Recent Judgments

28 April 2023

Hong Kong Court Brings 30-Year-Old Case to a Close

In a case which starkly illustrates the Court’s equitable powers concerning enforcement of cross-undertakings in damages, the Hon Madam Justice Lisa Wong dismissed an application for an inquiry as to damages, after a part-heard trial of over 60 days.

The case dates back to a Mareva injunction obtained by the plaintiff in 1994 and a summons for an inquiry as to damages taken out by the defendants in 2007. Trial of the inquiry summons commenced in February 2013, but was aborted in August 2013 due to concerns over the 1st defendant’s mental conditions. Another 24-day hearing ensued between April 2014 and June 2016 to determine the 1st defendant’s competency, leading to the Court in February 2016 ruling out a substantial portion of the 1st defendant’s oral and written evidence.

On 31 March 2023, the Hon Madam Justice Lisa Wong dismissed the inquiry summons, finding that the defendants have abused the Court’s process through (i) their unjustifiable 13-year delay in taking out the inquiry summons and (ii) their deliberate concealment of the 1st defendant’s incompetency.

The Judge also ordered the defendants to pay the bulk of the costs occasioned by the inquiry summons on an indemnity basis, as well as to disclose the identity of the third party funding the defendants’ costs of the proceedings under the inquiry summons.

Bernard Man SC and Thomas Wong, instructed by LC Lawyers LLP, acted for the Plaintiff in securing the dismissal. Several other members of Temple Chambers have also at various stages acted for the Plaintiff on aspects of the case, including Paul Shieh SC, Jat Sew-Tong SC, Abraham Chan SC, and Sara Tong(now Sara Tong SC).

For the full judgment, please view here.

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