Law Society of Hong Kong President's notice Newsletter on July 8, 2019:
As reported earlier, the Law Society had received over 280 written responses to the consultation on the major proposals relating to the foreign lawyer regulatory regime that concluded at the end of 2018.
While the responses reaffirmed the consensus on the fundamental principle that persons not qualified as Hong Kong legal practitioners should not practise, or advise on, Hong Kong laws, many of them presented compelling arguments against the proposed legislative amendments, other than those relating to registration fees.
Accordingly, subject to some slight modifications, the Council has decided to proceed with the amendment exercise on the Foreign Lawyers Registration (Fees) Rules and to seek approval from the Chief Justice on the fee proposal. However, with respect to the remaining proposed amendments, taking into account the overwhelming objections raised in the responses and the supporting justifications, the Council was convinced that there could be unintended consequences that adversely affect the development of the legal profession and the legal services market in Hong Kong if such proposed amendments were made. Hence, the Council has decided not to pursue those remaining legislative proposals.
The Law Society is grateful to members taking the time to respond to the consultation and sharing their valuable views on the proposals. Without their active participation in the review exercise, the Law Society might not have been able to focus as much consideration on the specific concerns and difficulties that some members had.
Melissa K. Pang
(Information from The Law Society of Hong Kong)