5th July 2022 – (Hong Kong) The National Security Department of the police arrested five trustees of the “612 Humanitarian Relief Fund” earlier, accusing them of violating the “Hong Kong National Security Law”. At the same time, it was found that some lawyers and barristers were suspected of committing professional misconduct when providing legal services. The incident was reported to the Hong Kong Bar Association.
It is understood that the Bar Association sent a letter to about 35 barristers last week, instructing them to explain in writing within a specified period of time as to why cheques or cash were received directly from the 12 Humanitarian Relief Fund rather than through their law firms when representing defendants in the anti-extradition protest cases.
If the relevant barristers were found to have breached professional misconduct, they may be subject to a fine, suspension or formal disqualification. It is known that since27th June, the Bar Association has sent letters to a number of young lawyers with less than 5 years of experience in private practice, claiming that from 2019 to last year, they represented a group of defendants in magistrates’ courts or district courts respectively involved in anti-extradition protest cases but they received the appointment fee directly from the 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund. Some barristers who claimed charged daily fee ranging from HK$3,000 to HK$6,000.