Bar Council finally reverses its own ban; allows law firms to use virtual offices

Malaysia’s Bar Council (“BC”) today announced, via Circular 324/2021 to its members, that after more than six years, it is finally reversing its own ban on law firms operating via virtual offices.

This issue first arose in March 2015, when the BC suddenly issued a Circular immediately banning lawyers from practising through virtual offices. The BC asked lawyers to “cease such operations with immediate effect” and warned that “the Bar Council may take disciplinary action against lawyers who are reported to be operating through virtual offices”. The ban was put on hold temporarily as a group of lawyers requested a discussion with the Legal Practice Committee, but in August 2015 the BC made a firm decision to ban the practice.

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Malaysian Law Firms on Instagram

In our earlier post, we had featured Malaysian law firms which are active on LinkedIn. Malaysian law firms are also taking to another social media platform, Instagram. It is a largely photo and video-driven platform, and with a large number of users. There are estimated more than 1 billion monthly active Instagram users and more than 500 million daily active users.

The law firms below have slightly different approaches in utilising Instagram. It may be a combination of sharing knowledge or legal updates, giving an insight into the firm culture or firm activities, or something unique altogether.

We feature below the firms with a higher number of followers. Do drop a comment if you think there are other firms we should feature. Continue reading

Business Development for Lawyers: Building Your Career Beyond Legal Skills

On Saturday 20 October 2018, 10am to 1pm, the Kuala Lumpur Bar Young Lawyers Committee is organising a seminar on Business Development for Lawyers: Building Your Career Beyond Legal Skills. I will be speaking with Foong Cheng Leong at this seminar. The seminar is open to all and the registration fee is only RM30. You can sign up at the event page here.

We will share our own business development experience and tips. Topics covered will include building your practice as a young lawyer, getting your first client and expanding your clientele, client management, and utilising social media.


Bar Council finds BurgieLaw and Dragon Law in breach of Legal Profession Act; yet to decide on CanLaw

  • Legal innovation in Malaysia image

[edit: Burgielaw has responded to this article to clarify matters: “ wishes to clarify that, as of today, Bar Council has neither disapproved nor disallowed the application of”]

In June 2016, published an article titled “Malaysian Bar Council’s scrutiny of Dragon Law continues legal innovation debate”, written by Marcus van Geyzel.

The article was prompted by a report that the then Malaysian Bar President, Steven Thiru, had confirmed that Dragon Law‘s entry into the Malaysian market was being scrutinised. Do re-read that article for an analysis of the state of legal innovation in Malaysia at the time.

This article seeks to provide an update on the Bar Council’s stance on services in the innovative legaltech sphere—BurgieLaw, CanLaw (which was launched after the earlier article), and Dragon Law—based on the report by the Legal Profession Committee (“LPC”) dated 1 December 2016 contained in the 2016/17 Annual Report of the Malaysian Bar.

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Malaysian Bar Council’s scrutiny of Dragon Law continues legal innovation debate

Legal innovation in Malaysia image

On 1 June 2016, legal startup Dragon Law announced its entry into the Malaysian market, with a promotional launch offer of free access to their suite of legal documents for a limited time. Dragon Law first launched in Hong Kong in January 2015, and in Singapore in the second half of 2015.

For now, users in Malaysia will be able to find and customise legal documents, sign and share the documents electronically, and organise and store these documents in the cloud. Users in Hong Kong and Singapore have access to various other services, including personalised training, access to a legal drafting help desk and legal clinics, invitations to seminars and events, and legal support from the Dragon Law team and their network of lawyers. The subscription packages for Malaysia have not been announced, but the pricing in Singapore starts at SGD175 per month.

On 12 June 2016, a story in The Star (Legal start-up’s services scrutinised by Malaysian Bar) reported that Dragon Law‘s entry into Malaysia has come under the scrutiny of the Malaysian Bar. It was reported that Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru has confirmed that Dragon Law‘s services were being studied.

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