Chapter 9 Foreign Attorneys and Foreign Legal Affairs Attorneys
A “foreign attorney” as used herein denotes an attorney who has been licensed to practice law in a country or region other than the Republic of China.
A “foreign legal affairs attorney” as used herein denotes a foreign attorney” who is permitted by the Ministry of Justice to practice law and by a bar association to be admitted to such bar association.
“Home jurisdiction” as used herein denotes the country or region where a foreign attorney obtained his/her foreign attorney license to practice law.
A foreign attorney may not practice law without being granted a permit by the Ministry of Justice and admitted to a bar association within six months after such permit, unless:
1.he/she is engaged to deal with legal affairs pending in foreign authorities (institutions) such as foreign courts, prosecutor’s authorities, administrative authorities, arbitral tribunals and mediation agencies; or
2.the Republic of China has otherwise entered into a treaty, a protocol or an agreement with such foreign country.
A foreign attorney who is allowed to enter the Republic of China in accordance with Subparagraph 1 (the proviso) of the preceding paragraph may only practice law for a maximum of 30 days each time and for a maximum of 90 days in a given year.
A foreign attorney who applies to the Ministry of Justice for a permit to practice law shall meet one of the following qualification requirements:
1. He/she has practiced law for at least five years within his/her home jurisdiction. However, where he/she has been employed in the Republic of China by an attorney of the Republic of China as a paralegal or a counsellor for legal affairs of his/her home jurisdiction, or where he/she has practice law relating to his/her home jurisdiction in other countries or regions, such working experience, to the extent not exceeding two years, may be incorporated into the above legal practice experience; or
2. If the applicant had been engaged to work as a paralegal or a counsellor according to the Regulations Governing Permission and Management of Attorneys’ Employment of Foreigners prior to January 1, 2002, he/she has so employed for at least two years upon making such application.
A foreign attorney shall not be permitted to practice law if:
1. he/she falls under any of the circumstances listed in Paragraph 1 of Article 5 hereof;
2. he/she has received a final criminal conviction for at least one-year imprisonment from the courts of the Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau or other foreign countries; or
3. his/her attorney license has been revoked or cancelled, or he/she has been otherwise disbarred as an attorney, or his/her period of suspension of legal practice has not expired in his/her home jurisdiction.
A foreign attorney shall submit the following documentation when applying for a permit:
1. An application form specifying the name, date of birth, nationality, domicile, date of being licensed as a foreign attorney, name of the home jurisdiction and law firm; and
2. Supporting documentation as required under Article 116 hereof.
The Ministry of Justice may set and collect application fees for accepting the application mentioned in the preceding paragraph.
Articles 11 to 18 hereof shall apply mutatis mutandis to the application by a foreign attorney for admission to a bar association.
A foreign legal affairs attorney may only practice the laws of his/her home jurisdiction and international laws.
A foreign legal affairs attorney who is engaged to deal with legal affairs relating to marriage, parentage or succession cases in which one of the parties is a Republic of China citizen or the relevant property is located in Republic of China in accordance with the preceding paragraph shall work in conjunction with an attorney of the Republic of China or seek written opinions from such attorney.
A foreign legal affairs attorney shall abide by the laws of the Republic of China, the Attorneys' Code of Ethics and the charter of the bar association of which he/she is a member.
When practicing law, a foreign legal affairs attorney shall explicitly state that he/she is a foreign legal affairs attorney and provide the name of his/her home jurisdiction.
A foreign legal affairs attorney, unless being employed, shall establish his/her law firm to practice law.
A foreign legal affairs attorney shall not employ an attorney of the Republic of China or operate a law firm in partnership with such attorney, unless for the purpose of fulfilling the obligations of international treaties, protocols or agreements as permitted by the Ministry of Justice.
The permission qualifications, procedures and other rules set forth in the proviso of the preceding paragraph shall be formulated by the Ministry of Justice after consultation with the National Bar Association.
The permit granted to a foreign legal affairs attorney shall be revoked or cancelled if:
1. his/her qualifications as a foreign lawyer are forfeited;
2. he/she submits any fraudulent or untrue documentation in the application for the permit;
3. he/she dies, or he/she is subject to any situation specified under each subparagraph of Article 117 hereof, or applies for cancellation of his/her license voluntarily;
4. his/her business or financial conditions materially worsen in a way that threatens to cause harm to his/her clients;
5. he/she fails to apply for admission to a bar association within six months of the issuance of the permit; or
6. he/she violates of Paragraph 1 of the preceding Article hereof.
A foreign legal affairs attorney shall be referred to disciplinary proceedings if:
1. he/she violates Paragraph 2 of Article 120, Article 121 and Article 122 hereof; or
2. he/she has been convicted for a criminal act except a crime by negligence.
Where a foreign legal affairs attorney should be referred to disciplinary proceedings, Chapter 8 hereof shall apply mutatis mutandis to the referral to disciplinary proceedings, disciplinary actions, review procedures, re-examination procedures and re-consideration procedures.