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THE NEW president of the Law Society of Hong Kong has pledged to ensure the rule of law in the colony is preserved following its imminent hand over to China on 1 July.
Anthony Chow, who was elected to head the society last month, has admitted he will be leading the profession into "unchartered waters" following the handover, but has expressed his confidence that the legal system will not be undermined.
Chow's election followed the surprise decision of his predecessor Christopher Chan not to stand for re-election after only one year in office. Presidents of the Law Society of Hong Kong usually serve a three-year term. Before the election, it was rumoured Chan was planning to stand down in protest at the handover. However, he insisted personal reasons were behind his decision not to stand, citing exhaustion after a gruelling first term.
Chow is senior partner of Chinese firm Peter C Wong Chow & Chow, and has been a council member since 1994.
An ex-colleague on the Law Society of Hong Kong's council said he was an "ideal president" to lead the society during the handover period. He was described as "sensible and diplomatic, but independent enough to draw a line in the sand".