Cap 31 - POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE 1
Chapter: 31 POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE Gazette Number Version Date
Long title 30/06/1997
To make new provision in relation to powers of attorney and for matters connected therewith.
[1 October 1972] L.N. 176 of 1972
(Originally 51 of 1972)
Section: 1 Short title 30/06/1997
This Ordinance may be cited as the Powers of Attorney Ordinance.
Section: 1A Mental incapacity L.N. 29 of 1999 01/02/1999
(1) A person shall be regarded as being mentally incapable or suffering from mental incapacity for any purpose
relating to a power of attorney for which the fact that a person is mentally incapable or is suffering from mental
incapacity is relevant, if-
(a) he is suffering from mental disorder or mental handicap and-
(i) is unable to understand the effect of the power of attorney; or
(ii) is unable by reason of his mental disorder or mental handicap to make a decision to grant a
power of attorney; or
(b) he is unable to communicate to any other person who has made a reasonable effort to understand him,
any intention or wish to grant a power of attorney.
(2) For the purposes of subsection (1), "mental disorder" (精神紊亂) and "mental handicap" (弱智) have the
meanings assigned to them by the Mental Health Ordinance (Cap 136).
(Added 18 of 1997 s. 2. Amended 81 of 1997 s. 59)
Section: 2 Execution of powers of attorney 30/06/1997
(1) An instrument creating a power of attorney shall be signed and sealed by, or by direction and in the
presence of, the donor of the power.
(2) Where such an instrument is signed and sealed by a person by direction and in the presence of the donor of
the power, two other persons shall be present as witnesses and shall attest the instrument.
(3) This section is without prejudice to any requirement in, or having effect under, any other Ordinance as to
the witnessing of instruments creating powers of attorney and does not affect the rules relating to the execution of
instruments by corporations.
[cf. 1971 c. 27 s. 1 U.K.]
Section: 3 Proof of instruments creating powers of attorney 30/06/1997
(1) The contents of an instrument creating a power of attorney may be proved by means of a copy which-
(a) is a reproduction of the original made with a photographic or other device for reproducing documents
in facsimile; and
(b) contains the following certificate or certificates signed by the donor of the power or by a solicitor, that
is to say-
(i) a certificate at the end to the effect that the copy is a true and complete copy of the original; and
(ii) if the original consists of two or more pages, a certificate at the end of each page of the copy to
the effect that it is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original.
(2) Where a copy of an instrument creating a power of attorney has been made which complies with subsection
(1), the contents of the instrument may also be proved by means of a copy of that copy if the further copy itself
complies with that subsection, taking references in it to the original as references to the copy from which the further
copy is made.
Cap 31 - POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE 2
(3) In favour of a person acting in good faith a signature on a certificate under subsection (1)(b) purporting to
be that of a person described as being a solicitor shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed sufficient for the
purposes of this section.
(4) This section is without prejudice to any other method of proof authorized by any other Ordinance.
(5) In this section "solicitor" (律師) means a person who is enrolled on the roll of solicitors kept under the
Legal Practitioners Ordinance (Cap 159) and who, at the material time, is not suspended from practice.
[cf. 1971 c. 27 s. 3 U.K.]
Section: 4 Powers of attorney given as security 30/06/1997
(1) Where a power of attorney is expressed to be irrevocable and is given to secure-
(a) a proprietary interest of the donee of the power; or
(b) the performance of an obligation owed to the donee,
then, so long as the donee has that interest or the obligation remains undischarged, the power shall not be revoked-
(i) by the donor without the consent of the donee; or
(ii) by the death, incapacity or bankruptcy of the donor or, if the donor is a corporation, by its winding up
(2) A power of attorney given to secure a proprietary interest may be given to the person entitled to the interest
and persons deriving title under him to that interest, and those persons shall be duly constituted donees of the power
for all purposes of the power but without prejudice to any right to appoint substitutes given by the power.
(3) This section applies to powers of attorney whenever created.
[cf. 1971 c. 27 s. 4 U.K.]
Section: 5 Protection of donee and third persons where power of
attorney is revoked
(1) A donee of a power of attorney who acts in pursuance of the power at a time when it has been revoked shall
not, by reason of the revocation, incur any liability (either to the donor or to any other person) if at that time he did not
know that the power had been revoked.
(2) Where a power of attorney has been revoked and a person, without knowledge of the revocation, deals with
the donee of the power, the transaction between them shall, in favour of that person, be as valid as if the power had
then been in existence.
(3) Where the power is expressed in the instrument creating it to be irrevocable and to be given by way of
security then, unless the person dealing with the donee knows that it was not in fact given by way of security, he shall
be entitled to assume that the power is incapable of revocation except by the donor acting with the consent of the
donee and shall accordingly be treated for the purposes of subsection (2) as having knowledge of the revocation only
if he knows that it has been revoked in that manner.
(4) Where the interest of a purchaser depends on whether a transaction between the donee of a power of
attorney and another person was valid by virtue of subsection (2), it shall be conclusively presumed in favour of the
purchaser that that person did not at the material time know of the revocation of the power if-
(a) the transaction between that person and the donee was completed within twelve months of the date on
which the power came into operation; or
(b) that person makes a statutory declaration, before or within three months after the completion of the
purchase, that he did not at the material time know of the revocation of the power.
(5) Without prejudice to subsection (3), for the purposes of this section knowledge of the revocation of a power
of attorney includes knowledge of the occurrence of any event (such as the death of the donor) which has the effect of
revoking the power.
(6) In this section-
"purchaser" (購買人) means-
(a) a purchaser in good faith for valuable consideration;
(b) a lessee, mortgagee or other person who for valuable consideration acquires an interest in property;
(c) an intending purchaser; and
"valuable consideration" (有值代價) includes marriage but not a nominal consideration in money.
Cap 31 - POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE 3
(7) This section applies whenever the power of attorney was created but only to acts and transactions after the
commencement of this Ordinance.
(8) No statutory declaration relating to a power of attorney made under subsection (4)(b) at any time after the
commencement of the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Ordinance 1987 (34 of 1987) shall be sufficient if made
(a) a solicitor who acted for the declarant or the donee of the power of attorney in the transaction referred
to in subsection (2);
(b) a solicitor acting, or who has acted, for a party in any transaction affected by the statutory declaration;
(c) a partner, clerk or employee of a solicitor mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b); or
(d) a partner, clerk or employee of a partner of a solicitor mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b). (Added 34 of
1987 s. 2)
(9) For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that a statutory declaration made under subsection (4)(b) at
any time prior to the commencement of the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Ordinance 1987 (34 of 1987) shall not
be invalid or otherwise ineffective for its purpose solely by reason of the fact that it was made before any solicitor,
partner, clerk or employee mentioned in subsection (8). (Added 34 of 1987 s. 2)
[cf. 1971 c. 27 s. 5 U.K.]
Section: 6 Execution of instruments, etc. by donee of power of
(1) The donee of a power of attorney may, if he thinks fit-
(a) execute any instrument with his own signature and, where sealing is required, with his own seal; and
(b) do any other thing in his own name,
by the authority of the donor of the power; and any document executed or thing done in that manner shall be as
effective as if executed or done by the donee with the signature and seal, or, as the case may be, in the name, of the
donor of the power.
(2) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that an instrument may be executed on behalf of a person
by a donee of a power of attorney either as provided in this section or as provided in any other Ordinance.
(3) This section is without prejudice to a provision in any other Ordinance requiring an instrument to be
executed by a person specified therein.
(4) This section applies to powers of attorney whenever created.
[cf. 1971 c .27 s. 7 U.K.]
Section: 7 Effect of general power of attorney in specified form 30/06/1997
(1) Subject to subsection (2), a general power of attorney in the form set out in the Schedule, or in a form to the
like effect but expressed to be made under this Ordinance, shall operate to confer-
(a) on the donee of the power; or
(b) if there is more than one donee, on the donees acting jointly or acting jointly or severally, as the case
authority to do on behalf of the donor anything which he can lawfully do by an attorney.
(2) This section does not apply to functions which the donor has as a trustee or personal representative.
[cf. 1971 c. 27 s. 10 U.K.]
Section: 8 Powers of attorney prior to amendments not to be affected 30/06/1997
For the avoidance of doubt it is declared that any question relating to the validity or otherwise or revocation of a
power of attorney created before the commencement* of the Powers of Attorney (Amendment) Ordinance 1997 (18 of
1997) is to be determined as if that Ordinance had not been enacted.
(Added 18 of 1997 s. 3)
* Commencement date: 27 June 1997.
Cap 31 - POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE 4
Schedule: SCHEDULE 30/06/1997
POWERS OF ATTORNEY ORDINANCE
FORM OF GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY FOR PURPOSES
OF SECTION 7
THIS GENERAL POWER OF ATTORNEY is made this day of 19 by AB of
I appoint CD of (address) [or CD of (address) and EF of (address) jointly or
jointly and severally] to be my attorney(s) in accordance with section 7 of the Powers of Attorney Ordinance.
IN WITNESS whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal.
(Amended L.N. 441 of 1995)