Hong Kong – Refusal to regrant injunction that lapsed during general adjournment successfully appealed
In a previous update dated 29 April 2020, we noted that a first instance court held that the general adjourned period (GAP), during which the Hong Kong courts were closed save for urgent and essential court business, did not generally extend the duration of an injunction which was granted on an urgent basis before the GAP commenced and listed for a "return date" during the GAP (for further details, see "General adjournment in Hong Kong does not extend duration of ex parte injunction", dated 29 April 2020).
The plaintiff has appealed that decision. While the Court of Appeal agreed with the lower court's reasoning (namely, that the injunction orders had lapsed immediately after the "return date"), the plaintiff has successfully appealed the lower court's refusal to regrant the injunction orders as a matter of discretion. It appears that the Court of Appeal considered that the lower court had erred in taking an unduly restrictive approach in ruling that once the injunction orders had lapsed there was "nothing which can be continued"1 – when, as the Court of Appeal saw things, the plaintiff was not merely seeking to continue the injunction orders but was also, as a matter of substance over form, seeking the grant of new orders which justified a fresh exercise of the lower court's discretion.
Please contact us if you have any queries regarding the issues raised in this article, or if you wish to consider any commercial dispute resolution matters in Hong Kong.
This article is intended to give general information only. It is not a complete statement of the law. It is not intended to be relied upon or to be a substitute for legal advice in relation to particular circumstances.
1 Essilor Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd v Wong  HKCA 351, CACV 71/2020, 21 May 2020, at paragraph 42.