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Can Foreigners Practice Law in China? - China Law in One Minute

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Foreigners can not practice Chinese law in China.

First of all, foreigners can not be qualified as Chinese lawyers and therefore can not engage in legal practice as Chinese lawyers in China. 

Anyone who wants to become a Chinese lawyer must pass the bar exam, i.e., the national unified legal profession qualification examination, and obtain the legal profession qualification. However, only persons with nationality of the People’s Republic of China may sign up for the national unified legal profession qualification examination. It should be noted that the Chinese citizens among the permanent residents of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) and Macao SAR and the residents in Taiwan region may take the said examination.

Secondly, foreigners are not allowed to engage in legal practice in China. 

Foreign law firms and other foreign organizations or individuals proposing to engage in legal services in China shall obtain the approval of the Ministry of Justice of China before establishing a representative office and sending a representative (s) to China. A representative office and its representative(s) shall not engage in legal practice in China, but may entrust a Chinese law firm to do so.

 

For more about China's legal profession, please click here.

 

References:

Lawyer Law(2017) 律师法: Article 5;

Measures for the Implementation of the National Unified Legal Profession Qualification Examination (2018)国家统一法律职业资格考试实施办法: Articles 9 and 24 ;

Administrative Regulations on the China-based Representative Offices of Foreign Law Firms (2000)外国律师事务所驻华代表机构管理条例: Articles 6 and 15.

Contributors: CJO Staff Contributors Team

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