In addition to helping charities, we also help individuals through existing pro bono initiatives: our lawyers volunteer in community Legal Clinics where assistance is rendered to applicants who do not have the financial means to obtain legal advice; and we also take on criminal cases through the Law Society’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (CLAS) and civil cases involving points of law or complex facts from the Legal Aid Bureau. Our Programme for charity and non-profit organisations has seen continued growth. With our legal expertise, we advise many deserving organisations, helping them to enhance the lives of many individuals and fulfilling their own organisational objectives and missions.
30 of our lawyers have been appointed by the Ministry of Law, Singapore (“Minlaw”) to serve as Assessors under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act 2020 (the “Act”). Our lawyers have been appointed by the Minister for Law to resolve disputes arising from the application of the Act. Covid-19 has created an unprecedented economic shock. Many individuals and businesses have been unable to perform contractual obligations because of Covid-19 and the resulting safe distancing measures. The Act came into effect on 20 April 2020. The provisions of the Act provide temporary relief from legal action for inability to perform certain contracts and for financially distressed individuals and businesses who are unable to fulfil their contractual obligations due to Covid-19. We have been assisting Minlaw to assess 65 cases of Application for an Assessors’ Determination.
Started in September 2008, our Firm has been actively involved in community legal clinics which take place either on a monthly or a quarterly basis. Volunteering entirely on their own accord, our lawyers spend approximately 100 hours a year volunteering at these clinics. Our Firm volunteers with three clinics. Two of these clinics, South East Legal Clinic and Central Legal Clinic are in collaboration with Law Society and the third is in collaboration with Whampoa Community Centre. Our volunteer lawyers attend weekday night legal clinics providing assistance to applicants by answering general queries while also guiding the applicants to the right sources for help where necessary, for example, Legal Aid Clinics if the applicants are unable to engage a lawyer. Two of our lawyers who have been involved in Legal Clinics share their experiences: (+).
Established by Singapore’s Law Society Pro Bono Services (“LSPBS”), Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (“CLAS”) provides criminal legal assistance to the poor and needy who are unable to afford a lawyer, and are facing charges in a Singapore court for non-death penalty offences. In 2016, our Firm and the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law (NUS Law) jointly established the inaugural A&G-NUS CLAS Pro Bono Internship Programme to provide NUS Law students with the opportunity to gain holistic experience in criminal defence while learning about balancing pro bono work with litigation practice. This is the first formal partnership between a law firm and NUS Law focusing on pro bono work. Through this Programme, selected NUS Law students will be offered off-site internships with our Firm focusing solely on pro bono criminal defence work. The students will be under the mentorship of A&G lawyers who volunteer to take on pro bono cases under CLAS, and will assist the lawyers in the management of the defence of accused persons. To ensure true access to justice for all in Singapore, our Firm has also been a staunch supporter of the CLAS from its inauguration, in the spirit of acting as a responsible corporate citizen and giving back to the community. To this end, the Firm has committed to take on 50 assignments under the CLAS scheme each year. Read a recent CLAS case which our Firm took on: (+).
A selection of notable initiatives from our Firm include advising entities in the review and revision of their constitution, internal restructuring, the setting up of foundations and rendering assistance on research project on Myanmar laws. Further information on these initiatives are set out below:
Assisting MINDS on reviewing of Memorandum of Understanding (+).
Assisting MINDS with the start-up and entrepreneurship incubation programme (+).
Assisting Stroke Support Stations on vetting of legal documents for various projects (+).
Assisting Asia Philanthropy Circle Ltd with the Letter of Commitment and Grant Offer (+).
Assisting Asia Philanthropy Circle Ltd with Statutory Declaration and Licensing Agreement (+).
Assisting Association for Special Needs with Resolution for Member and CLG Template Constitution (+).
Assisting In Kind (Singapore) Limited with the setting up of a charity (+).
Assisting Project Chulia Street Limited with the setting up of a charity (+).
Assisting The Stephen A. Schwarzman Scholars Trust Singapore with annual filing of IPC (+).
Assisting on Myanmar laws for the development of standard operating procedure and working rules for the repatriation, rehabilitation and care and protection of victims of human trafficking for India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar by the Impulse NGO Network (+).
Assisting on a pro bono research project on Myanmar laws by the International Centre for Missing & Exploited Children (+).
Assisting on the establishment of an Indonesian foundation (+).
Updating the Indonesian section of ASIFMA’s global information grid (+).
Provided advice to various organisations in relation to employment matters (+).
Accompanied members of Nuklindo Koperasi JKRL in a police investigation (+).