For the first time, foreign, Hong Kong and Macau lawyers who are working in their firms’ Shanghai representative offices may be given the opportunity to join the Shanghai Bar Association (SBA). As special members, they will enjoy the same benefits as mainland lawyers, such as attending various legal training course and lawyer representatives meetings, according to the recent proposal from the eighth Shanghai lawyer representatives meeting.
The proposal is aiming to strengthen the knowledge exchange, communication and cooperation between local lawyers and lawyers from other jurisdictions including Hong Kong and Macau.
Though the proposal still needs to be approved by Shanghai Bureau of Justice, it is welcome by non-mainland lawyers. “It is a good start to improve the cooperation between mainland lawyers and Hong Kong lawyers. I will closely observe this development,” said Franki Cheung, partner of Hong Kong Deacons.
According to the SBA, Shanghai has the country’s largest number of non-mainland lawyers, many of whom have much experience dealing with capital market, M&A, securities, IP and maritime law. A healthy level of competition and cooperation between them and the local profession will improve the quality and strength of the Shanghai legal services market. In addition, the acceptance of non-mainland lawyers will help them integrate better.
In-house counsels and public-sector lawyers will also be invited to join the SBA as special members. The SBA is currently working on the details of the proposal. ALB
Shanghai Bar Association: quick facts
- Established in 1980
- Current president: Liu Zhengdong
- Total lawyer members: 11,937
- Total member firms: 1,048
- Organising vocational training and business seminars
- Improving communications between lawyers
- Holding lawyer representatives meetings