Margaret Ng

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LegCo Online Up-date on Limited Liability Practice
LEGCO 2008-12-17

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has started to draft legislation to introduce limited liability partnership (LLP) for solicitors, LegCo’s Panel on Administration of Justice and Legal Services was told at yesterday’s meeting. The bill, which will take the form of an amendment to the Legal Practitioners Ordinance, Cap.159, is expected to be introduced early in the 2009 – 2010 LegCo session. DoJ has been made aware of the urgency of the matter to practitioners.

As explained by DoJ representatives, LLP ‘confers the privileges of limited liability on innocent partners so as to insulate their personal assets from claims incurred by the negligence of other partners’. DoJ is currently consulting the Law Society on the details. Main issues include:

1. liabilities relating to operating and other costs of the partnership (e.g. staff);

2. the liability of assistant solicitors and consultants;

3. insurance for the purpose of the protection of the public;

4. the effect on international law firms which operated under LLP in their home jurisdiction.

The Law Society was asked to clarify its position regarding the implementation of Solicitors Corporations, the provisions for which had been passed in 1997 and requires regulations to be made by the Law Society.

The Way Forward: DoJ and the Law Society were asked to provide further written information on the above matters and up-date the Panel on progress in February/March 2009.

Links to relevant LegCo papers: