Against the background of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong has a role to play in the Belt and Road Initiative and the process of internationalisation of legal services, the Secretary for Justice, Mr Rimsky Yuen, SC, said today (November 18).
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 9th Lujiazui Law Forum in Shanghai, Mr Yuen said that the presence of an international and diversified pool of legal talents is one of the major reasons for the legal sector of Hong Kong being able to participate in the provision of international legal services.
He said Hong Kong has about 1 400 registered foreign lawyers from 32 different jurisdictions. Among the 83 registered foreign law firms, 26 of them are from the Mainland, including law firms in Shanghai.
"On the other hand, Hong Kong law firms are also actively developing their business in the Mainland. A total of 21 Hong Kong law firms have set up their representative offices in Shanghai. Under the framework of CEPA (The Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement), law firms in Shanghai have also started engaging Hong Kong barristers as legal advisors since 2015 to deal with Hong Kong and foreign-related legal matters," he said.
"The Government is very pleased to see the legal sectors in Hong Kong and the Mainland working closely in providing appropriate legal services to their clients by reference to their respective strength and expertise, especially in providing the Mainland enterprises that are 'going global' with legal risk management related services."
Regarding the legal cooperation between the two places, Mr Yuen said Shanghai and Hong Kong have their own strengths , and the "win-win" formula is made possible by positive interaction and practical co-operation.
"As the Belt and Road Initiative covers extensive areas and numerous countries and regions with very different legal cultures and backgrounds, the issues of international law and legal risks involved are very complicated; the legal sectors in Shanghai and Hong Kong should therefore enhance co-operation and take it to a new height," Mr Yuen said.
The 9th Lujiazui Law Forum, with the theme of "Belt and Road and internationalisation of legal services", is co-organised by the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice, the Shanghai Bar Association, the Shanghai Notary Association, the Shanghai International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, the Hong Kong Bar Association and the Law Society of Hong Kong.
Mr Yuen also met with Vice Minister of Justice, Mr Wang Shuangquan today to exchange views on matters of mutual interest.
In addition, Mr Yuen met with the Secretary of the Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, Mr Chen Yin, and the Director of the Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice, Mr Lu Weidong. He also visited the Shanghai Bar Association to foster closer ties between the legal and dispute resolution sectors of Hong Kong and Shanghai.
Mr Yuen will return to Hong Kong tomorrow afternoon (November 19).
Ends/Satursday, Nov 18, 2017