Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2018 in Hong Kong
Event date: 
8 January 2018

The Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2018 (‘OLY’) was held on 8 January. Distinguished bar leaders from different jurisdictions around the world gathered in Hong Kong to experience and witness this solemn ceremony. This year, we have over 60 guests coming from 39 law societies and bar associations outside Hong Kong. Apart from attending the OLY Ceremony at City Hall and a visit to the Court of Final Appeal, the overseas guests were invited to participate in a number of OLY activities during the day.

The day started with a visit to the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal. The Hon. Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma welcomed the delegates. Registrar Simon Kwang Cheok-weung then provided our guests with a historical overview of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal building, which was followed by a guided tour.

Jointly with the Hong Kong Bar Association, we hosted a series of events for our overseas guests including a Presidents’ Roundtable on the topic of “Enhancing Competition and Talent Retention”, a luncheon and a dinner reception graced by the presence of the Secretary for Justice. It was a valuable opportunity to showcase Hong Kong’s hospitality, strengthen connections with our counterparts around the world and to update each other on the developments in the legal sector in our home jurisdictions.

At the OLY, the Chief Justice, the Secretary for Justice, the President of the Law Society and then Chairman of HKBA all delivered enlightening speeches. The speech made by the President of the Law Society has been posted on the Law Society website.

It was indeed an honour for the Law Society to have assisted the Judiciary in coordinating the participation of all overseas, PRC, Taiwan bar leaders and legal representatives on this occasion. We would further like to express our appreciation to the Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng SC who attended the dinner reception.

Meetings with representatives of several overseas lawyers associations, including Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Osaka Bar Association, The Law Society of Brunei Darussalam, Tokyo Bar Association, and The Law Society of England & Wales, were conducted on 8 to 10 January to discuss the possibility of future collaboration.

President Thomas So spoke at the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year 2018.

From left: President Thomas So; the Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng SC; and Mr. Paul T.K. Lam SC, then Chairman of HKBA at the dinner reception.

49 delegates from other jurisdictions attended the Presidents’ Roundtable.