On February 15, the China (Guangdong) Pilot Free Trade Zone Hengqin Area launched the first law office jointly run by firms from the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. The firm has lifted the barrier that previously hampered legal service cooperation with Hong Kong, Macao and even other countries, and so will further enhance the development of trade in services by making the business environment more internationalized and law-based.
The law office can accept civil and commercial lawsuits and non-litigious legal affairs; criminal lawsuits and administrative lawsuits under mainland laws are outside its business scope.
With the development of Hengqin, enterprises registered here will encounter various legal systems when trading with their overseas counterparts. This is a recessive barrier for their development. If an enterprise enters into a cross-border commercial lawsuit regarding intellectual property rights, the enterprise needs to hire lawyers from involved localities due to the different legal systems, thus raising the enterprise’s operating costs. Now, however, such legal services will be available in Hengqin.