On 22 October 2020, the State Council General Office released the details regarding the pilot scheme that allows those who pass the special qualifying examination to deal with civil and commercial legal matters (including litigation and non-litigation matters) in the nine mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area (“GBA”).
In relation to Hong Kong residents and solicitors, those who satisfy the following criteria will be eligible to sit the special examination:
|a.||permanent Hong Kong residents who are Chinese citizens;|
|b.||uphold the constitution of The People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law;|
|c.||solicitors admitted by the High Court of Hong Kong and properly registered on the roll of solicitors and have not been suspended from practice;|
|d.||have 5 years or above post-qualification practice experience;|
|e.||Good professional ethics and no disciplinary records for professional misconduct;|
|f.||Able to write legal documents in Chinese and conduct business activities in Mandarin.|
The Ministry of Justice will be in charge of the implementation of the special examination, supervising closely the Department of Justice of the Guangdong Province to handle the registration, preliminary screening for eligible candidates, as well as the training and the detailed administration of the examination.
Once qualified, the “GBA lawyers” will be required to join as members of the local lawyers’ associations as well as the All China Lawyers Association. They can be employed by the Mainland law firms or the partnership associations between Hong Kong/Macao law firms and Mainland law firms in the nine Mainland cities in the GBA. They, however, cannot be employed by the representative offices of Hong Kong/Macao or foreign law firms in the Mainland.
On 24 June 2021, the Ministry of Justice announced that the examination will take place on 31 July 2021, with Hong Kong being one of the locations to take the examination. For details, please click here (in Chinese only).
For details about the examination, please refer to the following websites (in Chinese only):