Hong Kong: The Legal Profession
Solicitors are prohibited from promoting their practices except in accordance with the Solicitors' Practice Promotion Code. This code prohibits (amongst other things):
- advertising on television or radio, in the cinema, or on any public display;
- advertising that is reasonably considered to be in bad taste; and
- advertising that is inappropriate having regard to the best interests of the public or the solicitors' profession.
Barristers are generally prohibited by their Code of Conduct from any form of advertising.
The rules in force in England and Australia are much less restrictive. Advertising of services is in the public interest and makes for greater transparency in the delivery of professional services, which helps consumers to make an informed choice.
It is proposed that the only restriction on advertising and promotion by lawyers should be that it must not be false, misleading or deceptive, that restrictions based on subjective criteria should be removed, and the Bar Association should actively encourage the dissemination of information about the services offered and fees charged by barristers.