Sunday, June 28, 2015

Admission as a Hong Kong Solicitor

Well, folks, I have just been admitted to the Hong Kong legal community as a bona fide solicitor!  The swearing in ceremony was before the Honorable Justice Ao at the High Court in Admiralty on Saturday morning.

The High Court is located at 38 Queensway Plaza, in an old, 1970s or 1980s era building.  There are many court houses.  I was going to the seventh floor, for court 14.
 This is the view from the High Court, out to Victoria Harbour.  Pretty stunning right?  I really liked the floor to ceiling glass windows.
 The Lippo building is massive from this perspective.
There were so many friends and families there - all of these people were there for the other two admittees!  I was being admitted with three others from work, and collectively we had enough guests to only take up only a few seats.  By the time we all filed in, the court was standing room only!
 We had to wear robes, with bibs!  It made me feel important, though also a little bit cheesy.  I broke out the high heels for this occasion.  But unlike the barristers, solicitors don't get the wigs.  I'm kind of tempted to be a barrister just to get the wig.
The whole oath taking ceremony was actually quite involved (especially compared to the US).  Here a solicitor has to be "moved" by another, the move being a whole introduction by the mover, including where I was born, where I grew up, my education, my honors, my extracurricular activities, etc.  Finally, the mover confirms that all the proper papers had been filed, and there were no objections to my being admitted.  I was then called up to the podium to read my oath, and after I read aloud the oath, I had to sign the book.  At the end, we were all given an opportunity to speak.  I kept it to a few simple words of thanks, but I had to address the judge as "My Lord," which felt a little bit ridiculous, but thankfully I managed to suppress the giggles.

Here, my coworkers and the solicitor who moved us.

Afterwards, we went to Cafe Grey to celebrate.  It was a beautiful day, albeit hot and humid.
A lovely brunch with friends, looking out upon a lovely view.  Saturday mornings could be worse!

 A nice platter of oysters to start, with a variety of sauces.  I always go for the shallot vinaigrette.

 My friend's very pretty seafood platter.
 My empty shells.  I love oysters.
 Michael's burger with gruyere cheese and the most tantalizing truffle fat fries.  Cafe Grey makes a good burger.
 My carne asada steak, paired with black beans slow simmered in onion and bacon, topped with a mango sauce and thinly sliced corn tortillas.  It came pretty overcooked so I decided to be that awful restaurant patron who sends it back.  I felt really bad about doing it, but the second time it came back, it was spot on and fabulous, making my high maintenance move feel worthwhile.
The food was pretty good, but unfortunately, the service was really bad…it was disruptive and weird and confusing and unfortunately took away from the overall atmosphere.  I usually don't care about this stuff, but the service was so disjointed and completely out of step from the quality of the food, the atmosphere of the restaurant, and definitely the price point, that it was a bit annoying.  This restaurant is usually a well oiled machine during the week, so I am not sure what happened this time!

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