2022-09-30T14:58:59+08:002022-09-30|
Alumnus Vong Keng Hei (Bachelor of Law – Chinese Language, 2009)

  • Senior Partner and Lawyer at Vong Hin Fai Lawyers & Private Notary
  • Vice President of the Management Committee at Renhe Qibang Xianhui (Hengqin) Joint Venture Law Firm
  • President of the Macao Legal Exchange and Promotion Association
  • Member of All-China Youth Federation
  • Member of Zhongshan City Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference
  • Deputy Director of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area Working Committee of the Guangdong Lawyers Association

 

In 2009, the Central Government announced the decision to build UM’s new campus on Hengqin Island and authorised Macao SAR Government to exercise jurisdiction over the new campus. As one of the fresh law graduates, Vong Keng Hei (Joaquim) recognized the opportunities in the Pearl River Delta, “I believed that the legal talents who are familiar with the law systems in Mainland and Macao will be needed to pave the way for Macao’s integration into the development of the Pearl River Delta.” He decided to pursue his Master’s degree in Guangzhou to learn more about the situation in Mainland, establish his personal networks and gradually build up his career goals in the Pearl River Delta.

 

The joint venture law firm provides one-stop legal services

The promulgation of the “Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” (Outline Development Plan) in 2019 had placed the importance of Hengqin Island toward the future development of Macao, also bringing new opportunities for the local entreprises and young people. In the same year, Joaquim’s law firm in Macao set up a joint venture in Hengqin in partnership with two other law firms from Zhuhai and Hong Kong, aiming to provide cross-border legal services for clients. Joaquim believes that the joint venture can align the legal services in all three regions, which will definitively enhance communications and cooperation for the legal professionals. Moreover, it also creates opportunities for Macao lawyers to come to work in Mainland and contribute to the development of legal services in the GBA.

 

Lawyers from Hong Kong and Macao contribute to the development of the legal system in the GBA

With the in-depth integration of the GBA, there have been more exchanges and cooperation opportunities between Guangdong and Macao, and thus will have a great demand for cross-border legal services. The promulgation of the “Examination for Hong Kong and Macao Legal Practitioners to Practise Law in the Greater Bay Area (examination)” allows the Hong Kong and Macao legal practitioners who pass the exam to provide legal services in the nine mainland GBA cities. In 2021, Joaquim became one of the first batch of Hong Kong and Macao lawyers who passed the examination, and one of the first batch of arbitrators from Hong Kong and Macao. As a Macao lawyer, he believes that the legal professionals in Macao have the trilingual advantage of speaking proficiently in Chinese, Portuguese and English. He encourages them to take the examination and obtain the required qualification in the GBA, which will definitely enhance their development opportunities in Mainland. Moreover, the examination also provides a platform for the legal practitioners in Guangdong and Macao to jointly contribute to the development of the legal system in the GBA and the Cooperation Zone through cooperation and leveraging the complementary strengths of each party.

 

Challenges and opportunities of cross-border practice

Due to work, Joaquim always needs to travel between two places and he felt deeply when sharing his cross-border working experiences, “As a lawyer practicing in both Macao and Hengqin, it is found challenging for Macao lawyers to practice in Mainland due to the differences with the two legal systems. The Mainland market is bigger that of Macao and the case types are also more varied, which from time to time require legal expertise from both Macao and Mainland to handle. At the same time, teamwork would enhance the legal knowledge for lawyers from Macao.”  Apart from work, he always organizes activities and serves in various capacities for the Mainland institutions to promote the development of the industry and has also made many new friends. He believes that the cross-border living and working experiences during these years have provided him opportunities to witness the deepening cooperation between Hengqin and Macao.

 

Assisting Macao youth to seek development opportunities in the GBA

Apart from promoting the legal industry in the GBA, Joaquim is also keen to get involved in social services. As Member of “All-China Youth Federation” and President of “Macao Legal Exchange and Promotion Association”, he has always committed to promote exchanges and cooperation for the legal talents in Macao and the GBA, such as organizing the Chinese history learning activities, legal knowledge educational activities and legal forums, as well as publishing a series of legal reference books to assist the local legal professionals to actively participate in the development of the GBA and the Cooperation Zone. In future, he hopes to give full play to the role of the association as a bridge between Mainland and Macao, enhancing the exchanges and development opportunities for young people in both places, and making contributions to the cooperation between Guangdong and Macao with professional knowledge.

 

 Suggestions

Joaquim suggests that young people should uphold the spirit of “Understanding, Cooperation and Innovation” to integrate themselves into the development of the GBA. He encourages them to join the internship and exchange programmes in Mainland to deepen their understanding of the local environment, employment situation and advantages of the cities in the GBA, which will eventually help to develop their social network and identify potential partners for cooperation. Through team cooperation experiences, they can also set up new systems and service models with GBA characteristics to enhance their competitiveness, and give full play to the innovative values that conferred by the “One Country, Two Systems” principle through aligning rules and mechanisms in the GBA.