|Formation||12 March 1948|
|Legal status||Society under the Societies Ordinance|
|Headquarters||LG2, High Court, 38 Queensway, Hong Kong|
|Philip Dykes SC|
|Hong Kong Bar Association|
Philip Dykes SC is the current chairman of the Council of the HKBA.
According to its website, the Hong Kong Bar Association was founded in 1949. However, a newspaper advertisement from March 1948 records the foundation of the association on 12 March 1948 with Mr Eldon Potter KC being elected President, Mr H.D. Sheldon KC being elected chairman and Mr Percy Chen being elected Secretary Treasurer. The offices of the Association were located in the offices of Mr Chen in Prince's Building, Hong Kong.
The objects of the Hong Kong Bar Association are generally to consider and to take proper action on all matters affecting the legal profession and the administration of justice. These include:
Like other professional bodies, the HKBA has the authority to take disciplinary action to the members who breach the Code of Conduct of the Association. The Law Society of Hong Kong is the equivalent association for solicitors in Hong Kong.
They must then complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL) at The University of Hong Kong, the City University of Hong Kong or The Chinese University of Hong Kong. From 2008 onwards, all overseas applicants to the PCLL must satisfy each element of the PCLL conversion programme.
Overseas barristers may, having at least three years' experience, take the Barristers Qualification Examination to officially become a Hong Kong barrister.
Additionally, lawyers of at least three years' qualified experience may apply to switch membership of either the HKBA or The Law Society of Hong Kong. However, one may not enjoy membership of both entities at once. For example, the No. 1 ranked barrister in seniority in 2007, Sir John Swaine SC, switched to become a solicitor in 2002, but switched back in 2004. Solicitors seeking to qualify as barrister are required to do pupillage, however, the period may be shortened for those with substantial advocacy experience.
As of December 2017, there were 99 Senior Counsel (88 male, 11 female), and 1,326 (914 male, 412 female) junior barristers in practice at the private bar in Hong Kong. There were 89 pupil barristers of whom 53 were male and 36 female.
After gaining ten years' experience as a barrister or government counsel in Hong Kong, a barrister admitted in Hong Kong may apply to become a Senior Counsel (SC) (). Time in practice as a barrister or lawyer in another jurisdiction or as a solicitor in private practice in Hong Kong does not count. The Law Society of Hong Kong has called for this to be changed, so that solicitors may also be appointed Senior Counsel.
In colonial Hong Kong before 1997, the title was instead Queen's Counsel (QC) (). After the transfer of sovereignty, Queen's Counsel who had been appointed QC in HK or British Queen's Counsel who had been admitted to practice in Hong Kong generally prior to the handover became Senior Counsel automatically.
By chairs (current chair in bold)