This Dec 10, 2019 photo shows the east square of the new Hengqin port in Zhuhai, south China's Guangdong province. (PHOTO / XINHUA
HONG KONG - The Department of Justice has welcomed new guidelines issued by the State Council General Office on a pilot program for Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners to practice law in the nine Pearl River Delta municipalities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The document released on Thursday specified the requirements for the legal professional qualifying examination and the scope of business. It would enable local solicitors and barristers to expand their professional service in the Bay Area after obtaining relevant mainland practice qualifications.
Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah believed the arrangement by the central authorities would foster cooperation relationship between the HKSAR and Guangdong province
The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the decision on authorizing the State Council on implementing the pilot program on Aug 11.
Since then, the department has maintained close communication with relevant mainland authorities to reflect views and expectations of the department and Hong Kong legal sector on eligibility for the examination, training methods and business scope.
Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah said she is delighted to learn that under the guidelines, solicitors and barristers with five years' post-qualification experience are allowed to apply for the examination. As such, young legal practitioners are enabled to grasp the opportunities in the Bay Area.
Cheng encouraged practicing solicitors and barristers to capitalize on the Bay Area development and further enhance Hong Kong’s legal service
She thanked the Ministry of Justice for organizing the relevant legal training to prepare and equip Hong Kong’s legal practitioners for the examination.
Cheng believed that the arrangement by the central authorities would foster the mutually complementary cooperation relationship between the HKSAR and Guangdong province.
The arrangement enables Hong Kong solicitors and barristers to provide legal services regarding specified civil and commercial affairs, including litigation and non-litigation businesses, using the mainland’s applicable laws in the Bay Area.
They will enjoy the same privileges and be subject to the same obligations as mainland lawyers.
Legal practitioners from Hong Kong will join their mainland counterparts to provide legal services to enterprises, including Hong Kong enterprises, in the Bay Area.
Cheng encouraged practicing solicitors and barristers to capitalize on the Bay Area development and further enhance Hong Kong’s legal service.
Noting the Bay Area development was an important national strategy, Cheng pointed out that Hong Kong must seize the precious opportunity brought by the area, leverage in the advantages and enhance business cooperation among the three places, so as enhance the cross-boundary cooperative mechanism on rule of law, international legal service and dispute resolutions.
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