Q1 2013 will see the first meeting of the working group set up by the Hong Kong Department of Justice to discuss recent proposals for the introduction of a comprehensive class action regime.  

Following the Law Reform Commission's Report on Class Actions in May 2012 (the "Report"), the Department of Justice issued an interim response, on 27 November 2012, announcing its intention to set up a working group to study and consider the proposals and make recommendations to the Administration.

The working group will be chaired by the Solicitor General and will comprise members representing stakeholders in the private sector, the relevant government bureaux and departments, the two professional legal bodies and the Consumer Council.  A representative of the Judiciary will also have a role limited to providing input from the perspective of interface with court operations.

The Report itself makes only high-level recommendations, so in light of the complexity of the issues and widespread opposition to reforms from the business community, there is still much work to be done. It is therefore likely to take some substantial time for the working party to complete its study of the Report and make its recommendations, following which the process to introduce suitable legislation may begin.