Admission to HK (peterchan)
I am having an enquiry about admission to the HK Bar and my circumstances are as follow:
(1) I hold a LL.B and LLM and I completed the Bar Professional Training Course in UK;
(2) I have called to the Bar as a Barrister-at-law in UK recently;
(3) I have not completed a pupillage yet so I do not hold a practising certificate.
As the opportunities for pupillage is very limited and competitive, I find that the chances of securing a pupillage is very low in the UK. I am now working as a paralegal/in house counsel in a law firm and I am considering a career in hk.
My understanding is that, in order to qualify as a barrister in hk, the requirments are: (1) having obtained a PCLL in hk or (2) overseas lawyer (who has practised for at least 3 years in his jurisdiction) having passed the Barristers Conversion Exam.
As I do not hold currently a practice certificate and that I have not been practising for 3 years, am I right to say that I have to retake the PCLL in hk? (which I dont want to!) Is there any ways that I could simply convert my Bar Professional Training Course into a hk qualification?
If not, what roles (other than barristers) would be available for me in hk? Given the qualifications that I am holding, what kinds of position should I look for? Is there any potential that I could secure a position as a paralegal in an international firm? or maybe a legal assistant in the banking/financial sector?
Thank you for your time! (p.s. I have little or no knowledge about the legal profession in hk)
- peterchan7708Lv 79 years agoFavorite Answer
Well, I amafraid you have no choice other than taking the HK PCLL if you want to become abarrister in HK since you have not practiced in the UK. Those conditions arepart of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance so the HK Bar does not have muchdiscretionary power of exemption. But having completed BPTC in the UK you wouldindeed get credits / exemptions and therefore would not have to take all theexams. You mentioned“other positions” in HK. But why would you want to be a paralegal / legalassistant / legal executive when you could become a barrister / solicitor bysimply taking one more exam? Don’t you think it’s a waste of your efforts /talents?With a lawdegree and LLM you could indeed become a paralegal or legal assistant in anyinstitution in HK but frankly they are treated as dirt in HK and receive a measlypay – on par with junior secretaries / clerk. In HK, the Certificate counts -and this applies to every profession. Having done a LLB and a LLM, but notbeing a bar / solit, yet wanting to work in the legal field, would be widelyseen as a failure by many international companies in HK. Put yourself in theplace of a HR director of, say, Cheung Kong. Wouldn’t you ask yourself: “why isthis candidate not a bar / solit?”I am not acareer consultant so I cannot elaborate on the career path of a LLB + LLMholder. All I could say is having done the BPTC your chances of being acceptedinto one of the PCLL courses in HK, which is very competitive, is very good.And the exam should not be a problem for you.By the waywhich Inn do you belong to?Source(s): Veni - Vidi - Vici