Content available in English Only 只備英文版

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.

Principals are required to complete a core programme for principals. To enable the principals to fulfill their obligations under the Rules, apart from providing an RME Core Programme for Principals, the Society also permits law firms to conduct in-house RME programmes for their principals for the purpose of fulfilling the principals' 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 principals who have not completed the general core courses for non-principals



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

introduction to general principles of risk management and risk analysis;

procedures and techniques employed in client engagement ( including setting up, varying and closing the engagement);

exclusion of liability;

common risks in legal practice;

management of client expectations;

identification and handling of complaints;

subsequent implementation of strategies to avoid repercussion;

techniques involved in effective communication skills with clients, in particular, listening skills and questioning techniques to elicit information and use of plain language;

effective internal communication skills within a team framework, including professional/and non-professional staff;

concept of claims avoidance;

procedures and techniques employed in legal diagnostic case analysis;

diagnostic approach to work allocation, delegation of work and supervision of staff;

procedures and techniques employed in risk management of operational issues including file transfers, giving informal advice and managing non-legal appointments:

the management of conflicts of interest;

creation and implementation of a risk management strategy;

risk monitoring throughout the retainer - identifying problems, files, use of information technology, issues relating to delegation / supervision / monitoring of work and staff:

concept of quality and how it applies to law firms;

file audits;

creating a risk manual;

concept of change and the need to deal with change within the context of risk management strategy.



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

be aware of the benefits and effectiveness of setting up procedures for client engagement;

develop a strategy for formulation of such a client engagement procedure and be able to demonstrate an understanding of its effective implementation;

identify and evaluate mistakes in client engagement; devise a strategy and procedure for handling client complaints and subsequently avoid repercussion by effective implementation of the procedures identified;

be aware of the impact of using listening and questioning techniques to enable effective communication;

demonstrate an understanding of when those communication techniques can be employed;

demonstrate an understanding of the impact of an effective claims avoidance strategy on a Hong Kong law firm;

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 ability to evaluate likely risks and their avoidance in all aspects of file transfers;

develop a strategy for implementation of structures for the identification, evaluation and consequential management of conflicts of interests;

differentiate between the communication of relevant and irrelevant information within a team context;

appraise the merits of the implementation of a structure and strategy to manage key operational risk factors in Hong Kong law firms;

plan and implement a structure to manage risk effectively in a HongKong1aw firm;

demonstrate an understanding of change management and its links with the implementation of a risk management strategy.


Format and duration

The RME Core Programme for 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 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, for a solicitor who has not completed the general core courses for non-principals, the duration of an RME core programme for principals covering the topics and aiming to achieve the learning outcomes set out in the accreditation criteria is expected to be 6 half-days of 3½ hours each. 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 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$6,000 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 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 providers should note the CPD attendance policy.

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 programme free of charge, for the purposes of monitoring and evaluating the RME programme.