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HK, Macao lawyers certified to practice in GBA

By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou | China Daily | Updated:2022-07-11

It has been Junius Ho Kwan-yiu's dream to qualify as a lawyer and to practice in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

The Legislative Council member and solicitor from Hong Kong said he hopes to be able to provide high-quality legal services for his mainland compatriots and promote cooperation and exchanges between Hong Kong and the mainland in the years to come, according to a statement released by Guangzhou Bureau of Justice on Thursday.

Ho has become the first Hong Kong lawyer to be allowed to practice in nine Guangdong cities in the GBA after he was granted a certificate to practice by the Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Justice on Wednesday, the statement said.

He is joined by three counterparts from Macao who have become the first group of lawyers from the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions to be granted certificates to practice law in nine Guangdong cities in the GBA.

Ho is employed at ETR Law Firm in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

The three lawyers from Macao-Kuong Lok-kao, Tam Hio-hong and Cheng Ka-man-who were awarded certificates to practice in the GBA all work at a law firm in Guangzhou's Nansha district.

Kuong said she was honored to be granted the certificate to practice law in the GBA.

"I hope I can give full play to the professional role of practicing lawyers in Macao and help promote the construction of the GBA," she said.

Deng Zhongwen, director of the Guangzhou Bureau of Justice, said allowing lawyers from Hong Kong and Macao to practice in the GBA is an initiative to comprehensively implement the "one country, two systems" principle and promote the integrated development of legal services in the GBA.

"The justice bureau has attached great importance to the pilot work and has studied and introduced many measures in terms of legislation and law enforcement to promote the pioneering work to award certificates to lawyers from the two Chinese SARs to practice in the GBA.

Last year, Deng's bureau also supported lawyers from Hong Kong and Macao in participating in the examinations for lawyers to practice in the GBA, he said.

Deng said his bureau would further study and introduce supportive policies and measures to help attract more Hong Kong and Macao lawyers to practice in Guangzhou, help promote the high-quality development of legal services and make greater contributions to the construction of rule by law in the GBA.

Xiao Shengfang, chairman of the Guangdong Lawyers Association, said the Hong Kong and Macao lawyers who have obtained certificates to practice law in the GBA can handle civil and commercial litigation cases and civil and commercial nonlitigation legal affairs applicable to mainland laws in the GBA.

"Granting certificates to lawyers from Hong Kong and Macao to practice in GBA cities will help integrate excellent lawyers from the two SARs, break the legal service barriers in the GBA and provide diversified and convenient cross-border legal services for all parties.

"It will also help promote the convergence of legal rules and mechanisms among Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macao, create a good legal business environment, and help accelerate the GBA's integrated development."

Du Chengming, deputy director of the Guangdong Provincial Law Society and vice-president of Guangdong University of Technology, urged the further promotion of judicial exchanges and mutual learning, and the study and exploration of new ways and measures to enhance the connection of legal rules and mechanisms in the field of civil and commercial affairs among the three regions in the years to come.

The cities of the GBA are Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan, Dongguan, Zhongshan, Zhuhai, Huizhou, Jiangmen and Zhaoqing in Guangdong province, plus the Hong Kong and Macao special administrative regions.

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