OON & BAZUL THWARTS HIRING FREEZE TRENDS WITH ONE OF THE HIGHEST INDUSTRY RETENTION RATES, COUNTS 7 OUT OF 9 TRAINEES FROM SMU
ENTRY-LEVEL SALARIES FOR NEWLY-MINTED LEGAL ASSOCIATES MAINTAINED AT PRE-PANDEMIC LEVELS OF 2019, COMMENSURATE WITH SINGAPORE’S BIG FOUR LAW FIRMS
AS A SINGAPORE COMPANY IN AN UNPRECEDENTED COVID-19 YEAR, SAFEGUARDING JOB PROSPECTS REMAINS CENTRAL TO OON & BAZUL’S SOCIAL MOBILITY MANDATE
Oon & Bazul LLP (“Oon & Bazul”), Singapore’s largest conflict-free law firm and leading commercial legal practice, is pleased to announce it is retaining nine practice trainee graduates, seven of whom are from the Singapore Management University (“SMU”).
With law firms weathering the COVID-19 storm by deferring on new hires, Oon & Bazul is forging ahead with its Singapore-centric mandate of job creation. Its tally of nine newly-minted associates amounts to one of the highest retention aggregates across the legal sector. The trainee hires also signal an addition of 15 per cent headcount to Oon & Bazul’s current slate of 60 lawyers.
In line with the firm’s strategic push to bolstering its practice amidst an ongoing pandemic, Oon & Bazul continues on an unwavering path of investing in talent. Its remuneration packages, even at entry-level, remain above industry median.
“Hiring based on talent and sheer hard work is very much integral to Oon & Bazul’s operating ethos. The firm was built on the efforts of talented individuals and we continue to operate, even now, on the philosophy that quality human resource is an existential need for the firm. I believe that it is important to reward our people well and it was a careful decision made to retain remuneration tiers at generous levels despite difficult circumstances,” states Bazul Ashhab, Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution of Oon & Bazul. “The firm has been extremely lucky to ride the wave of Singapore’s success in cementing its place as a preferred venue for dispute resolution, since inception, over the last 18 years. The hard work and financial prudence together with the invaluable support received from the government’s wage supplement grant allowed us to protect the livelihoods of our employees; especially in an ongoing technical recession as a result of the COVID-19 fallout. More importantly, our clients believe in the value that we bring to them and we continue to be busy during this trying period. I am confident this will pass and that we will emerge stronger.”
Professor Goh Yihan, Dean of SMU School of Law, commented: “It is testament to the calibre of our graduates that seven out of nine trainees have been retained. Moving forward, we envision a continued engagement with Oon & Bazul to providing career opportunities for fresh graduate entrants into the legal sector.”
Ilene Chua, a graduate of SMU, on being retained as an associate with Oon & Bazul: “The last seven months at Oon & Bazul have provided me with a wealth of learning moments and I am grateful for the opportunity to become an official practising lawyer with the firm. During my traineeship, I worked under the firm’s managing partner, Bazul, and his team. While there is a steep learning curve, the insights gained from being involved in client matters, to observing Managing Partner – Bazul, and senior lawyers in his team in action, have been invaluable and instrumental in my development as a young lawyer. Having a nurturing and supportive environment around me also made the last seven months truly rewarding. My traineeship at Oon & Bazul has been truly enriching and I look forward to my time as an associate here!”
Oon & Bazul is a big advocate of social mobility. As a professional services firm, training and investing in human capital is pivotal towards sustaining Oon & Bazul’s pole position as Singapore’s largest conflict-free law firm and leading commercial legal practice. In spite of the setbacks presented by COVID-19, the firm believes in staff training, and continued efforts in honing a critical mass of excellent, next-generation lawyers.
Earlier this year, Oon & Bazul released an announcement that it has renewed its financial aid to SMU for another five years. The Oon & Bazul Bursary, established since 2011, provides financial assistance to full-time law undergraduates at SMU who come from struggling backgrounds. Bursary recipients from the coming academic year 2020 will receive S$10,000 for tuition and education expenses.
The firm has also extended its support to the Oon & Bazul Prize for the Top Student in Law of Torts for another five years. The annual book prize recognises the top student in Law of Torts, a compulsory course at SMU School of Law. The prize, worth S$1,500, has been motivating SMU law students to aim for high academic excellence since 2016.
“The Singapore story is about social mobility. It is about how this country was built. The firm will strive to proactively drive as many employment opportunities as possible for Singaporeans,” according to Bazul. “Even in times of economic and social disruption, Oon & Bazul is undeterred in its pursuit to seek out the best human capital our nation has to offer. We harness talent to continue attracting good volumes of work through sound business development plans, and on the back of strong client relationships in Singapore and overseas.”