The Rules of the High Court (Amendment) (No.3) Rules 2015 and Rules of the District Court (Amendment) Rules 2015 were published in the Gazette today (September 18) and will be tabled in the Legislative Council for negative vetting on October 14.
The Amendment Rules aim to bring the relevant provisions in the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Ordinance 2012, which introduced limited liability partnership (LLP) for law firms in Hong Kong, into operation as soon as practicable by prescribing court procedural rules for litigation as regards LLP.
LLP protects a partner from personal liability as regards professional defaults of other members of the firm where the partner is not personally at fault himself.
At present, the procedural rules for litigation as regards partners in Order 81 of the Rules of the High Court and Order 81 of the Rules of the District Court (collectively "Order 81") primarily cater for general partnership, but not for LLP. Amending "Order 81" for LLP will help give effect to the provisions of the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Ordinance 2012.
The Department of Justice has consulted the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong. Both organisations have no objection to the Amendment Rules.
Ends/Friday, Sep 18, 2015