Latest by Antony Sassi

Publication

High Court reviews permission for expert reports and delay after general adjourned period

Published on 07 October 2021. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Rebecca Wong, Senior Associate and Jennifer Leung, Associate

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In Redland Precast Concrete Products (China) Ltd v AES Steel Mould (Hong Kong) Ltd1 the Court of Appeal emphasised that it is unlikely to interfere with the exercise of a first instance court’s case management discretion regarding directions for expert reports, unless an applicant can show that the lower court’s decision is plainly wrong. This presents a party seeking to challenge such directions with a high threshold to overcome in order to obtain permission to appeal. In this case, the applicant (the plaintiff) was unable to meet the threshold – therefore, its application for permission to appeal was refused by the court. Had the plaintiff acted more expeditiously, immediately after the general adjourned period (when the courts were generally closed between January and May 2020 because of the pandemic), things may have turned out differently.

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Publication

Court reviews witness’s reluctance to travel to Hong Kong because of COVID-19

Published on 05 May 2021. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

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In Standard Chartered Bank (Hong Kong) Ltd v Nie, the Court of Appeal refused the defendant (who resides outside Hong Kong) permission to appeal a trial judge’s decision not to allow her to give evidence by videoconferencing facilities (VCF) at trial. Apparently, the defendant had been reluctant to travel to Hong Kong from Beijing (where she resides) to attend the trial because of concerns about the COVID-19 public health pandemic. Both the trial judge and the Court of Appeal appear to have been unimpressed by the defendant’s application. Giving witness evidence by VCF during a trial in civil proceedings is not the norm (even during a pandemic). A party looking to rely on such evidence needs to act promptly to obtain the court’s permission and provide good reasons for doing so supported by credible evidence.

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Publication

Hong Kong courts – Latest guidance on COVID-19 measures

Published on 10 December 2020. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and David Smyth, Senior Consultant

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Publication

Hong Kong courts keeping calm and carrying on

Published on 11 November 2020. By Carmel Green, Partner and Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

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Blog

General adjournment in Hong Kong does not extend duration of ex parte injunction

Published on 29 April 2020. By Carmel Green, Partner and Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

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In Hong Kong, the courts have generally been closed, save for urgent and essential court business as a result of COVID-19.

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Publication

Hong Kong Courts – In with the old and the new technology

Published on 15 April 2020. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Jonathan Crompton, Partner and David Smyth, Senior Consultant

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In Re Cyberworks Audio Video Technology Ltd,(1) the High Court of Hong Kong decided that it can, as part of its case management powers and of its own volition, order that a directions hearing take place by means of a telephone conference without the physical presence in court of the parties or their legal representatives.

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Publication

Hong Kong courts begin use of video conferencing

Published on 15 April 2020. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Carmel Green, Partner

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Given the extended general adjourned period (GAP), during which the courts in Hong Kong have been closed except for urgent and essential court business, the judiciary has adopted an incremental approach to the use of technology for remote hearings.

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Publication

Litigation in the time of Coronavirus (Hong Kong - Update)

Published on 15 April 2020. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Jonathan Crompton, Partner and David Smyth, Senior Consultant

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The "General Adjourned Period" (GAP) during which the courts in Hong Kong have been closed, save for urgent and essential court business, has been extended to 13 April 2020.

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Blog

Tax breaks to promote insurance sector

Published on 06 April 2020. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Andrew Carpenter, Partner

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On 30 March 2020 the Financial Services Development Council (FSDC) published its paper “Insuring Hong Kong’s Future –Tax Recommendations to Enhance and Grow Hong Kong’s Insurance Industry”. This is a further step taken by the FSDC to enhance the competitiveness of the Hong Kong insurance market as a key global risk management centre and regional insurance hub. The several proposed tax measures would extend to both (re)insurance companies, brokers and individual policyholders.

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Blog

Lead market regulator's lawsuit includes professional advisers

Published on 09 February 2017. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia and Samuel Hung, Partner

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In another significant development in the Securities and Futures Commission's (SFC) efforts to combat market misconduct-type activity involving listed shares in Hong Kong, the lead market regulator has commenced civil proceedings under Section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance (Cap 571) in respect of China Forestry Holdings Co Ltd (in official liquidation). What makes the proceedings noteworthy is that besides naming the company and two of its directors as co-defendants, the regulator's civil complaint also names two co-sponsors and the auditor involved with the company's initial public offering (IPO) in 2009.(1)

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Blog

Pre-judgment interest rate – prime plus 1%

Published on 30 June 2016. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

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In May 2016 the Court of Appeal in Hong Kong handed down three consistent decisions confirming that (among other things) prime rate plus 1% should continue to be used as the starting point for awarding pre-judgment interest on damages awarded by the courts in civil disputes.

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Blog

Sanctioned offers and old-style Calderbank offers

Published on 25 June 2015. By Antony Sassi, Managing Partner, Asia

Following the introduction of formal sanctioned payments and sanctioned offers pursuant to the civil justice reforms adopted in April 2009, it has not been entirely clear to what extent pre-trial Calderbank offers (without prejudice save as to costs) still provide costs protection for an offeror.

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