Everyone (Taking the 2013 OLQE) Relax – There Will Be NO Head VI!

This just in – there will be NO Head VI on Hong Kong Constitutional Law in this year’s OLQE! Below I quote the Law Society’s own words:

The proposed amendments to the Overseas Lawyers (Qualification for Admission) Rules including the addition of a new written Head of “Hong Kong Constitutional Law” have been submitted to the Chief Justice for his final approval with an intention that they will come into effect in 2014. After the Chief Justice has granted his final approval, the proposed amendments will be gazetted and tabled for consideration by the Legislative Council followed by the a vetting procedure. Their implementation date will depend on the progress of the legislative amendment procedure. These amendments may affect the 2014 Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examination but not the 2013 Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examination.

So if you were lazing about with your applications or dilly dallying about whether to take it this year or another, and have no valid reason (e.g., waiting for 5 years’ experience) to wait, take it now! But note, still no definitive word on 2014’s OLQE, though my guess is that it WILL change, because Hong Kong Constitutional Law issues have become rather important in recent years.  My sense is that the Hong Kong government will want its solicitors to understand when the PRC can and cannot review a Hong Kong legal decision according to the Basic Law.

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11 responses to “Everyone (Taking the 2013 OLQE) Relax – There Will Be NO Head VI!

  1. thanks for the prompt notification! will fill out my application form ASAP!

  2. Haha the OLQE – it seems like a distant but terrible nightmare. Thank God I never have to do it again. Funny – Basic Law has been on the cards for years but they keep delaying it. IN any event it couldn’t be too hard. How many cases are there on it? Half a dozen?

  3. Hi

    I am thinking about moving to HK after practising (Banking and Finance) in London for 5.5 years with a magic circle firm. I came across your blog in my research on re-qualifications etc. I’m hoping to move in-house into a bank and was wondering if I need to re-qualify or can I simply practise in-house as a foreign lawyer? Any advice / insight that you have would be great – sorry that this question doesn’t directly relate to your above post!

    Many thanks

  4. Hi Gerry,

    I have perused the entire HKLS website, but I still have some questions on getting admitted as a foreign lawyer. Unfortunately the HKLS has not replied to my queries after 1.5 weeks, and I was hoping if perhaps you can clarify my questions below:
    Briefly, I intend to apply for exemption as I have 63 months (more than 5 years) relevant working experience under a common law jurisdiction, Malaysia, including my 9 month chambering period.

    1) How long will the HK law soc take to release the results of the exemption, i.e. whether successful or not?

    2) Please confirm that the exemption certificate is only valid for a period of 12 months? I.e. I must register for the test within 12 months from the date of stated in the exemption certificate?

    3) Assuming I fail to register of the test within 12 months from the date stated in the exemption certificate:

    a) can I seek for an extension of time for the validity of the exemption cert? If yes, how much do I have to pay?

    b) Or do I have to re-apply for a new exemption certificate and pay the same fees and submit the same documents again? I should think not, since the HKLS have my documents on record.

    c) Is there a limit as to how many applications for exemption certificates one can do?

    3) Please disclose where exactly in Hong Kong will the exams be held? Is it a hand written or a computer based test.

    4) Please confirm that to be registered as a foreign lawyer, it is not necessary that I MUST HAVE FOUND employment. i.e. employer’s letter not required for admission to the HK law society.

    • Hi Melody KSW – I’m not Gerry, but the author of this blog – which was written mainly as a way for me to pass the time as I experience life in a new place. Part of that experience was the OLQE – and since blogging a bit about it, found it to be a very popular area of interest by readers such as yourself. However, I am not the Law Society and not an authority on everything to do with the OLQE. A lot of your questions are very specific, and I believe some are found on the Law Society website, whereas others, it may be best for you to just give them a call.

      Please understand – this is just a personal web log! I hope that I can help as many of you out there as I can – but none of my answers are official. Best of luck – and do share your findings if you wish, as many curious OLQE takers do find their way here.

  5. I intend to enrol in Head I -IV courses with IP Learning and they offer discount for group of 3 and above – a whopping HKD18,400 saving! Please contact me if you are interested to join as we can form a group then enrol with them. Thanks!

  6. Hi there – I am a newly qualified in England and Wales with a plan to relocate to Hong Kong later in the year (due to my partner’s job). Read briefly the informaiton on the Law Society and I intend to take 4 exams as a common law lawyer with experience of less than 5 years. Are text books and prep materials generally available online or in book shops? I want to sit papers in 2014 and want to start gathering materials now! Thanks for any comments.

    • Hi Yoshi – I think that the information booklet on the Law Society website includes a “reading list” and I think the website also has past exam papers. Unfortunately there are no prep books that I know of. Best of luck!

  7. Hi Yoshi. You may try to collect some material from http://www.passolqe.com

    • I’ve come across this as well. I don’t know if it’s any good, but I suppose it doesn’t hurt, especially if you cannot afford to take a full blown course. They are definitely very expensive, but I also highly doubt I would have been able to do this on my own without an actual coach/teacher since the law is very different from anything I’d been exposed to (even as a common law lawyer). Plus I don’t trust my lazy self without someone pushing me along. I have known someone to pass the NY bar exam from written materials on his own too. But that guy was a very disciplined (ex-Air Force) and brilliant guy too (not that you aren’t!).

      Best of luck to all!

  8. fuck – I think i just failed the OLQE 2013

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