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Under the Rules , the Society may conduct any programme on risk management or, subject to such conditions as it considers necessary, approve any programme on risk management conducted by another person or organisation for the purpose of the RME programme.

Solicitors other than principals are required to complete a core programme for non-principals. To enable the non-principals to fulfill their obligations under the Rules, apart from providing an RME Core Programme for Non-Principals, the Society also permits law firms to conduct in-house RME programmes for their non-principals for the purpose of fulfilling their statutory obligations under the Rules provided that the programmes have been approved by the Society in accordance with the applicable accreditation criteria.

Criteria for accreditation of an RME core programme for non-principals



The RME core programme for non-principals must provide delegates with the opportunity to expand their understanding of the following areas:

introduction to risk management techniques and causes of claims;

common risks in legal practice;

techniques in systematic analysis of legal issues;

techniques in management of the legal process;

skills in engagement management covering issues of client expectation, communication (including keeping proper records of communications), scope of the retainer (including varying and ending the retainer), handling clients of different characteristics;

skills in personal management covering issues of reduction and management of the risk of making mistakes, the importance of supervision and adequate resourcing.



The topics to be covered in the RME core programme for non-principals must be of sufficient depth to enable the participants to achieve the following learning outcomes:

understand the concept of risk management;

understand the practical techniques for risk identification, analysis and control;

understand the common risks in a solicitors’ practice and identify risk issues that particularly affect non-principals in a practice;

be aware of the effectiveness of methods of legal diagnostics and project management in the efficient formulation of strategy in contentious and non-contentious legal work in reducing risk;

demonstrate an understanding of the effective ways to communicate with clients and manage the engagement process;

demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of proper supervision, their role and responsibility in that process and adequate resourcing;

be aware of the ways to minimize and manage the risk of making mistakes in daily practice;

demonstrate an ability to transfer the above risk management skills to daily practice and to develop appropriate strategies for individual practice situation.


Format and duration

The RME Core Programme for Non-Principals provided by the Society adopts an interactive approach combining presentations, discussions and work group based activities. The intention is to provide a practical programme underpinned by the relevant theory, thus ensuring a balance of knowledge and understanding together with the practical skills necessary to apply the learning back to the work environment. To enable the participants to have sufficient opportunity to express their views during discussion, the trainers to participants’ ratio is kept at a maximum of 1:9 in the Society’s Core Programme.

In-house core programmes for non-principals are encouraged to adopt a similar interactive approach to enable participants to actively apply the learning in a safe environment rather than to passively receive a series of lecture notes or manuals. Sufficient time must be allowed for the programme to enable participants to derive maximum educational benefit from it.

As a starting point, the duration of an RME core programme for non-principals covering the topics and aiming to achieve the learning outcomes set out in the accreditation criteria is expected to be 6½ hours. Any programme that is designed to run on a shorter duration needs to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Society that the core topics can be sufficiently covered in the duration proposed without compromising the learning outcomes, taking into consideration the firm’s risk management system in place and the particular concerns of the firm with regard to risk management.



Subject to the approval of the Society, a law firm may engage trainers of its choice on the RME core programme for non-principals. The training team should collectively have sufficient legal experience in risk management issues that arise in law firms in Hong Kong and sufficient training experience in risk management areas.


Prescribed fee

A fee, at the rate prescribed by the Council from time to time, will be charged on an application for accreditation of an RME programme. The fee currently prescribed by the Council is HK$2,000 for each application.



A separate application for accreditation of each RME programme must be made by the provider of the programme to the RME Accreditation Sub-Committee. The application must be made on the Society's standard form and sent to the Standards and Development Officer, the Department of Standards and Development, at least 6 weeks before the scheduled commencement date of the programme. If the application is incomplete, accreditation may take longer than 6 weeks from the date of submission of the application.

All changes to the information submitted to the Society in relation to an application shall be notified to the Society as soon as the changes are made and in any event prior to the commencement of the programme. The Society has the right to withdraw accreditation on the basis of the changes made to the programme.


No retrospective accreditation

It is not possible to accredit a programme after any part of it has taken place.


Documents and information required on application for accreditation

a detailed outline of what will be covered in the programme and by whom

a programme showing the sequence of trainers, the method of teaching, e.g. lecture, participatory case study, role-play, discussion, question and answer, and the amount of time which each person will spend on each area

an outline of the programme materials which will be provided to participants

a brief up-to-date resume of each trainer's professional qualifications, legal background and any teaching experience and relevant experience in risk management issues, if any.


Administrative matters

To apply for accreditation of a course as an RME core programme for non-principals, the provider is required to:

submit the application form and supporting documents to the RME Accreditation Sub-Committee for accreditation of the RME programme. (Please contact the Law Society for the application form); and

pay a fee for the applications for RME programme accreditation.

An accredited RME programme will be accredited with CPD points. Providers must comply with the CPD requirements.

All accredited RME programmes must be evaluated by the participants attending the programme in a manner approved by the Society.

All providers shall promptly submit a full set of the programme materials to the Society upon request at any time after the application for accreditation has been submitted or within a reasonable period after the programme is held.

A summary of the evaluation forms must be forwarded to the Standards and Development Officer, the Department of Standards and Development, within 7 days of the completion of each module of the programme.


Monitoring by the Society

All providers shall permit any person nominated by the Society to attend any RME programme free of charge, for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the RME programme.