Latest by Jennifer Leung

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

Witnesses overseas and preparations for trial during a pandemic

Published on 17 September 2021. By Samuel Hung, Partner and Jacky Darsono, Partner and Jennifer Leung, Associate

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A couple of recent High Court decisions demonstrate some of the issues that arise when a party applies for one or more of their witnesses to give evidence at trial by video conferencing facilities, or seeks an adjournment of a trial, because a witness is overseas and experiencing difficulties in returning to Hong Kong in time for a trial date given the COVID-19 pandemic. In such circumstances, the courts’ ultimate priority is the administration of justice, which involves (among other things) balancing the parties’ competing interests while exercising their case management powers. A trial date (a “milestone date”) is generally sacrosanct and live evidence in person at trial is the norm.

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