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Hong Kong: The Legal Profession

Solicitors 'Accounts' Rules

Hong Kong solicitors earn interest on clients' money held by them and usually retain this by virtue of a contractual provision entitling them to do so. In the absence of such a provision, the interest belongs to the client.

This situation is anomalous, since in England there have been rules since 1965 requiring solicitors to pay interest to clients when it is reasonable for them to do so, while in many other common law jurisdictions interest on client monies is paid to a central fund and used for improvement of the profession. There is no statutory client protection or indemnity fund in Hong Kong. Solicitors are required to have professional indemnity cover, but barristers are not. It is proposed that barristers should fall into line with solicitors, and also that a compensation fund should be set up.



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