X. Other Government Legal Departments
1. Are there any other Government legal bodies which relate to our daily lives or business?
Here are some of the Government legal bodies which are also closely related to public interests:-
The main functions of the Land Registry are to:
- register documents affecting land under the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap. 128) and its Regulations;
- administer a land registration system by maintaining an up-to-date Land Register and related land records and to provide the public with facilities for search and supply of copies of the Land Register and other land records; and
- register owners' corporations under the Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344).
The main functions of the Companies Registry are to:
- incorporate corporate bodies and register local & overseas companies under the provisions of the Companies Ordinance (Cap. 622);
- register documentation required by the various ordinances administered by the Companies Registry such as the Companies Ordinance, the Limited Partnerships Ordinance (Cap. 37), the Trustee Ordinance (Cap. 29) and a large number of miscellaneous incorporation ordinances;
- provide the public with facilities to search for the information held by the Registry on the various statutory registers, microfilmed or computerized records; and
- administer and enforce the provisions of the Companies Ordinance and related legislations with particular reference to the regulatory offences such as improper filing of statutory returns and striking off action (to remove a company name from the Registry).
Official Receiver's Office
(You may also refer to the topic of Bankruptcy and Winding-up for more details)
The principal functions of the Official Receiver's Office are to:
- provide an in-house insolvency management service when appointed by the court and the creditors for the administration of estates, which includes realization of assets, adjudication of claims, distribution of dividends where appropriate, and performing a public sector role when acting as trustee or liquidator of last resort;
- manage the schemes for contracting out liquidation cases to experienced private sector insolvency practitioners, and to supervise their conduct to ensure that they effectively carry out their statutory duties;
- investigate into the affairs of bankrupts, directors and officers of insolvent companies and to undertake any consequential prosecutions of insolvency related offences, and to make applications for disqualification of company directors whose conduct is considered to render them unfit so to act; and
- administer the provisions of the Bankruptcy Ordinance (Cap. 6) and the winding-up provisions in the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32), and to review and propose any necessary changes to insolvency legislation.
Intellectual Property Department
The Intellectual Property Department has the following principal functions:
- advising the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau on intellectual property policies and legislation;
- providing civil legal advice on intellectual property matters to government bureaus and departments
- administering the Trade Marks Ordinance (Cap. 559), the Patents Ordinance (Cap. 514) and the Registered Designs Ordinance (Cap. 522) for registration and protection of trade marks, patents and designs, and conducting hearings under these ordinances;
- providing facilities for public access to information on the trade marks, patents and design registers;
- providing administrative support to the Copyright Tribunal;
- participating in negotiation and implementation of intellectual property related international treaties;
- promoting intellectual property protection through public education; and
- operating the Trade Marks, Patents, Designs and Copyright Licensing Bodies Registries.
Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office
The Legal Advisory and Conveyancing Office is part of the Lands Department. It is responsible for:
- the provision of legal advice primarily to the Lands Administration Office of the Lands Department and to other Government departments, including the Government Property Agency and the Home Affairs Department, on land related matters and ordinances;
- the drafting of all land disposal and land acquisition documents;
- the assignment of individual units to owners following the re-grant of expired non-renewable Government leases;
- the apportionment of Government rents and premiums and the recovery of outstanding arrears of Government rents (other than New Government Rent under the Government Rent (Assessment & Collection) Ordinance (Cap. 515)); and
- the administration of the Lands Department Consent Scheme for the sale of units in uncompleted developments including the approval of Deeds of Mutual Covenants which set out the rights and obligations of the managers and co-owners of the developments.