The Government has established a LawTech Fund (the Fund) under the Anti-epidemic Fund to assist some small and medium-size law firms and barristers' chambers in procuring and upgrading information technology systems and arranging for their staff to attend lawtech training courses. The Fund will be open for application starting tomorrow (April 28). Eligible law firms and chambers can each be given a reimbursement amount of up to $50,000.
The Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association will establish a Joint Committee to process and assess the applications for the Fund, as well as to arrange the disbursement of the funding. It is expected to benefit more than 60 per cent of law firms and more than 50 per cent of barristers' chambers (a total of about 700 firms/chambers) in Hong Kong.
Eligibility and application arrangements:
• Applications will be accepted from April 28, 2020 (for two months);
• The law firm or chamber must have five or fewer practising lawyers as at April 8, 2020 (announcement of the Fund), and at the time of granting the subsidy;
• The reimbursable amount is capped at $50,000 for each law firm or chamber;
• Subsidies must be used for procuring and upgrading information technology systems (including but not confined to video-conferencing facilities); and
• "Lawtech training" refers to the relevant training recognised and approved by the Joint Committee.
The application form and the guidance notes are available at the homepages of the Law Society of Hong Kong (www.hklawsoc.org.hk) and the Hong Kong Bar Association (www.hkba.org/covid-19/lawtech-fund).
The Secretary for Justice in her blog has given an outline of the Fund and discussed lawtech (www.doj.gov.hk/eng/public/blog/20200411_blog1.html).
The Department of Justice expressed its appreciation to the Law Society of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Bar Association for their practical assistance and close partnership in processing the applications and disbursement of subsidies to benefit eligible law firms and barristers' chambers as soon as practicable.
Ends/Monday, April 27, 2020