The Professional Career of a Hong Kong Lawyer
Barrister and Solicitor, Split Streams
Hong Kong is considered as the International Capital of Asia especially due to its highly professional law firm. Lawyers in the law firm of Hong Kong are basically of two categories namely solicitors and barristers whose standards are maintained by the two associations, The Law Society of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Bar Association respectively.
Solicitors: Solicitors are lawyers in Hong Kong who could provide a range of advisory services that includes all kinds of legal services. But in comparison with the barristers, solicitors only have limited rights of audience. They have no right to appear in contested hearings in the High Court or the Appeal Courts except in a limited circumstance. Click here to see service scope of a solicitors firm in Hong Kong
Barristers: Barristers are lawyers in Hong Kong who are self-employed independent legal practitioners. They are specialized advocates and legal advisors. But barristers do not have the liberty to take instructions directly from their clients. They only have the privilege to provide legal services according to the instructions given by solicitors, the Director of the Legal or the instructions from the Government. However, barristers have unlimited rights of the audience when compared with the solicitors to appear in front of all courts in Hong Kong.
Legal Profession Contributes to the Society
Over the past few years, Hong Kong Law Firm has acquired a huge number of lawyers into the field. By the end of 2017, the number has reached more than nine thousand four thousand Hong Kong solicitors who practice law. Hong Kong is not only the International Capital of Asia it is also the country with world’s freest economy according to the 2016 rankings of the Heritage Foundation. Analysis proves that the reason behind Hong Kong’s free economy is its stable and transparent legal environment. And for Hong Kong to own such a stable and transparent legal environment is the quality and the standard of the lawyers in the Hong Kong Law Firm.
Due to the significant role played by Hong Kong solicitors the society of Hong Kong has acquired a position where they are well known all around the world for the discipline they possess within them. Solicitors in Hong Kong are highly dedicated professionals who compromise themselves to the welfare of the civilians. Lawyers in Hong Kong assist civilians and corporations to achieve their rights in order to support their legal matters. They provide with all the assistance that their clients need such as providing them with advises and the preparation of legal documents to win their cases. It is not just the academic and professional qualifications that raise the standard of a Hong Kong solicitor. Lawyers in Hong Kong are also subjected to strong ethical standards and professional compensation insurance requirements. Becoming a lawyer in Hong Kong is not a simple thing. It requires many skills and compromises to become a Hong Kong Solicitor in the Law Firm of Hong Kong. A Hong Kong resident is expected to acquire the following requirement if he or she intends to step into the Law Firm of Hong Kong as a solicitor in Hong Kong in order to be a qualified individual who has all the rights to engage in the practice of law.
- A quality law-degree
- Postgraduate practical training
- Postgraduate traineeship
- Being accepted on the Roll of Hong Kong Solicitors
- Abiding by the Judicial Compensation Rules which HK$10 million for each claim
Solicitors Professional Indemnity Scheme
The indemnity insurance is for the welfare of the public as it is through the indemnity insurance that the failures in the practice of law by Hong Kong Lawyers are recovered by the indemnity insurance. That means the public will reason a fair amount of capital as means of recovering the damage caused by any lawyer that assisted them in their legal cases if there is any. This has resulted in upgrading the quality of the Hong Kong Lawyers because they know that they will have to repay if they make a fault while practicing law. Hence the lawyers will make sure their duties and responsibilities are up to the proper standard.
Hong Kong Lawyer’s Ethical Rules
Other than the above requirements, lawyers in Hong Kong will also have to abide by the professional ethical rules. And for a solicitor to attend a law firm or a law office, he or she should constitute an unmitigated practicing certificate. Lawyers in Hong Kong are expected to provide their clients with the advice regarding legal services such as,
- Corporate transactions
- Drafting commercial contracts
- Advising on transactions regarding property and entailment.
Traditional Pathes to Becoming Hong Kong Barrister
Also, any individual can follow the following two routes to become a solicitor of a barrister in Hong Kong.
- The pupilage route for barristers and the contract route for solicitors and they should possess the following requirements:
- A degree in law
- Juris Doctorate
- Postgraduate Certificate in Law
Related posts on this topic, but unfortunately the article is only available on Chinese language: How to become qualitifed lawyer in Hong Kong
The Overseas Lawyer Route
Though the Hong Kong Solicitors were highly restricted of appearing in High Court and appeal courts except for a limited circumstance, some recent changes in the Hong Kong Law firm have resulted in amending these restrictions. At present, the solicitors are given the right to appear in the Competition Tribunal, the High Court and also in civil and criminal proceedings.
As means of maintaining the quality or the standard of Hong Kong Lawyers the Hong Kong Law Society and the Hong Kong Bar Association stick into a set of specific codes where the Hong Kong Lawyers should abide by. The Hong Kong lawyers are expected to be competent enough to perform legal services by these two associations that the lawyers are not expected to accept any legal service that will be higher that their competency level. This is basically to avoid the lawyers in encountering failures during their practice of law. Hong Kong Lawyers does not have a compulsory payment system. The solicitors can act according to a written agreement of a certain amount of promised tariff by the client. And also during any circumstance, even if the lawyer has to work beyond his or her limitations spending more of his time and energy he or she should bound to the agreement and cannot claim for an increase in the tariff.
Thus the role of Hong Kong Lawyer is not as simple it seems as most of the ties the rules and regulations are biased to the benefit of the client.