Guidelines for legal firms are too stringent, says Bar chief

The Bar Council has called for the relaxation of guidelines for the legal profession.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Bar Council has urged the government to give legal firms some leeway by which they can resume operations during the movement control order period.

However, Bar Council president Salim Bashir said the resumption of legal services would only be meaningful if other agencies are also allowed to begin operations.

“This would include the Land Offices, commissioners for oaths, Inland Revenue Board offices, Companies Commission of Malaysia, and various local authorities and government agencies,” he said in a statement.

Salim said the legal profession plays a critical role by supporting and enabling the real estate and banking sectors, as well as operations that include contracts and transactions, capital markets, debt recovery, insolvency and intellectual property protection.

He said the Bar Council recognised that the legal profession could not go back to a mode of operation that was practised before the Covid-19 pandemic.

New procedures would be needed in line with health ministry guidelines. Salim said the Bar was concerned that guidelines drawn up for the legal profession were too stringent, and had “affected the ability of firms to satisfy the requirement and make applications”.

He said the Bar Council had been in contact with the ministry of international trade and industry and other relevant government authorities “in our efforts to move things forward”.

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