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Course Details

(Webinar via Zoom) [RME Elective] The Dangerous Client and the Dangerous Solicitor? - An RME (elective) course for Legal Practitioners
Anne Carver, Part-time Lecturer, the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Date: 27 September 2021 (Monday)
Time: 2:30pm - 5:45pm
Level: I (Intermediate)
For delegates who have prior knowledge of the subject area
Language: English
Fee: HK$ 1,700
Accreditation: 3 CPD pts (Accredited by The Law Society of Hong Kong)
(RME (Elective) Points will be applied for)
Ref: L21CC14
Venue: Webinar Course
Presenter's Biography:

Anne is a part-time teacher at The Chinese University of Hong Kong and is also an Honorary Lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Hong Kong. She is the author of Corporate Governance - the Hong Kong Debate (with Say Goo), and specializes in company law and business law. She has taught Company, Business and Commercial Law courses on the LLB, JD and LLM programmes in the Faculty of Law at the Chinese University and is currently co- teaching on the Masters in Law and Finance in the Business School. She is particularly interested in corporate governance, the regulatory interface between the Companies Ordinance (cap 622) and the Securities and Futures Ordinance and market misconduct. She is now writing the 7th edition of Hong Kong Business Law which is a standard Hong Kong student text.

Hong Kong lawyers follow the highest standards of professional conduct set by the Law Society and the issue of corruption and bribery amongst Hong Kong lawyers within the legal firms is not generally perceived as a problem for the legal profession in Hong Kong. However, the need for effective risk management strategies and systems within law firms is becoming ever more important as Hong Kong lawyers face the global and domestic regulators in the fight against corruption. In this Seminar delegates, will discuss a Case Study involving a solicitor accepting a bribe from his client. The question is whether this is an act done by the solicitor as agent for the firm, thus permitting the ICAC to search the law firm's premises with a warrant under section 10B Independent Commission Against Corruption Ordinance(cap 204). We shall also discuss what risk management systems law firms might adopt for future avoidance.

The Hong Kong courts see corruption offences as undermining Hong Kong's reputation as a financial centre. Meanwhile, Hong Kong solicitors continue to be concerned about the far-reaching impact of the United Kingdom Bribery Act 2010 which came into force in April 2011 and requires even more vigilance on the part of the lawyers advising clients that have a UK connection. How do solicitors recognise a potentially "dangerous client" involved in corruption during the course of legal advice, and how can a firm of Hong Kong lawyers use risk management techniques to minimise the possibility of the "dangerous solicitor" in the law firm?

We shall also examine the current law on Search Warrants of solicitors' offices under section10 B with a particular focus on the conditions to be specified in the event that the firm of solicitors is under suspicion. We shall discuss this as a risk communication exercise to avoid unnecessary publicity and problems with the solicitors' own legal professional privilege during and after the ICAC search.
Finally, we shall highlight some of the risk management strategies adopted by UK solicitors as protection from the 2010 Bribery Act as possible useful lessons for Hong Kong solicitors.

  • Identify the risk management problems in a Case Study (based on the facts of Commissioner of the ICAC v Ch'ng Poh [1997] W.L.R 1175)-
  • Discuss the significance of section 9 POBO and the risk of the dangerous lawyer
  • Discuss the different types of client risk and lawyer risk involving bribery or corruption
  • Examine the sources of law relevant to avoidance of the dangerous client and the dangerous solicitor in Law Society Practice Directions Chapters 1, 3 and 11
  • Evaluate the risk management tools available to a Hong Kong law firm to avoid the "dangerous lawyer" or the "dangerous client"
  • Examine aspects of the risk management strategies and systems for commercial firms suggested by the UK Ministry of Justice for avoidance of bribery and corruption risk under 2010 Bribery Act and relevance to legal risk assessment for Hong Kong law firms
  • Discuss the risk management issues in Rule 5 D Solicitors Practice Rules when accepting a retainer involving criminal charges against the "dangerous client" client
  • Examine the Court of Appeal's judgement in Phillip KH Wong Kennedy YH Wong & Co (A firm of Solicitors) & Anor v The Commissioner of the ICAC [2009] HKCU 483
  • Analyse the ICAC's powers of search under section 10B in relation to suspicion of a solicitor
  • Discuss risk management and risk communication systems to protect legal professional privilege of a solicitor under suspicion in the event of a section 10B search

Category: Corporate / Commercial
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