At Issue
1/18/2012 3:40:46 AM EST
The 9th China Lawyers’ Forum: afterthoughts of two young lawyers
The Law Society has always been supportive of identifying opportunities for young lawyers to gain exposure in the international arena and in mainland China.
Posted by LexisNexis

The Law Society has always been supportive of identifying opportunities for young lawyers to gain exposure in the  international arena and in mainland China. In October 2011, two young lawyers, Mr Tai Kam Cheung of Wilkinson & Grist and Mr Matthew Yim of Tanner de Witt, were awarded sponsorship by the Law Society to attend the 9th China Lawyers’ Forum held in Qingdao, Shangdong.

Both Mr Tai and Mr Yim found the experience rewarding, and below are their afterthoughts on the Forum:

Tai Kam Cheung

I attended the forum on Development of Young Lawyers after the opening ceremony of the Forum held in the morning of 19 October. I was particularly impressed by the sharing of a ‘post-80s’ PRC lawyer who established her own law firm before she reached the age of 30. According to the speaker, her firm has around 30 lawyers. And among them, more than 80% are from the ‘post-80s generation’. She believes that a young lawyers should never limit himself or herself in the comfort
zone. Instead, young lawyers should keep exploring opportunities for career development and should be ready for challenges.

Throughout the forum, there were many occasions where we exchanged our views on various aspects of the
PRC’s development with delegates from other provinces or cities in the PRC. Apart from the legal system, substantive laws, procedural laws, local practices and customs, professional and ethical issues were also being discussed. These exchanges have definitely helped in promoting legal education and advancing the learning of the law, not only for the participants from Hong Kong, but also for  the participants from all other parts of the PRC.

The interaction between the participants is not a one-off exercise. In fact, I keep contact with some delegates from Guangzhou even after the closing of the forum. From the on-going interaction, I got  to know more about the culture of the legal profession in the PRC, in particular Guangzhou. It would certainly help when I work with PRC lawyers if I know more about their educational background, their career path and their mentality. It is particularly invaluable because you cannot learn about these aspects from law courses or from textbooks.

With the knowledge young lawyers acquired and the network built at the forum, they are now in a better position to help organise activities involving participants from other jurisdictions. In this regard, I would volunteer to help if the Young Solicitors’ Group or any other committee of the Law Society, such as the International Legal Affairs Committee or the Mainland Legal Affairs Committee is going to organise activities with international elements or PRC elements in the future.

Further, there are various means by which young lawyers can share what they have learned and what they have seen at the forum with other members. Apart from writing reports and articles, sharing sessions can also be conducted for that purpose.

Matthew Yim

Under the theme of ‘The 12th Five Year Plan and the Development of Law Practice’, the 9th China Lawyers’ Forum undoubtedly provided a unique platform for Hong Kong lawyers to develop and strengthen cooperation and collaboration arrangements with our mainland counterparts. Through developing a closer relationship with other provincial and municipal lawyers associations across mainland China, legal professionals in Hong Kong can leverage on these networks in the development of relevant legal practices to serve the needs and secure business by entering into long term entrustments or association relationships directly with mainland practitioners.

At the Ceremonial Opening of the 9th China Lawyers’ Forum, the Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung SC, highlighted the importance of the legal profession in Hong Kong to contribute and participate in the reform and modernization of the economic and financial system in China. It was emphasised that the Hong Kong legal profession will continue to play an active role in trade and investment links with China with an aim to facilitate China’s inward and outward investments.

Setting against the spectrum of the reform and liberalization over the past three decades in China, the legal profession in Hong Kong was said to be able to continuously support the foreign investment in China and recently promote the use of Hong Kong’s renminbi (RMB) financial platform by the foreign corporate and financial institutions in conducting their offshore RMB businesses.

It was reiterated that the legal profession in Hong Kong will continue to develop the legal business in the mainland particularly in the Pearl River Delta Region, and to work hand-in-hand with lawyers from the mainland by assisting mainland enterprises to ‘reach out’ and diversify their business in the international arena under the Mainland and Hong Kong Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA).

I attended the international law seminar session of which President Junius Ho of the Law Society of Hong Kong delivered a presentation addressing the increasing demand for legal services in China and the role of the legal profession in supporting Hong Kong to serve as a ‘springboard’ for mainland enterprises to reach out to the global market and accelerate the mainland’s full integration with the global economy. In addition, it was stressed that Hong Kong and mainland law firms should further expand and reinforce their existing alliance arrangement to combine their expertise to strengthen their networking and business cooperation, resulting ultimately in more business and referral opportunities.

In terms of the contribution from young members of the Law Society at international conferences, there are various aspects in which young members can facilitate and support the promotion and operation of the Law Society delegation at international conferences.

First, young members of the Law Society should familiarise themselves with the schedule of various events, seminars and working group sessions held at the conferences and maintain effective communication with organisers of the conferences for any updated information.

Second, young members of the Law Society can promote the work undertaken by the Law Society at international conferences and facilitate the interaction of the Law Society with other legal or non-legal professional bodies from around the world in exploring the potential cooperation opportunities for organising projects or courses of common interests.

Third, young members of the Law Society can share their work experience and exposure at the Law Society so as to enable lawyers who are practising in other jurisdictions gain an insight into the daily work of the Law Society.

 

第九屆中國律師論壇: 兩位年青律師的感悟
律師會向來支持為年青律師捕捉機會,幫助他們增加對國際及中國內地法律領域的認識。

律師會向來支持為年青律師捕捉機會,幫助他們增加對國際及中國內地法律領域的認識。2011年10月,兩位年青律師-高露雲律師行的戴錦祥及鄧偉德,戴源恆律師行的嚴嘉偉獲得律師會的贊助,參加在山東青島舉行的第九屆中國律師論壇。

戴先生和嚴先生都認為此次經歷獲益良多,以下是他們對論壇的感悟:

戴錦祥

10月19日上午舉行的論壇開幕典禮過後,我參加了年青律師發展論壇。有位「80後」內地律師在30歲前便創辦了自己的律師行,她的分享尤其令我印象深刻。該名講者表示,她的律師行擁有約30名律師,其中八成以上屬於「80後一代」。她認為,年青律師永遠不應固步自封。相反,年青律師應當不斷探索事業發展機會,隨時迎接挑戰。

在整個論壇期間,我們有許多場合就內地發展的方方面面與來自內地其他省市的代表交流看法。除了法律制度、實體法、程序法、地方常規及慣例外,我們還討論了專業及倫理問題。這些交流必定有助於促進法律教育,推動法律學習,不僅有益於香港的參會者,亦令內地其他各地的參會者受惠。

參會者之間的互動並非一次性的活動。事實上,在論壇結束後,我繼續與廣州的某些代表保持聯繫。通過持續的互動交流,我對內地,尤其是廣東地區的法律專業文化有更深刻的瞭解。如果我更多瞭解內地律師的教育背景、事業路徑和思維,肯定會有利於今後與他們的合作。你不可能通過法律課程或教科書瞭解這方面的知識,因此這次經歷彌足珍貴。

從論壇中獲取的知識及營建的人脈,年青律師如今能更好地幫助組織涉及其他司法管轄區參與者的活動。在這方面,如果年青律師組或律師會任何其他委員會(譬如國際法律事務委員會或內地法律事務委員會)有意在今後組織帶有國際或內地元素的活動,我願提供幫助。

另外,年青律師可以通過多種方式,與其他會員分享自己在論壇中學到和看到的內容。除了撰寫報告和文章外,也可以此為目的開展分享活動。

嚴嘉偉

第九屆中國律師論壇的主題為「十二五規劃與法律行業發展」,無疑為香港律師提供了獨特的平臺,有利於他們發展與強化與內地同業的合作與協作。通過發展與中國內地其他省市律師協會的更緊密關係,香港的法律專業人士可以利用這些網絡發展相關的法律業務,直接與內地從業人士訂立長期的委託或聯營關係,以滿足需求,獲取業務。

在第九屆中國律師論壇的開幕典禮上,律政司司長黃仁龍資深大律師強調了香港法律專業在推動和參與中國經濟金融體制改革與現代化方面的重要性。他著重指出,香港法律專業將繼續在與中國內地的貿易與投資聯繫中發揮積極作用,以便促進中國的對內和對外投資。

他指出,縱觀中國內地三十年來的改革開放,香港的法律專業能夠繼續支持中國內地的外國投資,並在近期推動外國企業與金融機構利用香港的人民幣融資平臺開展離岸人民幣業務。

他重申,香港的法律界將繼續在內地(尤其是珠三角地區)發展法律業務,並與內地律師攜手合作,協助內地企業依照《內地與香港關於建立更緊密經貿關係的安排》(CEPA)「走出去」,擴大國際領域的業務。

我參加了國際法律研討會,香港律師會會長何君堯在其中發表講話,主題是中國內地對法律服務需求日增,以及法律專業在支持香港作為「跳板」,幫助內地企業走向全球市場,加快內地與全球經濟充分融合過程中的作用。此外,他強調香港和內地律師行應當進一步擴大和鞏固現有的聯盟安排,結合雙方專長強化網絡和業務合作,最終產生更多的業務與轉介機會。

就律師會的年青會員在國際會議上的貢獻而言,年青會員可以在多個方面促進和支持律師會代表團在國際會議中的推介與活動。

首先,律師會的年青會員應熟悉會議中所舉辦的各種活動、研討會和工作小組的日程,並保持與會議主辦者的有效溝通,以隨時瞭解最新資訊。

其二,律師會的年青會員可以推廣律師會在國際會議中所承擔的工作,推動律師會與世界各地其他法律或非法律專業團體的互動,探索潛在合作機會,籌辦共同感興趣的項目或課程。

其三,律師會的年青會員可以在律師會分享其工作經驗與接觸經歷,以便在其他司法管轄區執業的律師能夠深刻領會律師會的日常工作。

 

 


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