|Foreign law firm Bill tabled|
|Thursday, 19 April 2012 08:26am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
A BILL that allows foreign law firms to practise in Malaysia was tabled for first reading in the House.
The Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2012 was tabled by Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
Under the Bill, foreign law firms may practise in Malaysia via an international partnership or qualified foreign law firm licence.
The Bill paves the way for local law firms to employ foreign lawyers – subject to conditions.
It aims to liberalise the legal profession to develop Malaysia into an international Islamic financial hub and expand the expertise of the industry.
The Bill, however, states that no foreign law firm shall practise in the country unless it is licensed.
Any foreign law firm which contravenes this provision can be fined up to RM100,000.
A selection committee will be set up to make recommendations to the Bar Council for the granting of licences for international partnerships, qualified foreign law firms, Malaysian law firms to employ foreign lawyers and the registration of foreign lawyers to practise in permitted areas.
The committee will comprise the Attorney-General and Malaysian Bar president, among others.
Foreign law firms can only have one international partnership in Malaysia at any one time.
A foreign company may apply for a qualified law firm licence, provided it meets all the conditions the Bar Council may think fit to impose in any particular case.
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