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Establishment of law firms in China

Time:2014-03-13 Hit:1728

Establishment of law firms in China
A law firm is an organization in which layers may practice law, a lawyer shall practice law in the names of a law firm, and he/she shall only practice in one firm, in case the lawyer want to practice law in another law firm, a new lawyer’s certificate shall be obtained regarding the new law firm. Unlike USA, China lawyer is not subject to the regional restriction, a lawyer may practice law all over the mainland China.  
  A law firm shall meet the following conditions:
(1)the law firm has its own name, domicile and articles of association;
(2) the law firm has lawyers conforming to the provisions of this Law;
(3) the law firm shall be founded by a lawyer with good deal of experience in the profession and hasn’t been punished due to his/her legal practice;
(4) the assets of the law firm shall be in conformity with the amount specified by the judicial administration department under the state Council.
  There shall be at least 3 partners with at least 3 years experiences in the profession as promoters for the establishment of the law firm unless it is a sole partnership law firm. A sole partnership law firm shall be established by a lawyer with at least 5 years of experience of practice and the sole partner shall bear unlimited liability for the debts of the law firm. However, if the law firm is established with the fund of the state, the law firm shall undertakes the liability for its debt with its entire property. 
In China, there 2 kinds of partnership for the ordinary partnership , one is general partnership, the other one is special general partnership, the liability of the partners of the law firm shall be born in accordance with their partnership kind as stipulated by law.
  To establish a law firm, the following materials shall be summited to the judicial department of the people’s government at or above the level of province:
(1) a written application; and
(2) name and articles of association of the law firm; and 
(3) the name list of the promoters, and their resumes, identity certificates and lawyer’s practice certificates; and 
(4) certificate of domicile of the law firm ; and
(5) documents indicating the law firm’s property; and
(6)the agreement between the partners for a partnership law firm.

The judicial department shall, within 20 days from the date it accepts the application, complete examination of the application and submit its opinions formed upon examination and all the application documents to the judicial administration department of the people’s government of a province, autonomous region or municipality directly under the Central Government, which shall, complete examination and verification of the said documents and make a decision on whether to grant the application within 10 days from the date it receives the documents submitted. A law firm certificate shall be issued if the application is granted, or a reason of rejection shall be given to the applicant. 
   In case of changes of the name, chief partner or its article of association of a law firm, the modifications shall be subject to examination of the original judicial department for approval.  
  A law firm shall submit an annual report on its operation and an annual assessment of the lawyers’ practice to the judicial administration department after its annual assessment.

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