Hong Kong law firm seeks access to Taiwanese market

September 23, 2013 Hong Kong law firms have mounted a campaign for access to the Taiwanese legal market.

Hong Kong firms are not currently permitted to launch in Taiwan or advise on Taiwanese law, even though UK and US law firms don’t suffer the same restrictions.

"In Taiwan we are treated differently because of the sovereignty issue," Hong Kong Law Society president Ambrose Lam told Legal Week. "We can't open a firm there and they don't have any mechanism to register us.

"We want to set up there. Previously we didn't need to, because there weren't many business opportunities, but nowadays mainland enterprises are going to do business in Taiwan. They have signed agreements – there will be a lot of economic activity there. 

"At the very least, we want them to allow Hong Kong law firms and Hong Kong lawyers to provide legal services in respect of Hong Kong law on the ground."

Hong Kong's Department of Justice is currently looking into the issue, and Lam says that the next step would be to approach the World Trade Organisation to appeal for fair treatment. 

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