Pilot measures to allow Hong Kong legal practitioners to practise in Greater Bay Area

Pilot measures announced by China’s General Office of the State Council in October will allow lawyers in Hong Kong and Macau to requalify to practise civil and commercial law in the nine mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area.

Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macau Greater Bay Area

Legal practitioners who obtain the additional legal qualification for practice will be able to provide legal services in specified civil and commercial affairs (including litigation and non-litigation matters) to which the Mainland laws apply in the nine Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area. 

While not open to non-Chinese citizens, we hope that this will create opportunities for many law firms operating in Hong Kong SAR.

The General Office of the State Council's guidelines set out the requirements for the legal professional qualifying examination, the scope of practice and more. These include:

Eligibility

  • Hong Kong permanent residents who are Chinese nationals
  • Upholding the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China and the Basic Law of the HKSAR
  • Qualified solicitors or barristers with five years' post-qualification experience

Examination

Legal practitioners can sit for the examination after attending the training course organised by the Ministry of Justice.

Hong Kong legal practitioners who pass the examination must enroll in a training course organised by the Guangdong Lawyers’ Association and sit an assessment before they can apply to the Department of Justice of Guangdong Province for practice.

Scope of practice

Legal practitioners who have gained the qualification for practice can provide legal services in specified civil and commercial affairs (including litigation and non-litigation matters) to which the Mainland laws apply in the nine Mainland cities of the Greater Bay Area.

Read the official guidelines published by the General Office of the State Council of PRC (Chinese) or the Hong Kong SAR secretary of justice's summary (English).

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