direct access to counsel - foreign instructions

A practising barrister may accept instructions directly (i.e. without the intervention of a solicitor) from foreign lawyers or overseas lay clients in relation to  arbitration and mediation, in addition to some other work to a limited extent (the Code of Conduct of the Hong Kong Bar Association, paragraphs 5.17A and 13.1(a) to (e), read together with Annex 3 of the same Code).

Barristers in Admiralty Chambers welcome instructions from foreign lawyers and lay clients as defined within the ambit of the provisions of the Code of Conduct. Persons interested in legal services from our counsel are invited to download an Information Sheet provided below and return the completed Sheet for consideration and discussion with our counsel.

Please return the completed Information Sheet by fax (+852) 2529-8226 to allow us to pass it to the barrister(s) you nominate as soon as possible. If desired, you may also submit the Information Sheet by e-mail to admiraltychambers@hotmail.com  but only as a duplicate and back-up submission.

Pararaph 5.17A(a): ” A practising barrister may accept instructions directly and without the intervention of a solicitor from:-

(a)      a person or body authorised by custom or the Bar Council to do so. The persons and bodies currently so authorised are set out in Annex 3;”

Annex 3, paragraph 2(i): “(i)       Foreign lawyers or lay clients in respect of work falling within paragraph 13.1(a) to (e).”

Paragraph 13.1(a) to (e):“Notwithstanding any provisions to the contrary in this Code, subject to compliance with local laws and to rules of professional conduct, ethics and etiquette which national or local Bars or lawyers’ associations may prescribe, a practising barrister may do any of the following:

(a)     accept instructions from any person for the purposes of, or in connection with any arbitration, mediation (under the Arbitration Ordinance (Cap 609), Laws of Hong Kong) or adjudication whether taking place in or outside Hong Kong (“Arbitration Work”) provided that the work required to be done does not involve the performance of substantial administrative work not normally performed by a practising barrister in Hong Kong;

(b)     accept instructions from any person registered as a foreign lawyer in Hong Kong to provide legal services other than Arbitration Work (which is permitted under sub-paragraph (a) hereof), provided that the work required to be done:-

(i)       is not in a matter in which proceedings by way of litigation in Hong Kong have been instituted;

(ii)       does not involve the drafting of documents for the purpose of, or in connection with, the institution of litigation in Hong Kong other than a letter before proceedings;

(iii)       does not involve the performance in Hong Kong of substantial administrative work not normally performed by a practising barrister in Hong Kong; and

(iv)       is not conveyancing or other work usually performed exclusively by solicitors in Hong Kong;

(c)   accept instructions to provide legal services (other than Arbitration Work which is permitted under sub-paragraph (a) hereof) in Hong Kong from a lay client where the lay client carries on business outside Hong Kong or usually lives outside Hong Kong (“overseas lay client”) or from a lawyer or legal practitioner practising outside Hong Kong (who is not a Hong Kong solicitor or registered foreign lawyer) where the following conditions are satisfied:-

(i)       the instructions emanate from outside Hong Kong;

(ii)       the work is not in a matter in which proceedings by way of litigation in Hong Kong have been instituted;

(iii)       the work does not involve the drafting of documents for the purpose of, or in connection with, the institution of litigation in Hong Kong other than a letter before proceedings;

(iv)       the work does not involve the performance in Hong Kong of substantial administrative work not normally performed by a practising barrister in Hong Kong; and

(v)       the work is not conveyancing or work usually performed exclusively by solicitors;

(d)       accept instructions from any person to provide legal services (other than Arbitration Work which is permitted under sub-paragraph (a) hereof):-

(i)       relating to matters essentially arising, taking place, or contemplated outside Hong Kong, which has to be performed outside Hong Kong; or

(ii)       whether or not to be performed in Hong Kong, for the purpose of, or in connection with, litigation or arbitration outside Hong Kong, which does not involve the performance in Hong Kong of substantial administrative work not normally performed by a practising barrister in Hong Kong;

(e)       accept instructions to observe litigation, arbitration, mediation or other proceedings taking place in Hong Kong for the purpose of providing a report to any person (commonly known as a “watching brief”);

© 2018 Admiralty Chambers.

Room 403, Fairmont House

8 Cotton Tree Drive, Central, Hong Kong

Tel: (+852) 2527-3082

Fax: (+852) 2529-8226

Email: admiraltychambers@hotmail.com