Solicitors are one of the two streams of the legal profession. The other stream is barristers.
Solicitors undertake most of the work in magistrates’ courts, Family Court and District Courts - both preparation of cases and also advocacy.
Litigation is only a small part of the work of the solicitor’s profession as a whole. Some are involved in commercial work relating to business eg dealing with commercial transactions, corporate matters, land, share and other property dealings. There is also a large amount of private client work which does not involve any litigation (if all goes to plan!) such as the conveyancing of houses, making wills, advising on tax matters and so on.
Solicitors May Advertise
Solicitors in Hong Kong are permitted to advertise their business. It is common to find solicitors putting up advertisements on newspaper, TV and mini-bus. They provide legal services to individuals who look for affordable rate of legal fees. Therefore, it is not surprising to find to lawyer who is prepared to draft and attest a deed poll for change of a person's name for $500. Some law firms set up sub-offices serving the needs of local clients.
Most solicitors are graduates with a law degree. They must also undertake professional training both by a one year studying either at the University of Hong Kong or the CityU for the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws. They then have to undergo two years of training contract with a solicitor in practice.
Solicitors operate in Solo or partnerships.
The solicitors’ profession is regulated by the Hong Kong Law Society which deals with matters such as training, qualifications and complaints. Most law firms are very small in size. They have 3 to 5 solicitors and not more than 20 clerical staff in support. Partnerships having 5 or more partners or firms with more than 10 solicitors are regarded as big firms.