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Sino-Foreign Legal Counsel Services Pilot

Date issued:June 24, 2019

Notice by the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice of Revising the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Pilot Program of Employing Foreign Lawyers to Serve as Foreign Legal Consultants in Beijing Law Firms

 

In accordance with the official reply of the State Council to a new round of measures for promoting the expansion of the service industry in Beijing Municipality, the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice has adjusted certain provisions on the applications for recordation of foreign lawyers employed by domestic law firms to serve as foreign legal consultants in the Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Pilot Program of Employing Foreign Lawyers to Serve as Foreign Legal Consultants in Domestic Law Firms, which have obtained the official reply given by the Lawyers' Work Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, and are hereby issued for implementation.


Detailed Rules for the Implementation of the Pilot Program of Employing Foreign Lawyers to Serve as Foreign Legal Consultants in Domestic Law Firms

 

Article 1 For the purpose of implementing the Opinions on Deepening the Reform of the Lawyers System issued by the General Office of the CPC Central Committee and the General Office of the State Council and the Opinions on Developing the Foreign-Related Legal Service Industry issued by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Commerce and the Legislative Affairs Office of the State Council, the pilot program of employing foreign lawyers to serve as foreign legal consultants in law firms will be implemented in Beijing municipality, and these Detailed Rules are hereby developed in accordance with the Notice of the Ministry of Justice on Implementing the Pilot Program of Retaining Foreign Lawyers to Serve as Foreign Legal Consultants in Domestic Law Firms as issued by the Ministry of Justice.

 

Article 2 A Beijing law firm participating in the pilot program shall meet the following conditions:

(1) It is a partnership law firm (excluding branches) that has been formed for three years or more.

(2) It has 50 or more full-time practicing lawyers.

(3) It has relatively strong foreign-related legal service capability and internal management rules.

(4) It has no record of any administrative penalty or industry disciplinary action given by the judicial administrative organ within the last three years.


Article 3 A foreign lawyer participating in the pilot program shall meet the following conditions:

(1) He or she is a natural person without the nationality of the People's Republic of China.

(2) He or she has practiced as a lawyer outside China for not less than two years, and is practicing as a lawyer.

(3) He or she has relatively strong capability to handle local and international legal affairs.

(4) He or she has no record of any criminal punishment and no record of any punishment for violation of the professional ethics or practicing discipline of lawyers.

(5) He or she meets the corresponding permit conditions for foreigners to work in China.


Article 4 The scope of a foreign legal consultant's permissible activities shall include:

(1) Providing the domestic law firm employing him or her with the consulting services on the legal information, legal environment and other aspects of the country where he or she is approved to practice as a lawyer, and the consulting of relevant international treaties and international conventions

(2) Providing clients with consulting and agency services involving the application of foreign laws (excluding litigation agency) in the identity of a foreign legal consultant.

(3) Cooperating with domestic lawyers in the law firm to provide cross-border or international legal services in the form of division of work and cooperation.

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