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New sections 6(6B) and 6(6C) of the LPO will come into operation on 3 July 2023 as appointed by the Secretary for Justice by notice published in the Gazette under section 2 of the Law Amendment and Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance 2003 (Ord. No.14 of 2003) to the effect that in addition to the 2-year employment requirement under section 6(6) of the LPO, a solicitor applying for the first issue of an unconditional practising certificate, is required to complete a course in practice management provided or approved by the Law Society in accordance with the guidelines as may be issued by the Law Society from time to time. The Council may, where it considers appropriate, exempt an applicant wholly or partly, with or without conditions, from the mandatory course requirement.
For the purposes of section 6(6B), the Mandatory Course will be offered by the Hong Kong Academy of Law (“Academy of Law”) free of charge to equip solicitors with the necessary skills and knowledge on the key aspects of practice management of a law firm. The duration of the Mandatory Course is half-day consisting of 5 topics: practice structures, financial management, talent management, client development and business planning.
The Mandatory Course is accredited with Continuing Professional Development (“CPD”) points.
A participant or a risk management education (“RME”) tutor of the Mandatory Course is taken to have successfully completed it for the purposes of section 6(6B) if:
A participant or a RME tutor who has completed the Mandatory Course shall keep a proper record of his or her attendance at the Course in the CPD training record form for audit purposes.
A solicitor applying pursuant to section 6(6) of the LPO for the first issue of an unconditional practising certificate may be exempted from the requirement to complete the Mandatory Course where the applicant:
When considering whether or not a course is equivalent to the course or courses conducted or approved by the Law Society for the purposes of section 6(6) of the LPO, the Law Society may take into account any relevant factor including, but not limited to:
The application fee for this category of exemption is HK$2,000. The application is subject to the Law Society’s approval on a case-by-case basis.
Since 2019, a practice management course, with identical content as that of the Mandatory Course, has been offered as a RME Elective as a pilot run of the Mandatory Course by the Academy of Law.
The RME Elective will not be offered after the commencement of section 6(6B) on 3 July 2023.
The Mandatory Course (same as the RME Elective) will be offered as the mandatory practice management course approved by the Law Society pursuant to section 6(6B).
Automatic exemption from taking the Mandatory Course will be granted by the Law Society under section 6(6C) to the solicitors:
It is not necessary for an applicant under this catgory to apply for automatic exemption.
Please click here for the guidelines on the Mandatory Course pursuant to new section 6(6B) of the LPO.
Please click here for the Circular 23-111 (SD) dated 2 March 2023 on the Mandatory Course.
For enquiries, please contact the Assistant Director, Regulation & Guidance I at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Standards & Development
The Law Society of Hong Kong
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