Make the Move – Working as a Lawyer in Singapore

Kevin Sinnott, Managing Director
Singapore is arguably one of the most significant financial centres in the world and because of this it has drawn a large number of UK and US law firms to use Singapore as their Southeast Asia base.
Most of the major international law firms in the region have enjoyed great success in recruiting overseas lawyers in the past and it is has proven to be an attractive alternative to Hong Kong for many lawyers practising in the UK, New Zealand and Australia, as language requirements are a lot more relaxed.

Law firms in Southeast Asia have enjoyed steady growth over the past number of years with a large amount of work coming from the ever-strengthening markets of Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and India. There continues to be a strong demand for lawyers across a number of practice areas, such as:


  • Corporate/M&A
  • Banking and Finance
  • Capital Markets
  • Energy and Projects
  • Disputes/International Arbitration
Over the past 12 months we have seen a particularly strong demand for project lawyers from a number of our magic circle and US clients in Singapore. Working as a projects lawyer in Singapore really is a compelling opportunity as it gives lawyers the chance to work on high-profile, global deals on both the lender and sponsor side. International lawyers who have experience in energy, infrastructure, mining and oil & gas are consistently in high demand.

There is no doubt that the Singapore market has a fantastic offering for lawyers with or looking to gain experience in high-end deals. Other perks of working in Singapore include:


Magic Circle and US law firms based in Singapore have a highly competitive remuneration structure in place, which are becoming increasingly comparable to that of the UK market.


Singapore has very attractive tax rates. Corporate tax is quite low in comparison to Australia, not getting higher than 17-18%. With personal tax rates not surpassing 22%, Australian lawyers tend to have a higher take-home pay than they would in Australia.

Cost of Living

According to recent statistics, Singapore is 4% cheaper to live in than Sydney.


Singapore has a tropical climate. Temperatures average around 32°C during the day and 26°C at night.


Given its close proximity to Sydney (just over 8 hours’ flying time) Singapore is a great destination for Australians and New Zealanders.

In order to work in Singapore, you will need to obtain a working visa (permit). All of our clients are very helpful and efficient in helping new joiners with this part of the process making it seamless, meaning you have one less thing to worry about. The average processing time is between 2 – 4 months.

5 Fun Facts About Singapore

  • It’s one of only three remaining city-states in the world. The other two are Monaco and the Vatican City
  • Chewing gum has been banned since the early 1990s, unless there is a health benefit involved
  • It is considered rude to open a present in front of the person who gave it to you
  • Locals are known to speak Singlish, a Singaporean patois mixing English with the odd phrase of Chinese, Malay and even Tamil
  • The world’s highest man-made waterfall, standing at 30 metres, is located at the Jurong Bird Park

Current employment opportunities 


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