Britain, S'pore in 'premier league' of litigation and arbitration centres

Britain's Advocate-General for Scotland Richard Keen said Singapore and Britain stand to learn from each other, given their close trade links and shared perspectives. Lord Keen is here on a three-day visit.
Britain's Advocate-General for Scotland Richard Keen said Singapore and Britain stand to learn from each other, given their close trade links and shared perspectives. Lord Keen is here on a three-day visit.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

Singapore and Britain are home to successful international legal centres because they have an open and liberal approach to providing legal services.

And given their close trade links and shared perspectives, both countries stand to learn from each other, said Advocate-General for Scotland Richard Keen.

Lord Keen, 63, who is also Britain's Ministry of Justice spokesman for the House of Lords, was speaking yesterday at Eden Hall, the British High Commissioner's official residence, to mark the launch of Britain's "Legal Services are Great" campaign, which aims to promote Britain's legal service expertise and expand its global reach in the sector.

Speaking to The Straits Times before the event, Lord Keen said he viewed Singapore and London as among the "premier league" of litigation and arbitration centres worldwide, with a pool of outstanding lawyers and a respected judiciary.

Earlier yesterday, he met Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon and Attorney-General Lucien Wong, and learnt about developments in legal services here, specifically in the area of legal technology.

He said: "The development of technology in the provision of legal services is something Singapore is leading the way in, and there have been developments in the UK as well. I think we can learn from each other."

Lord Keen also touched on the need for legal centres to be international, and provide services that reflect that. "The days where you could define jurisdictions in reference to borders are fast disappearing... We have to be capable of regulating legal services without regard simply to individual jurisdictions."

Lord Keen, who is here on a three-day visit, will be giving a keynote address today at the International Conference of Legal Regulators, which is being held in Asia for the first time.

On the Great campaign, he said: "The UK is, and will continue to be, one of the pre-eminent legal centres in the world. We will continue to be a leading player in that premier league of international legal centres."

Lord Keen will leave Singapore today and head to Sydney.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 06, 2017, with the headline 'Britain, S'pore in 'premier league' of litigation and arbitration centres'. Print Edition | Subscribe