Star (Used by permission)
PETALING JAYA: The benefits outweigh the costs of liberalising the legal profession as the presence of foreign firms here will make Malaysia a regional legal services hub.
Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA) allowing foreign lawyers to be recruited would help boost competitiveness.
“The Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Bar have been working together for the last 10 years in the drafting of these amendments to the LPA to allow the entry of foreign lawyers into Malaysia.
“Liberalisation is inevitable and the benefits include technology transfer from large international law firms,” Lim said in a statement.
Other benefits include greater competition in the marketplace, diversity of choice for clients and employees, and increase in salary of associates.
According to the Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill which is being debated in Parliament, the liberalisation aims to develop Malaysia into an international Islamic financial hub and expand the work, expertise and specialisation of the legal profession here.
It will also allow foreign law firms to practise in permitted areas here either through an international partnership with a local firm or by setting up their own office here with a license.
The Bar Council’s Trade in Legal Services Committee co-chairman Andrew Khoo said the amendments would give an opportunity for local firms to progressively raise their game.
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