北京市各区司法局近日分别通知,要求“做好律师事务所设立和管理环节突出问题清理规范工作”,将在10月中旬到12月底对相关问题展开集中检查。

根据各区司法局发布的文件,此次清理将从三个方面展开。一是“境内外资本进入律师行业”,主要指“实际出资方通过协议等方式,对律所享有实际控制权和重大事项决定权,并实际享受律所收益”,包括但不限于外国会计师事务所控制中国律所,机构或个人投资律所行为。

二是“律师、律所设立或参加律师联盟”,“主要体现为律师、律所发起设立或参加未经依法登记的社会组织(如律师联盟、律师机构等),并擅自以该组织名义进行活动”,且“由国内律师、律所发起,国(境)外律师、律所参与的联盟,以及由国(境)外律师、律所与国内律师、律所在国内共同发起设立的联盟,纳入范畴”。

三是“律所过度商业化运作”,主要表现为律所“从事与法律服务无关的经营性活动”,例如成立关联公司、律师出资控制多家律所,以及“盲目办分所”。

通知要求各律所开展对照检查并由负责人签署承诺书,若存在上述行为,需单独说明并提供整改措施。

据本土法律媒体报道,或受此影响,近期国内一系列律师联盟宣布终止活动,包括盈科全球法律服务联盟、e律师联盟、全球精品律所联盟、京师律师联盟、滴慧律所联盟、中世律所联盟、刑事律所联盟等。

 

New rules require law firms to self-inspect and rectify management problems

District Bureaus of Justice in Beijing have issued notices recently, requiring “law firms to handle the straightening out and rectifying of problems related to firm establishment and management properly” and to conduct self-inspection from mid-October to the end of December.

According to the notices, self-inspection should be conducted from three aspects. The first one is “overseas and domestic capital flowing into the lawyer industry”, including cases where a Chinese law firm is controlled by a foreign accounting firm, or a firm has received investment from non-legal agency or individual.

The second one is “lawyer and law firm establishing or participating in lawyer alliance”. The rules require lawyer or law firm not to establish or participate in unregistered social organizations, and specifically point out the case of international alliance.

And the third one is “over-commercialization of law firm” with law firm participating in non-legal services, including establishing related company and “opening branches blindly”.

All firms are required to sign commitment letters at the bureaus and provide rectifying measures if they had the above-mentioned behaviours.

According to local legal media, a series of lawyer alliances, including Elite Global Legal Alliance, Sino-Global Legal Alliance, and YINGKE Global Legal Service Alliance, announce to stop operations recently probably under the impact of the new rules.

 

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