AGM on 18 November

This year, Hong Kong Society of Notaries’ Annual General Meeting was held on 18 November at The Hong Kong Club, followed by the Members’ Dinner Gathering.

Ms. Au Miu Po (Vice President), Mr. David Beaves, Mr. Chan Bing Woon, Ms. Chang Lai Shan Eliza, Ms. Ella Shuk Ki Cheong, Mr. Gordon Chu, Ms. Hannah C. L. Ha, Mr. Andrew Hart, Mr. Jesse Kwok Hong Yee, Mr. Kwong Chi Keung, Ms. Lam Yuet Ming Emily, Ms. Rebecca Lo and Mr. Ma Ching Nam were re-elected as members of the Council with current President, Mr. Kenneth H. W. Sit continuing his 2 year tenure to the next Annual General Meeting and election of his successor.

Due to the COVID-19 regulations, there was a cap on the number of participants for the Members’ Dinner Gathering allowing only 11 tables of four persons each. To maintain the Society’s accommodating tradition, a second dinner would be held on 24 November for those members who registered later in time after the first 44 registrants. Members who participated enjoyed the fine wine and cuisine under a cozy atmosphere which was conducive to furthering promoting friendship between members, old and new. It is hoped that next year’s Members’ Dinner Gathering could be attended by all registrants on one occasion.

New Appointments

As at the start of November 2020, the remaining 17 of the 50 successful candidates of the 2019 Notaries Public Examination have been appointed as Notaries Public and admitted to the Hong Kong Society of Notaries as members, thereby becoming qualified to practice as notary public in Hong Kong:

The Hong Kong Society of Notaries currently has 410 members, the majority of whom have over 15 years post-admission qualification as solicitors. Notaries Public are primarily concerned with the preparation and authentication of documents for use abroad, serving a vital role in international trade.

Only solicitors with at least 7 years’ post-qualification experience are eligible to apply for appointment as notaries public. We welcome them to the profession.

Our Office in the Legal Hub

We are pleased to say that a space has been secured in the Legal Hub for the office of the Secretariat of Hong Kong Society of Notaries. Opened on 2 November, the Legal Hub has been created by the Government in the old Government Office in Ice House Street and the former French Mission Building to bring together in one location offices of law-related societies, organizations and services from Hong Kong as well as from regional and international settings. At the time of the publication of this issue of Hong Kong Lawyer, renovation of the Hong Kong Society of Notaries’ unit will be underway. In due course, Hong Kong Society of Notaries will announce the re-location of the Secretariat to the Legal Hub.

Talks to Professionals

To many people, Notaries Public are enigmas and their practices mythical rituals. The Hong Kong Society of Notaries is taking great pains to bring to light who Notaries Public are and what they do. Presentations have been organized to promote public knowledge of the profession of Notaries Public. The first in the series was a one-hour webinar titled “Notaries Public in Hong Kong” jointly arranged by the Hong Kong Society of Notaries and the In-House Lawyers Committee of the Law Society of Hong Kong on 26 November, where Mr. Andrew Hart, Past-President and Council Member of the Hong Kong Society of Notaries, gave an overview of Notaries Public, including common notarisation services and regulations, followed by tips on how to work with Notaries Public efficiently and a guide to appointment as Notary Public. In the pipeline are talks to be given to various professional bodies whose members are likely to engage the services of Notaries Public, including one for the Association of Corporate Counsel Hong Kong in December.

Mr. Kenneth H. W. Sit (President) and Ms. Au Miu Po (Vice President) of the Society in action.

Mr. Kenneth H. W. Sit, the President of the Hong Kong Society of Notaries (third from left) and Mr. Simon S.H. Ip, Past President of the Law Society (fourth from left) joining the pre-dinner drinks.