Q1.
If I were admitted in jurisdiction A and practised the law of jurisdiction A in jurisdiction B, whether the period of my practice of law in jurisdiction B would be recognised for the purpose of the Examination?
When you apply to sit the Examination, you have to provide documentary evidence to verify that you were properly authorised by the relevant authority in jurisdiction B to practise the law of jurisdiction A as a qualified legal practitioner based on your legal qualification acquired in jurisdiction A. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis (paragraph (ii)(cc) on page 23 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

The Law Society will regard the following post-admission experience as comprising "experience in the practice of law":

post-admission experience which was

(a) gained in the 10 year period immediately preceding the application
(b) in the practice of law in the capacity of a practitioner of the law of the jurisdiction in which the applicant was admitted and
(c) properly authorised to do so according to the rules and regulations of the place in which an applicant carried on his practice of law. For instance,
  • If an applicant practises in the PRC based on his non-PRC legal qualification, he has to provide a certified copy of his PRC practising licence or written confirmation issued by the PRC Justice Bureau or other proper authority to verify that he was properly authorised to practise in the PRC as a qualified legal practitioner based on his non-PRC legal qualification.
  • If an applicant practises in Japan based on his non-Japanese legal qualification, he has to provide a certified copy of certificate or written confirmation issued by the Japan Federation of Bar Associations or other proper authority to verify that he was properly authorised to practise in Japan as a qualified legal practitioner based on his non-Japanese legal qualification.
The examples are non-exhaustive.

Q2.
Can my experience as an in-house counsel be recognised as "experience in the practice of law"?

The Law Society's OLQE Eligibility and Exemption Committee will have to consider and determine whether your in-house experience is comparable to that of a private practitioner in the practice of the law. Each application will be considered on a case-by-case basis (the remarks on page 24 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

Q3.
Are there any preparatory courses for the Examination?

The Law Society is aware that preparatory courses had been provided in the past by the following course providers:


Candidates are advised to contact the preparatory course providers directly to check if they are providing any courses for the forthcoming 2021 Examination. The Law Society does not endorse nor accredit any of the courses (paragraph 11(b) on pages 8-9 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

Q4.
Can I elect to sit one or more Heads of the Examination in one year and sit the remaining Heads of the Examination in the other year?

In order to pass the Examination, you are required to sit and pass all Heads specified in the Certificate under Section 3(2) of the Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission) Rules issued by the Law Society to you. You are not entitled to elect to sit one or more Heads of the Examination in one year and sit the remaining Heads of the Examination in following years. However, you may retake those Heads you did not pass in following years and are not required to retake the Heads which you have already passed (paragraph 2 on page 16 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

Q5.
What are the application procedures to re-sit the Examination?
To re-sit the Examination, you are required to submit:

a. a fresh duly completed Form A;
b. original Certificate(s) of Good Standing from your jurisdiction(s) of admission which are not more than 4 months old from their date of issue; and
c. the application fee of HK$3,300.

Documents which will be relied on in the fresh application and were submitted before need not be re-submitted.

Candidates should submit the fresh application and related documents for resit as soon as possible. It is unnecessary to wait for the result of the application for review before a candidate submits the application for resit. If the application for review is successful, the application fee for resit will be refunded to the candidate (paragraph 26 on pages 14-15 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).
Q6.
What are the details that should be provided to apply for an exemption from Head III (Commercial and Company Law) of the Examination?

An Appendix of a non-exhaustive list of practices in Head III for reference is on page 25 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination. Applicants are required to provide all the details prescribed by paragraph K on pages 31-32 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination in tabular format and such details must be verified by the employers and submitted to the Law Society for its consideration. The description of the clients can be a generic description without breaching clients' privacy and confidentiality. Failure to do so may result in the application being rejected.

An example of how the information can be set out in tabular format is given below:

Types of transactions (including Applicant's role, responsibilities and involvement)
Types of Clients
Work undertaken by the Applicant / Experience gained by the Applicant
Period of employment
(Pages 21-22 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

In the case of a law firm, the verification letter should be issued by a partner of the firm on the firm's letterhead. It is not necessary to provide several verification letters from various partners in the same firm. In the case of a company, the verification letter should be issued by an officer at managerial level in the company on the company's letterhead (paragraph K on pages 31-32 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).

Q7.
What are the exemption guidelines for Head VI (Hong Kong Constitutional Law) of the Examination?

Exemption from Head VI may be granted if, at the time of applying to sit the Examination, the Applicant has already completed a course on Hong Kong Constitutional Law provided by the University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong or The Chinese University of Hong Kong. If the course on Hong Kong Constitutional Law was provided by other institutions, applicants are required to provide the syllabus and academic transcript for consideration by the OLQE Eligibility and Exemption Committee and any such application will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The completion of a course on the Constitutional Law of an overseas jurisdiction is not sufficient for exemption purpose (page 26 of the 2021 Information Package of the Examination).