Hong Kong is not only one of the busiest ports in the world but it is also a leading centre for maritime services. These include broking, shipmanagement, insurance, banking and financial services, surveying and technical services and of course legal services.
Hong Kong's credentials as a maritime legal centre are well established. Following Hong Kong's reversion to Chinese sovereignty in July 1997, Hong Kong continues to have a legal system which is separate to that of China. It is a widely respected system in which the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary are prevailing principles. The High Court maintains specialist lists to deal with admiralty and commercial disputes. Many of the world's leading maritime law firms have offices in Hong Kong. Hong Kong also boasts an independent bar and a well regarded and thriving arbitration centre.
Hong Kong has a unique position in the legal world. On the one hand, Hong Kong enjoys an intimate commercial and constitutional relationship with mainland China. On the other hand, Hong Kong law is founded on the English system. Accordingly, the decisions of the English Courts and those of other Commonwealth jurisdictions continue (even post 1997) to have a high precedential value in the Hong Kong Courts.