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In some jurisdictions, lawyers undertaking civil litigation are allowed to charge a fee in addition to their standard fee if the outcome of the case is successful, and a reduced fee (or no fee at all) if the case is lost. This is known as a "conditional fee", and is not currently permitted in Hong Kong. The principal argument presented in favour of such arrangements is that they enhance access to justice.

The Commission has been asked to consider whether conditional fee arrangements would be feasible and should be permitted in Hong Kong for civil cases and, if so, to what extent (including for what types of cases and the features and limitations of any such arrangements).

A sub-committee was formed in July 2003 to consider this subject. A consultation paper containing the Sub-committee's tentative proposals was published on 14 September 2005.

The members of the Conditional Fees Sub-committee are:

Prof Edward K Y Chen, GBS, JP (Chairman), President, Lingnan University
Mrs Pamela Chan, BBS, JP, former Chief Executive, Consumer Council
Mr William H P Chan, Deputy Director (Administration), Legal Aid Department
Ms Agnes Choi, General Manager and Head of Corporate Insurance, HSBC Insurance (Asia-Pacific) Holdings Limited
Mr Andrew Jeffries, Solicitor
Mr Raymond Leung Hai Ming, Chief Executive Officer, C & L Investment Company Limited
Mr Raymond Leung Wai Man, Barrister
Mr Kenneth S Y Ng, Head of Legal & Compliance, Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
Mr Michael Scott, Senior Assistant Solicitor General, Department of Justice
Mr Paul W T Shieh, SC, Barrister
Ms Sylvia W Y Siu, Solicitor
Hon Madam Justice Yuen, Justice of Appeal

The Sub-committee's Secretary is Ms Cathy Wan, Senior Government Counsel.