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2016/17 Recognition Scheme for Provision of Pro Bono Legal Services


Objectives

The objectives of the 2016/17 Recognition Scheme for Provision of Pro Bono Legal Services ("Recognition Scheme") are to recognise the pro bono legal services provided by the legal professionals for the community, and to commend those who have made such contributions, thereby encouraging more legal professionals in Hong Kong to volunteer to provide more free legal services to the members of the public.



Recognition Period

The pro bono legal services recognised under the Recognition Scheme should be performed within the the two-year period from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017.


Categories of Awards

  1. a. Individuals’ Award

    The following categories of legal professionals may participate in the Recognition scheme -

    - Barristers;
    - Solicitors (including foreign lawyers who have registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong);
    - Trainee solicitors; and
    - Pupils.

  2. b. Companies’ Award

    Nominations of any law firm registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong (including foreign law firms registered with the Law Society of Hong Kong) will be considered.

Selection Criteria

  1. a. Individuals’ Award

    The nominated participants have to provide pro bono legal service of not less than 30 hours within the two-year recognition period. Individuals who have provided pro bono legal services of not less than 50 hours will be presented with a Special Award.

  2. b. Companies’ Award

    The nominated firms have to demonstrate that they have made significant efforts in providing pro bono legal services in respect of –

    i. their company policies, visions or missions; and
    ii. the aggregate hours of pro bono legal services performed by the partners and/or its solicitors and/or its trainee solicitors should be not less than 30 hours x 10% of the total number of the aforesaid legal professionals of the firm.
      (Example: for a law firm with 100 legal professionals, the aggregate hours of pro bono legal services performed should not be less than 300 hours (100 x 10% x 30)

Pro bono work recognised under the Recognition Scheme should not be remunerative or involve any financial reward (except acceptance of souvenirs of insignificant commercial value, honorarium or out-of-pocket expenses such as travelling or meals allowances).


Schemes and services under recognition include –

a. Legal Advice Scheme for Unrepresented Litigants on Civil Procedures of the Home Affairs Bureau;
b. Free Legal Advice Scheme of the Duty Lawyer Services;
c. Free Legal Advice Service on Building Management run by the Home Affairs Department in collaboration with the Law Society of Hong Kong;
d. Bar Free Legal Service Scheme of the Hong Kong Bar Association;
e. Free Legal Helpline run by the Law Society of Hong Kong;
f. Free legal advice or consultation services provided to the public, the Government or other organisations;
g. delivery of talks on a free-of-charge basis (except travelling and meals allowances) in law talks, seminars or conferences organised by the Government or other organisations; and
h. legal cases (including legal representation) taken up on a pro bono basis throughout.

Any volunteer work which falls outside the above will normally not be considered.


Nomination Procedures

Nomination forms can be downloaded here or obtained from the District Offices of the Home Affairs Department.
Completed nomination forms must be signed by both the nominator and the nominee (if applicable).
Supporting documents where appropriate should be attached to the nomination form.
All nomination forms shall be submitted to the Home Affairs Bureau by:
Mail: Civic Affairs Division 2, Home Affairs Bureau, 13/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong
Email: recognition@hab.gov.hk
Nomination Deadline: 31 January 2018


Result Notification

Awards recipients will be notified by early March 2018.


Presentation of Awards

Awardees will be presented with a Certificate of Recognition at the award presentation ceremony to be held in March or April 2018.


Enquiry

For enquiries, you are welcome to contact us by:

Email: recognition@hab.gov.hk
Website: www.hab.gov.hk
Telephone: 3509 8096
Facsimile: 2591 6002
Mail: Civic Affairs Division 2, Home Affairs Bureau, 13/F, West Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Individuals' Award Nomination form (PDF)

Companies' Award Nomination form (PDF)


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