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Parliamentary Replies

Processes in Place to Ensure Fair Consideration for Small and Medium-sized Law Firms in Litigation, Negotiation and Contract Reviews

10 May 2021
Parliamentary Question by Mr Leon Perera:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance (a) to what extent does the Government engage small and medium-sized law firms for legal matters such as litigation, negotiation and contract reviews; and (b) what are the processes in place to ensure fair consideration for small and medium-sized law firms.

Parliamentary Reply by Deputy Prime Minister, and Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:  

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) serves as the Government’s legal advisor. However, there may be instances where Government agencies need to procure external legal services, for instance, where specific areas of legal expertise are required.

Over the past five years, about one-third of government contracts for provision of legal services were awarded to small and medium-sized law firms (i.e. those with not more than 30 lawyers).

Government agencies conduct their procurement in accordance with the principles of transparency, open and fair competition, and value for money. Contracts are awarded to suppliers who are best able to meet the agencies’ requirements, such as whether they possess the specific expertise required, while ensuring cost effectiveness. The requirements and criteria for selecting the supplier are specified upfront in each tender or quotation request.