Professional hong kong solicitors
Japanese Team  Rix CHUNG Kwok Fai | Rentaro MUTO | William MAK Wai Leung | Kate TSANG Bou Kei | Laura CHIEN Yeng Yeng | Eva CHENG Wing Yan | Johnson CHOI

Legal Team for Japanese Clients

Reasons for choosing Hong Kong as a business place

1.Hong Kong is blessed with the unique advantages of both “One Country” and “Two Systems”. As part of China, Hong Kong benefits from the rapid development of the enjoy preferential treatments from China and at the same time, Hong Kong benefits from having a system that is different from other Mainland cities. By capitalizing on these advantages, not only Hong Kong Law expedite its growth, but it also continues to expand the existing lead industries and foster new industries to meet the development needs of the Mainland China and oversea countries abroad.

2.Trading, financial services, shipping, tourism and professional services are Hong Kong’s pillar industries. Industries in Hong Kong, regardless of scale, share a common advantage; that is, Hong Kong is an important link and a “super-connector” between the Mainland and the rest of the world. At present, more than 7500 overseas and Mainland enterprises have offices in Hong Kong of which about half are regional headquarters or regional offices.

3.Hong Kong was the world’s 8th largest trading entity in goods in 2013. The overall trade volume between Hong Kong and the Mainland accounted for more than half of Hong Kong’s total trade value.

4.Hong Kong is also a major international financial centre as well as China’s leading global financial centre. The significance of the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect can be best appreciated when seen in the broader context of the well-defined plan of China for financial liberalization. The Stock Connect links the Mainland market with international markets and enhances Hong Kong’s role as a connector on the financial front. By increasing liquidity in the offshore Renminbi (RMB) market and by providing a wider choice of RMB investment products in Hong Kong, the Stock Connect contributes to the continuous growth of its financial sector.

5.With high per capita incomes, professional services play an integral part in Hong Kong’s economy. In recent years, the industry has actively expanded its presence in the Mainland market. The development of professional services has been gaining momentum. Take legal, accountancy, auditing, architecture and engineering services as an example. The average annual growth of their value added was 9.9% from 2007 to 2012, far exceeding the overall economic growth of 4.6% over the same period. In 2012, professional services contributed as much as 4.7% of the GDP of Hong Kong equivalent to the contribution of the whole tourism industry, and provided nearly 200,000 job opportunities. At present, through the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement, many professional services sectors can enjoy preferential access to the Mainland market.

6.China will have a rising status as a major intellectual property (IP) user, buyer, provider as well as seller. Hong Kong can play a key role in providing Mainland and overseas players with a range of intermediary services, in such areas as IP agency and management, consultancy, legal services, dispute resolution and due diligence.

7.Hong Kong’s tradition of the rule of law and our legal system are conducive to the development of legal and dispute resolution services. Last year, the China Maritime Arbitration Commission established an office in Hong Kong, its first branch office outside the Mainland. The Central Government and the HKSAR Government have recently signed the Host Country Agreement and the related Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements respectively with the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the conduct of dispute settlement proceedings in Hong Kong by the court.

8.Renowned arbitration institutions such as the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission and the China Maritime Arbitration Commission have set up offices in Hong Kong in recent years. Arbitration awards made in Hong Kong are enforceable in the jurisdictions of over 150 contracting states of the New York Convention, and also in the Mainland and Macao.

The legal profession in Hong Kong

The legal profession in Hong Kong is divided into two distinct branches - barristers and solicitors.

  Solicitors Barristers
Rights of audience Limited to lower courts Unlimited rights of audience in all courts
Governing body The Law Society of Hong Kong The Hong Kong Bar Association
No. of members 7,864 (as at Dec 2013) 1,275 (as at Jan 2015)
Form of practice Sole proprietor/partnership Sole proprietor/partnership
Clients No restriction Barristers can only accept instructions from a firm of solicitors, or members of professional bodies recognised by the Bar Association.;
Other issue It is not permitted for a person to practise as a barrister and a solicitor at the same time.

Job description of solicitors

1. Solicitors provide expert legal support and advice to clients. They take instructions from clients and advise on necessary courses of legal action.

2.Depending on their area of expertise, solicitors can advise on a range of issues, including:
personal issues: buying and selling residential property, tenancy agreements, probate, divorce and family matters, personal injury claims and criminal litigation;
commercial work: helping new enterprises get established, advising on complex corporate transactions (including mergers and acquisitions) and business-related disputes;
Solicitors may use some of their time to give free help to clients who are unable to pay for legal services themselves.

3.Typical work activities are as follows:
• meeting and interviewing clients to establish the firm's suitability to provide the necessary advice and services, based on the firm's specialism and likely cost;
• taking a client's instructions;
• advising a client on the law and legal issues relating to their case;
• drafting documents, letters and contracts tailored to the client's individual needs;
• negotiating with clients and other professionals to secure agreed objectives;
• researching and analysing documents and case law to ensure the accuracy of advice and procedure;
• supervising the implementation of agreements;
• coordinating the work of all parties involved;
• corresponding with clients and opposing solicitors;
• attending meetings and negotiations with opposing parties;
• acting on behalf of clients in disputes and representing them in court, if necessary;
• instructing barristers or specialist advocates to appear in court for the client in complex disputes;
• preparing papers for court;
• working in a team, sometimes referring cases to the head of department;
• supervising and delegating work to trainee solicitors, paralegals and legal secretaries as appropriate;
• arranging and attending further client meetings where necessary to progress with the case and finalise documentation;
• checking all documentation prior to signing and implementing;
• calculating claims for damages, compensation, maintenance, etc;
• administrative duties, e.g. completing time sheets so that charges for work can be calculated and billing clients for work done on their behalf;
• taking referrals from other firms of solicitors when a conflict of interest arises or if they have no specialist practitioner available;
• keeping up to date with changes and developments in the law by reading journals and law reports.

Legal Team for Japanese Clients

We maintain a strong and reputable Japanese practice serving our Japanese clients both in Japan, Hong Kong and Mainland China through a legal team headed by our 2 partners, Mr. Rix Chung and Mr. Rentaro Muto. This legal team is well established and consists of 4 other qualified solicitors in Hong Kong, 1 Japanese Legal Executive (qualified as a lawyer in Japan but voluntarily deregistered from the Japan Federation of Bar Association’s roll of attorneys (March 2013 -) and 1 Japanese speaking Chinese Legal Executive.