Saturday, October 1, 2005
The website of the Legal Daily (法制日报) carried a report earlier this month on the first Hong Kong resident to acquire a license to practice in the PRC. Hong Kong and Macao residents have for some time had the right to sit for the bar exam -- apparently 15 Hong Kong lawyers passed the exam way back in 1994 -- but only with the signing of the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (the CEPA) between Hong Kong and the mainland did it become possible for Hong Kong lawyers to obtain a license to practice PRC law in the PRC and to be partners in PRC law firms (see CEPA, Art. 11 and Annex 4, Table 1). Note, however, that court operations are still deemed too sensitive for anyone but full insiders to see: Hong Kong lawyers are not be permitted to engage in litigation.