The Legal Hub

With a robust legal system and a diverse pool of international legal talent, Hong Kong enjoys a world-renowned reputation as a legal and dispute resolution service hub.

To attract more institutions to set up offices in Hong Kong so as to enhance the city’s competitiveness as an international legal and dispute resolution services hub in the Asia-Pacific region, the Government offers space to accommodate offices of local, regional and international law-related organisations in the West Wing of the former Central Government Offices (“CGO”), the former French Mission Building, and part of Two Exchange Square.

These premises, together with the offices of the Department of Justice located in the remaining parts of the former CGO, are jointly referred to as the “Legal Hub” in Central.

A number of international organisations and institutions have already established offices in the Legal Hub. They include the Hague Conference on Private International Law Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, the Secretariat of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce Asia Office, the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission Hong Kong Arbitration Center and others.

The Law Society plays an active role in promoting Hong Kong legal and dispute resolution services to the international community. During 2020, notwithstanding the pandemic and the cancellation of physical events, the Law Society maintained a prominent presence in international conferences through our active online participation in different events including the AIJA Virtual Congress in August, the LAWASIA Conference in September, the UIA Congress in October, and the IBA Annual Conference in November during which the Law Society also co-organised with the Hong Kong Bar Association a session entitled “The Unique Role of Hong Kong as an Arbitration and Mediation Venue for China and the Belt and Road”.

The Academy of Law operates under the auspices of the Law Society to provide training in the law to members of the legal profession and the public. It plays an important role in promoting law and maintaining professional standards through its extensive training programme.

We were very pleased that both the Law Society and the Academy of Law have been successful in our applications for space in the Legal Hub. The good news is also very timely as the Law Society offices at Wing On House are fully utilized and more office space is needed to accommodate the increasing manpower requirements. The newly allocated space in the Legal Hub will operate as an extension of the Law Society offices and one of our teams that provides services assisting in the administration of the Academy will relocate to the new office.

Monthly Statistics on the Profession

(updated as of 31 January 2021):

Members (with or without Practising Certificate) 12,210
Members with Practising Certificate

10,595

(out of whom 7,923 (75%) are in private practice)

Trainee Solicitors 1,108
Registered Foreign Lawyers

1,540

(from 33 jurisdictions)

Hong Kong Law Firms

941 (47% are sole proprietorships and

41% are firms with 2 to 5 partners, 50 are limited liability

partnerships formed pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance)

Registered Foreign Law Firms

86 (14 are limited liability partnerships

formed pursuant to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance)

Civil Celebrants of Marriages 2,261
Reverse Mortgage Counsellors 448
Solicitor Advocates

76

(70 in civil proceedings, 6 in criminal proceedings)

Student Members 155
Registered Associations between Hong Kong law firms and registered foreign law firms (including Mainland law firms) 38

Secretary-General, Law Society of Hong Kong

Solicitor, ONC Lawyers

Joshua Chu is a Litigation Solicitor qualified to practice in Hong Kong. Before becoming a lawyer, Joshua worked in the healthcare industry serving as the IT department head at a private hospital as well as overseeing their procurement operations.

Since embarking upon his legal career, his past legal experience includes representing the successful party in one of Hong Kong’s first cryptocurrency litigation cases as well as appearing before the Review Body on Bid Challenges under the World Trade Organization Government Procurement Agreement concerning a health care industry related tender.

Today, Joshua’s practice is mainly focused in the field of dispute resolution and technology law.

Aside from his legal practice, Joshua is currently also a Senior Consultant with a regulatory consulting firm which had been founded by ex-SFC Regulators as well as being a management consultant for the Korean Blockchain Centre.

Partner, ONC Lawyers

Michael Szeto is a litigation partner of ONC Lawyers and heads the firm’s Employment practice. Prior to joining the firm, he had practised with various prominent law firms in Hong Kong. He has many years of experience in handling complex commercial dispute resolution, shareholders’ and joint venture disputes, bankruptcy and insolvency matters, debt recovery and mortgagee actions. He also routinely deals with regulatory actions and compliance matters under the Securities and Futures Ordinance, the Hong Kong listing rules and anti-money laundering laws and guidelines.

On the employment side, Michael often advises on various contentious and non-contentious employment matters, covering contract reviews, termination disputes, injunctive relief, discrimination and harassment claims, data privacy matters, as well as advice on matters relating to team moves, remuneration packages and employee incentive schemes. He is a frequent author of employment articles in industry publications and presenter to legal and human resource professionals.

Michael’s broad clientele includes listed companies, directors, shareholders, local and overseas banks, financial institutions, local and international corporations as well as statutory bodies.