The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) on Tuesday adopted a decision to allow law practitioners in Hong Kong and practicing lawyers in Macao to qualify and work as lawyers in nine cities of Guangdong province on the mainland on a trial basis, which the Department of Justice (DoJ) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government said is conducive to Hong Kong law practitioners' development in the Greater Bay Area.
The 13th NPC Standing Committee voted at its 21st session to adopt the decision to authorize the State Council to carry out the trial work in the cities of Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Huizhou, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing, which are all within the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.
The decision allows qualified law practitioners in Hong Kong and practicing lawyers in Macao who have passed a practice examination for lawyers in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and obtained the practice certificate to engage in legal work on the mainland within a certain scope.
The Secretary for Justice of the HKSAR Teresa Cheng said that she was grateful to the central government for launching such an arrangement, which will further promote Hong Kong as an international legal and dispute resolution services center in the Greater Bay Area.
According to the Agreement Concerning Amendment to the CEPA Agreement on Trade in Services signed by the mainland and Hong Kong in November last year, Hong Kong legal practitioners, upon passing a specific examination, will be qualified to practise in specific areas to provide mainland civil and commercial legal services in the nine Pearl River Delta municipalities in the Greater Bay Area. The measure will be implemented on a three-year pilot basis.