More dual-qualified and bilingual Singapore lawyers needed: Hays

Which languages are most in demand?

Singapore-qualified lawyers are always in great demand, but there has been an increasing need for them to be dual-qualified and bilingual.

According to recruiting firm Hays, employers continues to source candidates for senior roles from overseas.

Christine Wright, managing director of Hays in Asia, says, “US firms struggle to find good, qualified US Lawyers with US Securities experience and they are therefore looking at innovative new attraction strategies. They will offer good packages that include relocation costs to attract these individuals.”

Language-wise, Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesia are most highly sought after. The demand for Mandarin is not new, but the requirement for candidates who can speak Bahasa Indonesia is due to the growing Indonesian market.

“Also, many Japanese multinational corporations still struggle to retain staff due to the difference between the international and Japanese cultures. Hence they are always interested in candidates with experience with Japanese firms or an understanding of Japanese culture,” adds Wright.

Here’s more from Hays:

According to the recruiter, new jobs continue to be created, mostly in private practice. “As mentioned, firms are seeking to grow their Indonesia facing teams and are willing to add headcount in their business development teams too. Candidates with Indonesian financing skills are in particular demand.

“Lawyers with skills in asset finance, IPOs and US Securities are also in demand. Soft skills continue to be important, however for legal hires it is experience, exposure and the number of years post-qualification experience that remain the main deciding factors.”

In terms of candidate trends, the recruiter says it is seeing people become more proactive in taking on new languages as well as seeking to obtain dual qualification. There are also signs that Lawyers are becoming more entrepreneurial.

“Legal candidates are often driven by money and title, but there has been a rise of what we call ‘new age’ lawyers. These lawyers have great qualifications and backgrounds but are increasingly interested in working for start-ups and organisations that require them to get their hands dirty and do a bit of everything. They feel that they get more ownership out of such roles even though they have the qualifications and skills to be Partners in top tier firms,” says Wright.

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