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Shanghai unveils policy to support central legal services district

LMS| Updated: February 16, 2023

Shanghai has unveiled preferential policies to support construction of the Hongqiao International Central Legal Services District (Phase I), an area that features multiple premium legal services, including lawyers, judiciary services, arbitration, mediation, notarization and identification, local media reported.

Since 2021, Shanghai has proposed building a central legal services district as part of its efforts to promote the integrated development of the Yangtze River Delta region and contribute to the construction of the Hongqiao International Opening-up Hub. Building such a district has become a key priority for Shanghai in this year. 

The construction of central legal service district is expected to provide professional and international legal services for enterprises and society in a precise, efficient and convenient manner, officials said. It will also help create a sound business environment and facilitate fair competition and stable development for enterprises.

Domestic law firms and their branches, representative offices of international or Hong Kong and Macao law firms, notarization, judicial expertise and other legal service organizations or institutions are welcome to develop their business in the central legal services district.

Domestic and foreign arbitration institutions, commercial mediation institutions, legal technology companies, legal media, and organizations or institutions that help with the legal cooperation and exchanges at home and abroad are also welcome.

Those who choose to develop their business in the central legal services district are eligible for rental subsidies, start-up financial support and rewards for special contributions. They may also benefit from preferential measures to facilitate administrative approval, legal support, and cross-border settlements and payments. Measures are also in place to help legal professionals with business start-ups and their children with schooling, as well as healthcare services.

Industry insiders said that the construction of central legal service districts will improve the city's legal competitiveness and international influence, and will further build a market-oriented, law-based and international business environment in Shanghai.

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