Pro-Beijing lawmaker Junius Ho has responded to a letter from the UK solicitor regulatory body, alleging that he is not entitled to practise in England and Wales as he claimed.
According to Junius Ho’s page on the Hong Kong Law Society’s Law List, he was admitted in England and Wales in September 1997.
However, in a letter submitted to HKFP on Friday morning by a complainant, the Solicitors Regulation Authority said, “We have assessed the information you have sent to us about an individual called Junius Kwan-Yiu Ho. We have checked our records and this does not appear to be an individual we regulate.”
“According to our records, Mr Ho is not a solicitor and is not admitted in England and Wales. Because of this, we cannot assist you with your complaint about Mr Ho and the comments he allegedly made at a political rally on 17 September 2017.”
“We do note, however, that Mr Ho is held out as a solicitor ‘Admitted in England and Wales’ on the website belonging to K. C. Ho & Fong. We will look into this issue some more.”
The regulatory body said that it may decide to either pursue a formal investigation or not take further action. They will contact the complainant on October 16.
Ho’s legal name, according to the Law Society of Hong Kong and his election campaign in 2016, is “Ho Kwan Yiu.”
His election pamphlet for the Legislative Council election in 2016 stated that he was a “solicitor in Singapore, England and Wales.” Both the election pamphlet and his Legislative Council member biography in Chinese stated that he was a practising member in Singapore, England and Wales.
In a live video on Friday morning, Junius Ho defended his qualifications, saying that it was common for Hong Kong lawyers before 1997 to obtain the right to practise in the UK, “but whether they practise is another matter.”
“Of course there’s people complaining about me now saying that the rally on Sunday was against [solicitor’s code of conduct]. But in that case, Martin Lee and other political figures who are lawyers will all [run into a problem].”
“I urge everyone to do things that are intelligent, not stupid,” adding that he may hold a press conference when he returns from holiday.
“If you ask the Solicitor Regulation Authority if I am a practising member, of course you can’t find this information, because I am not practising in the UK,” he said.
He also said that only those who hold a practising certificate are practising members.
HKFP has contacted the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority for comment.