Hong Kong Lawyer

October 2017

Issue link: https://asianlegalbusiness.uberflip.com/i/881267

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Page 13 of 99

介入工作 介入律師行的執業是嚴重的措施,律師會行使這 種權力受法例嚴格限制。理事會可行使這種權力 的情況,在《法律執業者條例》第26A條中有明 確規定,包括違反《律師帳目規則》、懷疑不誠 實、破產、因疾病或意外而喪失工作能力、放棄 執業等。當理事會認為情況嚴重,必須立即終止 執業以保護客戶利益,理事會只能介入律師行的 執業,別無他法。 2 0 0 6 年 至 2 0 1 5 年 1 0 年 期 間 , 律 師 會 曾 根 據 《法律執業者條例》第26A條行使這種權力,介 入12家律師行,相等於平均每年進行一次介入。 然而,僅在2016年就進行了4次介入行動,截至 2017年9月,已進行了兩次介入。不幸地,近兩 年來,律師會發現有必要更頻密行使其介入權, 但 這 些 都 是 個 別 個 案 , 不 應 被 視 為 一 個 普 遍 趨 勢。 介入執業旨在立即將律師行結束,以保護客戶的 利益。律師行從介入開始起就不復存在,不能再 為客戶行事。因此,律師會的角色並非要代替律 師行繼續經營,而是要結束其業務,把檔案交回 客戶或他們的新律師,保存歸屬於理事會的客戶 資金,核實申索,物歸其主。 律師會聘請律師行(介入代理)進行介入工作。介 入代理的律師行名冊定期更新。一旦理事會決定 介入一間律師行,就必須立即採取行動。因此, 介入代理的任命往往十分緊急。名冊上的律師行 必須具備足夠的能力,包括具律師資格和不具律 師 資 格 的 員 工 , 以 處 理 大 量 工 作 , 尤 其 是 在 介 入的初段。此外,有需要採取如介入行動的嚴峻 措施,律師行的執業記錄可能是十分混亂、不完 整甚至不存在。介入代理必須能夠安排和了解被 Ms. Heidi Chu, Secretary General 秘書長朱潔冰律師 Intervention Work Intervention into the practice of a law firm is a serious measure and the exercise of such power by the Law Society is strictly governed under the law. The circumstances upon which the Council can do so are specifically provided in s. 26A of the Legal Practitioners Ordinance ("LPO"). They include situations like breaches of the Solicitors' Accounts Rules, suspected dishonesty, bankruptcy, incapacity by illness or age, abandonment of practice and so on. When the Council is satisfied that the severity of the situation calls for an immediate cessation of the practice to protect clients' interests, it will have no alternative but to intervene into the practice. During the ten-year period from 2006 to 2015, the Law Society exercised its powers to intervene into 12 law firms under s. 26A of the LPO, which was about one intervention per year on average. However, in 2016 alone, there were four interventions, and up until September 2017, there have been two interventions. It is unfortunate that in the recent two years, the Law Society found it necessary to exercise its power of intervention more frequently, but these are isolated cases and should not be taken as indicative of any general trend. The purpose of an intervention into a practice is to close it down at once to protect clients' interests. The practice ceases to exist from the commencement of the intervention and it can no longer act for its clients. The role of the Law Society therefore is not to step into the shoes of the firm and continue its operation, but to wind up its affairs, return files to clients or their new solicitors, preserve clients' money that becomes vested in the Council, verify claims and distribute to the rightful owners. The Law Society engages law firms (Intervention Agent) to do the intervention work. A Panel of Intervention Agents is maintained and renewed at regular intervals. As soon as the Council resolves to intervene into a firm, action has to be taken immediately. The appointment of an Intervention Agent will thus often be on an urgent basis. The Panel firms must have the capacity, at short notice, to have in place sufficient manpower, including both qualified and unqualified staff, to handle a large volume of work especially in the initial stage of an intervention. Further, if there is a need to take the drastic measure of intervention, the records of the practice are likely to be in disarray, incomplete or even non-existent. FROM THE SECRETARIAT 律 師 會 秘 書處 資 訊 12 www.hk-lawyer.org •  October 2017

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