AUSTRALIAN LAWYERS could have better access to the Chinese market after a 24 strong mission aims to strengthen ties between the two countries’ legal professionals.
Federal Attorney General Philip Ruddock embarked on a visit to China, Indonesia, The Philippines and Cambodia this week to “foster a spirit of cooperation” in legal services trade and regional security.
In what has been called the Legal Services Mission, 24 members will try to improve access to the Chinese market for Australian lawyers.
“Australian lawyers are highly regarded around the world and have strong skills to offer our trading partners,” said Ruddock.
Newly appointed Law Council of Australia president Tim Bugg also said he was keen to reaffirm the Law Council’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. He participated in the legal services mission to Beijing and Shanghai this week, led by Ruddock and former Chief Justice and Lieutenant-Governor of NSW, Sir Laurence Street.
The delegation met with legal professionals in China to lobby for increased access to the Chinese legal services market. “In Australia we have a regime to accommodate foreign lawyers, and we desire to see those in the [Asia-Pacific] region as well,” said Bugg.
While in China, Bugg addressed a gathering of law school deans on Australia’s foreign law practice and our regulatory system. “It’s about giving Chinese lawyers a better understanding of what we do, and engaging more with them, as the two countries themselves move towards a Free Trade Agreement,” he said.
“As Australia enters free trade agreements with its Asian neighbours, there is a strong role to be played by the Australian legal profession,” Bugg said.
“The Law Council is a very prominent body within the region and we have done much to foster relationships with our counterparts in neighbouring countries. Forging these relationships is helping to open up new legal markets for Australian practitioners,” he said.