21 November 2017
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Law Society council polls see close fight

Straits Times
26 Oct 2017
K.C. Vijayan

The Law Society's elections for seats on its governing council showed up one of the closest outcomes ever when two candidates were edged out in two categories by narrow margins.

Incumbent council member Felicia Tan, standing for re-election, drew 337 votes against Mr Josephus Tan's 329 in the middle category, while Mr Benjamin Foo beat Ms Grace Morgan 745-736 in the junior category.

Thirteen candidates vied for eight posts to represent the three categories of the 5,191-strong Law Society. Lawyers with at least 15 years of practice comprise the senior category, while lawyers in the middle category have practised five to 15 years. Those with less than five years form the junior category. Members cast votes only for candidates in their category.

The candidates who obtained the most votes in the three categories in Tuesday's e-voting - Mr Daniel Koh, Mr Paul Tan and Ms Christine Low - shared similar sentiments when contacted by The Straits Times, saying they were humbled and grateful for the support and pledged to do their best.

Ms Low, 29, a director at Peter Low & Choo LLC, bagged some 1,240 of the 2,721 votes in the junior category. The daughter of former Law Society president Peter Low had campaigned for more bonding among lawyers across the categories and vowed to ensure the smooth passage of the Law Society's enhanced mentorship scheme for junior lawyers.

Rajah & Tann partner Paul Tan, 37, was the sole candidate of five in the middle category to get more than 400 votes out of 1,797 at stake. He said: "The society's ability to help our members succeed and find fulfilment as lawyers is central to its mission and relevance."

Eldan Law founding partner Daniel Koh, 48, the only one to cross the 1,000 mark of the 4,479 votes in the senior category among five candidates, noted that these were challenging times for lawyers. "We can certainly do more with less by tapping technology, e-learning and collaboration. We should not be afraid to embrace disruption and an open market and we should strive to provide value-added services for our clients doing business out of Singapore," he told ST.

Each candidate is elected for a two-year term. The 21-member council elects the Law Society's office-bearers for next year, including the president. The others rounding off the eight were Mr Tito Isaac, Mr Chia Boon Teck and Mr Jason Chan.

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.