3. How and where can I get legal advice or representation (including free or subsidised legal assistance)?
You can obtain a lot of useful information by going to another topic – Legal Aid. The following is intended to be a brief summary only.
If you want to seek some preliminary legal advice as to your legal position but are unable to pay for the services of a lawyer, the Duty Lawyer Service's Free Legal Advice Scheme may be able to assist you. There is no means test to assess your financial status and the service is absolutely free of charge. For more details about this scheme, please click here. (You should note that the Scheme will not offer any follow up service or representation for you.)
The High Court's Resource Centre for Unrepresented Litigants also provides preliminary assistance to you for starting civil actions in the High Court or the District Court. However, the assistance provided at this Centre is confined to procedural matters only and the staff will not give legal advice or make any comments on the merits of the case. For more information about this centre, please click here.
As to legal representation in court proceedings, you can engage a legal practitioner in private practice to act on your behalf if you can afford the relevant legal costs. Otherwise, you can apply for legal aid under the Legal Aid Scheme . Legal aid will be granted if you pass the means test (your financial resources do not exceed the prescribed limit) and the merits test (there is legal basis for your claim). For more details about this scheme, please click here.
The Bar Free Legal Service Scheme run by the Hong Kong Bar Association may also give you some help. If legal aid is not available to you or where you are unable to afford the cost of appointing a lawyer and your case is thought to be one in which assistance should be given, the scheme may provide free legal advice and representation for you. For more details about this scheme, please click here.