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Sijil Annual 2019 (Circular No 259/2018)

Please note that a new, enhanced login system has been put in place for access to the website and the Bar Council Member Online Portal. Any website username or password that you previously had is no longer valid. For details, please refer to section I(A) below, entitled "How to Access the Bar Council's Online Portal".

To enable the Bar Council Secretariat to deal with your application expeditiously, kindly submit your SAPC application online, on or before 12 Nov 2018 (Monday).

Circular No 259/2018 
Dated 17 Oct 2018

To Members of the Malaysian Bar

Sijil Annual 2019

Pursuant to part III of the Legal Profession Act 1976 (“LPA”), Sijil Annual and Practising Certificate (“SAPC”) shall be renewed annually by every advocate and solicitor.

All applications for SAPC can only be made online. You must log in to the Bar Council Member Online Portal in order to complete and submit your SAPC applications. All supporting documents must be scanned and uploaded online during the application process.  No hard copy documents will be accepted. 

The authorised representative of your law firm can assist you to prepare your SAPC application through the Bar Council Law Firm Online Portal, but ultimately youmust submit your own SAPC application through the Member Online Portal.

When ready, your SAPC can only be retrieved from the online portal. No hard copies of the SAPC will be provided. 

Please scroll down to read an overview of the SAPC online application process.

Kindly note that you will not be able to prepare / submit your SAPC application until:

(1) you log in to the Member Online Portal using the new login system, and change your temporary password after keying in a Transaction Authorisation Code (“TAC”) that will be sent by SMS to your Malaysian mobile phone number that is registered with the Bar Council.  This is an enhanced login system that simplifies the procedure for Members to access the Member Online Portal;   

(2) you have settled all outstanding payments.  It may take up to five working days for your payments to be processed.  Please refer to section D on pages 45 to 47 in Appendix E; and

(3) you have completed and printed your Statutory Declaration, affirmed it in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths, and uploaded it during the online application process.  Please refer to section C on pages 39 to 44 in Appendix E.

We are pleased to inform you that the following enhancements have been made to the SAPC online application system:

(1) An improved login system that utilises TACs to facilitate your access to the Member Online Portal;  

(2) At Tab 3 (Practice / Employment Details & History), you may opt to prepare your own list of the client accounts maintained, instead of keying in all the particulars of the accounts.  This list must be uploaded online, together with your Statutory Declaration, during the application process;

(3) At Tab 3 (Practice / Employment Details & History), you must complete the employment history section in order to print the Statutory Declaration;

(4) The authorised representative of your law firm can assist you to upload your firm’s Accountant’s Report as an “individual copy”, through the Law Firm Online Portal; and

(5) Bahasa Malaysia translations are available for some sections of text as well as certain text fields in the online application system, when you place your mouse over those sections.

Please go to goo.gl/qsmRyb to download the complete version of this circular, which contains important information regarding the online SAPC application process, including a step-by-step pictorial guide.

To enable the Bar Council Secretariat to deal with your application expeditiously, kindly submit your SAPC application online, on or before 12 Nov 2018 (Monday).

Should you have any enquiries, please contact the Membership Department by telephone at 03-2050 2191 or by email at membership@malaysianbar.org.my.

Thank you.

Roger Chan Weng Keng 
Secretary 
Malaysian Bar


OVERVIEW OF THE SAPC ONLINE APPLICATION PROCESS


I. How to Access the Bar Council Online Portal

The online portal is accessible through the Malaysian Bar website at www.malaysianbar.org.my.

(A)    Member Online Portal

A new and enhanced login system has been put in place for Members to access this section of the online portal.  Please note that any website username or password that you previously had is no longer valid.

Instead, you must go through a simple first-time login process using the new login systemin which you use your National Registration Identity Card number (“NRIC No”) as both your username as well as your temporary password. 

Once you have logged in, as a security measure you must change your temporary password after keying in a Transaction Authorisation Code (“TAC”) that will be sent by SMS to your Malaysian mobile phone number that is registered with the Bar Council.  A TAC is a unique 6-digit code to verify that you are authorised to access your online portal account. 

Please refer to Appendix A on pages 9 to 15 for a step-by-step pictorial guide on using the new login system.

(B)    Law Firm Online Portal

The authorised representative of your law firm can assist you to complete your SAPC application through the Law Firm Online Portal.  However, please note that ultimately, you must submit your own SAPC application through the Member Online Portal.

Law firms that have not yet nominated an authorised representative may do so by providing the following particulars of the authorised representative, to whom the law firm’s username and password will be released by email:

(1) Name;
(2) Designation;
(3) Office address; and
(4) Email address.

Please submit these details by completing and returning the Law Firm Online Portal Registration Form (please refer to Appendix B on page 16) to the Bar Council, together with the original copy of a covering letter on the law firm’s letterhead.  It may take up to three working days for your request to be processed.

If your law firm had previously been issued with a username and password, those same particulars can be used to access the Law Firm Online Portal.
 

II. How to Create Your SAPC Application Using the Member Online Portal

(A) Renewing Your SAPC

If you have a valid SAPC 2018 and you are submitting an application for SAPC 2019 on or before 31 Jan 2019, please refer to the step-by-step pictorial guide contained in Appendix C (pages 17 to 21). 

(B) Applying for Your First SAPC

If you are a newly-called applicant and you are applying for your SAPC for the first time, please refer to the step-by-step pictorial guide contained in Appendix C (pages 22 to 25).

(C) Applying for Your SAPC Upon Resumption of Practice

If you ceased practice in 2018 or prior to the issuance of SAPC 2018, and you are applying for your SAPC in order to resume practice; or you are submitting an application for SAPC 2019 after 31 Jan 2019, please refer to the step-by-step pictorial guide contained in Appendix C (pages 26 to 29).
 

III. How Your Law Firm’s Authorised Representative Can Assist to Create Your SAPC Application Using the Law Firm Online Portal

The authorised representative of your law firm can assist you to prepare your SAPC application through the Law Firm Online Portal.  However, please note that ultimately, you must submit your own SAPC application through the Member Online Portal.

Please refer to section I(B) (entitled “Law Firm Online Portal”) on page 3 above for information on how a law firm can request a username and password.

(A) Renewing Your SAPC

If you have a valid SAPC 2018 and you are submitting an application for SAPC 2019 on or before 31 Jan 2019, your law firm’s authorised representative can assist you by logging into the Law Firm Online Portal, using the law firm’s username and password. 

For a step-by-step pictorial guide, please refer to pages 30 to 34 in Appendix D.

(B) Applying for Your First SAPC

If you are a newly-called applicant and you are applying for your SAPC for the first time, the authorised representative of your law firm can assist you once you have received the email notification from the Bar Council containing your membership number. 

For a step-by-step pictorial guide, please refer to page 34 in Appendix D.

(C) Applying for Your SAPC Upon Resumption of Practice

If you ceased practice in 2018 or prior to the issuance of SAPC 2018, and you are applying for your SAPC in order to resume practice; or you are submitting an application for SAPC 2019 after 31 Jan 2019, the authorised representative of your law firm can assist you once you have received the email notification from the Bar Council confirming your membership number.  

For a step-by-step pictorial guide, please refer to page 34 in Appendix D.

 

IV. How to Prepare and Submit Your SAPC Application

The SAPC application form is the same in both the Member Online Portal and the Law Firm Online Portal.  

You can prepare your own SAPC application using the Member Online Portal.  Alternatively, the authorised representative of your law firm can assist you to prepare your SAPC application through the Law Firm Online Portal.  However, please note that ultimately, you must submit your own SAPC application through the Member Online Portal.

There are seven tabs in the SAPC application form that have to be completed.  In each tab, all applicable sections must be completed, and scanned copies of the required supporting documents must be uploaded.

Please click the “Save” button at the bottom of every section, in order to save all the information provided or changes made.

(A) Tab 1: Personal Particulars

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to pages 36 to 37 in Appendix E.

If you are a newly-called applicant and you are applying for your SAPC for the first time, you must upload the Order of Admission as an advocate and solicitor, and a copy of the official receipt of the RM200 admission fee paid to the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board, in order to complete your application. 

(B) Tab 2: Jurisdictions / Gainful Employment Details

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to page 38 in Appendix E.

(C) Tab 3: Practice / Employment Details & History

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to pages 39 to 44 in Appendix E.

Please note that your Statutory Declaration will be generated by the SAPC online application system, based on the information you provide.  Once you have printed your Statutory Declaration and affirmed it in the presence of a Commissioner for Oaths, you must upload it online in order to be able to submit your SAPC application. 

If you are a sole proprietor or partner, please refer to pages 41 to 42 in Appendix E for details regarding the maintenance of client accounts.

(D) Tab 4: Payment & Insurance Status

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to pages 45 to 47 in Appendix E.

(1) Please ensure that the following payments have been made:*

     (a) 2018 Annual Subscription: RM450;
     (b) 2018 Building Fund (Levy): RM250;
     (c) 2018 Legal Aid Fund (Levy): RM100;
     (d) 2018 Sports Fund (Levy): RM20; 
     (e) 2018 LawCare Fund (Levy): RM100; 
     (f) 2019 Compensation Fund (Contribution): RM100; 
     (g) 2019 Discipline Fund (Prescribed Fee): RM60; and
     (h) Penalty pursuant to section 46(6) of the LPA (if applicable): RM450

     
The years specified above are applicable to Members who have a valid SAPC 2018 and are submitting an application for SAPC 2019. 

You will not be able to submit your SAPC application until you have settled all outstanding payments.  It may take up to five working days for your payments to be processed. 

For details about making payment, kindly refer to Circular No 109/2018 dated 20 April 2018, entitled “2018 Malaysian Bar Payments Required under the Legal Profession Act 1976”.  For enquiries, please contact the Finance Department by telephone at 03-2050 2128 or by email at finance@malaysianbar.org.my.

(2) Please obtain the Professional Indemnity Insurance Cover 2019 from Jardine Lloyd Thompson Sdn Bhd (“JLT”).  You are encouraged to complete your renewal online with JLT as it is convenient and hassle-free, and enables faster processing.

(3) If you have fines that are due and payable to the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board, your SAPC will only be issued once you upload a copy of the official receipt in respect of your payment.  

(E) Tab 5: Accountant’s Report

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to pages 48 to 49 in Appendix E.

Each sole proprietor / partner must submit a copy of the Accountant’s Report for the period from 1 Jan to 31 Dec 2017, unless exempted by the Bar Council under rule 6 of the Accountant’s Report Rules 1990, for the:

(1) main office; and 
(2) branch office(s) (only applicable to sole proprietor / partner with branch office(s)).

The Accountant’s Report must be issued under the name of individual applicants.  If you have more than one office, please ensure that the Accountant’s Report covers all offices and/or branches, or separate Accountant’s Reports are submitted for each and every office.

If you are resuming practice and you were a sole proprietor / partner before ceasing practice, the Accountant’s Report for the relevant accounting period during which you were practising as a sole proprietor / partner until the date of cessation of practice or until 31 Dec 2017, whichever is later, must be submitted.

(F) Tab 6: State Bar Certificate(s)

For a step-by-step pictorial guide on completing this section, please refer to pages 50 to 51 in Appendix E.

Where a firm has offices in more than one state, the sole proprietor / every partner of that firm must be a member of all the State Bars where the offices are located, and must upload scanned copies of the State Bar certificates confirming that there are no arrears in subscription(s) for 2018, for the:

(1) main office; and
(2) branch office(s) (only applicable to sole proprietor / partner with branch office(s)).

If you are resuming practice, you are required to submit the State Bar certificates for:

  • the last year of practice in which you were issued with an SAPC; and
  • for the current year, or the year of the SAPC that you intend to apply for (as the case may be).

(G) Tab 7: Declaration

You will submit your SAPC application in this section.  Please note that you must submit your own SAPC application through the Member Online Portal.  The authorised representative of your law firm is unable to submit any SAPC application through the Law Firm Online Portal.

For a step-by-step pictorial guide, please refer to page 52 in Appendix E.

 

V. How to Retrieve Your SAPC

You can check the status of your SAPC application at the “Sijil Annual (“SA”) Application and Submission History” page.

Once you receive an email notification that your SAPC have been issued, you can download the documents from the Member Online Portal and print them.  Alternatively, your law firm’s authorised representative can retrieve them from the Law Firm Online Portal.

The Bar Council will not provide any hard copies of your SAPC.

For a step-by-step pictorial guide, please refer to pages 53 to 54 in Appendix E.

 

VI. Other Matters

(A) Practising after 31 Dec 2018

Section 29(3) of the LPA provides that if a Member has duly complied with section 29(1) of the LPA (relating to the application for Practising Certificates) “in the month of January of any year, the practising certificate issued to him in respect of that year shall be deemed to have been in operation from the 1st day of January of that year”.

You may appear in court and carry on with your law practice in January 2019 even if you have not received your Practising Certificate 2019, provided you comply with section 29(3) of the LPA.

The status of a Member who was in possession of a valid SAPC 2018 but who is not issued with a valid SAPC 2019 by 31 Jan 2019, will be changed from “active” to “inactive” in the Bar Council’s database on 1 Feb 2019.

(B) Cessation of Practice  

Members are reminded that those who wish to cease practice, either on a permanent or temporary basis, are required to notify the Bar Council in accordance with section 31(2) of the LPA, and to comply with the Bar Council’s Rules on Cessation of, or Change in, Practice (“Rules”).  A copy of the Rules and the relevant forms can be obtained from the Bar Council Secretariat or downloaded from the Malaysian Bar website (please refer to the “Membership” section under the Resources>Frequently Used Forms tab).

A Member will not be deemed to have ceased practice merely as a result of the expiration of the validity of the Member’s Practising Certificate 2018 on 31 Dec 2018 pursuant to section 29(2) of the LPA.

(C) Disciplinary Proceedings  

The Bar Council will institute disciplinary proceedings after 31 Jan 2019 against Members who have not been issued with Sijil Annual and Practising Certificates 2019 by 31 Jan 2019, except in respect of Members from whom the Bar Council has received a Notice of Cessation of Practice as an Advocate and Solicitor, supported with a Statutory Declaration as prescribed under the Rules.

For sole proprietors who do not have a valid Sijil Annual and Practising Certificate 2019 and have not ceased practice, site inspections will be conducted and injunction proceedings will be instituted against sole proprietors whose firms are found to be in operation.  In the event that the Bar Council institutes injunction proceedings against a Member, any costs incurred by the Bar Council shall be borne by the Member concerned. 

(D) Personal Information Provided to Bar Council

The personal information that you provide to the Bar Council, whether now or in the future, may be used, recorded, stored, disclosed or otherwise processed by or on behalf of the Bar Council for the purposes of facilitating the issuance of your SAPC, research and audit, and maintenance of a database relating to the membership of the Malaysian Bar, and such ancillary functions and services as may be relevant.

 

VII. Enquiries

For enquiries regarding your SAPC 2019 application, kindly contact the Membership Department by telephone at 03-2050 2191, or send an email to membership@malaysianbar.org.my

 

Please go to goo.gl/qsmRyb to download the complete version of this circular, which contains important information regarding the online SAPC application process, including a step-by-step pictorial guide.