Hosted by the Malaysian Bar, the 33rd Presidents of Law Associations in Asia 2023 (“POLA”) Conference was held from 14 to 15 July 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. President C. M. Chan, Immediate Past President Melissa Pang (also in her capacity as President of LAWASIA) and Secretary General Heidi Chu attended the 33rd POLA Conference on behalf of the Law Society.

During the two-day Conference, the Law Society delegation, together with other head delegates of lawyers’ associations and international legal organisations from various jurisdictions had in-depth discussions on topical issues relevant to the legal profession such as artificial intelligence, climate change, anti-money laundering (“AML”) and competition for talent. On 15 July 2023, the President spoke at a session on “AML and Legal Profession Privilege” and exchanged views with the counterparts on the challenges and opportunities relating to this subject. He also talked about the situation in Hong Kong and the Law Society’s work in this area.

Taking this valuable opportunity, the Law Society delegation paid a courtesy visit to the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia. In particular, they highlighted the effort of the Law Society in promoting the unique advantages of Hong Kong and our legal capabilities in facilitating the work of the central government in developing opportunities in the APEC countries including Malaysia. They also met with the Hong Kong-Malaysia Business Association which enable them to reach out to business leaders of a wide range of businesses from legal practice, venture capital consultancy, intellectual property agents, tea trading / tea pairing with food, to manpower solutions outsourcing who have shown a common interest to learn more about expanding to Hong Kong. They made use of the opportunity to promote the advantages of using Hong Kong companies, providing for the use of Hong Kong law as the governing law and Hong Kong as the venue of dispute resolution.

In addition, the delegation had a meeting with the BRILA (The Belt and Road International Lawyers Association) of which the Law Society is a member, and exchanged updates about our respective organisations. They had also been able to catch up, through side meetings, with lawyers’ associations and legal organisations from across the world. Apart from giving an overall update about the Law Society and the legal profession in Hong Kong, they also took the opportunity to explain the rule of law situation in Hong Kong and clarify any misunderstanding.

On this occasion, a MOU was signed with the Law Society of Singapore to foster a closer working relationship with our counterparts in Singapore on issues of common interest.

President C. M. Chan was invited to share his valuable experiences with the participating bar leaders from a Hong Kong perspective.

The Law Society delegation took the opportunity to meet with various organisations and lawyers’ associations to exchange insightful views on topical issues.

MOU signed with the Law Society of Singapore.