China Justice Observer


EnglishArabicChinese (Simplified)DutchFrenchGermanHindiItalianJapaneseKoreanPortugueseRussianSpanishSwedishHebrewIndonesianVietnameseThaiTurkishMalay

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



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.



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

Save as PDF

Related laws on China Laws Portal

You might also like

China Revises State Secrets Protection Law

China’s national legislature, the National People’s Congress, revised the State Secrets Protection Law to enhance information classification, secrecy in technological innovation, and precise protection of state secrets, effective May 1, 2024.

China Enhances Legal Aid Law Implementation

In November 2023, China’s Supreme People’s Court and other top judicial bodies jointly issued measures to implement the Legal Aid Law, clarifying responsibilities and ensuring parties' rights to legal aid.

China Revises Marine Environment Protection Law

In October 2023, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's legislature, promulgated the newly revised Marine Environment Protection Law, which imposes stricter regulations on activities in the marine environment and prohibits certain discharges and dumping.