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Howse Williams 何韋律師行 | Hong Kong | 22 Sep 2021

Can employers require employees to be vaccinated?

The government has implemented various measures aimed at countering the effects of the covid-19 pandemic and allowing business activities to resume as normal. The goal is to achieve a high enough level of vaccination to protect the nation from the virus. These measures include a vaccination programme and policies permitting specific industries to operate for longer hours if their employees......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 14 Sep 2021

Witnesses overseas and trials during covid-19 pandemic

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 videoconferencing 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.
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RPC | Hong Kong | 7 Sep 2021

Important litigation updates in Hong Kong

August 2021 has seen two important developments relating to dispute resolution and court practice in Hong Kong: the abolition of the "fraud exception" to summary judgment, which removes the jurisdictional obstacle to applying for summary judgment where fraud is alleged against the defendant, and the passing of the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Bill 2021, which allows senior legal officer......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 24 Aug 2021

Security for costs in context of incorrect address

Re Buildtech Enterprise International Ltd & Ors is a recent reminder that when a plaintiff provides an incorrect address in their originating court document (in order to commence proceedings), it does not necessarily follow that a court will make an order for security for costs against them. A failure to provide an address or a correct address is one of several grounds pursuant to which a......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 10 Aug 2021

Calling time on fraud exception to summary judgment

A recent judgment is another reminder of the fraud exception to summary judgment in Hong Kong. The exception acts as a jurisdictional hurdle to the grant of summary judgment in a writ action where a plaintiff's claim is based on an allegation of fraud. The ambit of the fraud exception has been the subject of much criticism, especially given the prevalence of email and other similar frauds as......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 27 Jul 2021

Resumed trial or new trial of old case

In a recent case, a judge of the High Court allowed the plaintiff's application for a new trial (a trial de novo or retrial) of a trial that had been adjourned part-heard in July 2008, just before the court's summer vacation that year. This represents a quite remarkable outcome. Assuming that the case does not settle, a new trial is unlikely to be heard for a couple of years and, when it is......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 13 Jul 2021

Court considers legal privilege and journalistic material in context of national security law

In an interesting decision, handed down recently and described as "the first case of its type" in Hong Kong, the Court of First Instance of the High Court had to consider claims to legal professional privilege and journalistic material in the context of orders for the production of documents made pursuant to the relevant implementation rules for the national security law. The court's decision......
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RPC | Hong Kong | 15 Jun 2021

Court of Appeal on extensions of time to appeal and stays

The Court of Appeal recently had the opportunity to review some important points of practice regarding appeals against first-instance judgments – in particular, with respect to applications to extend time to appeal and to stay execution of judgments pending an appeal. While a short delay (which can be adequately explained) in serving a notice of appeal may not be fatal, a substantial delay of......
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William KW Leung & Co | Hong Kong | 10 Jun 2021

Court affirms need for unsatisfied tax claim to use tax gathering defence

It is trite law that the Hong Kong courts will not enforce a foreign arbitral award if it amounts to indirect enforcement of foreign laws. In the context of tax law, a defence known as the 'tax gathering' defence exists, under which a foreign award will not be enforced if it would, in effect, help foreign states to collect taxes. However, the requirements of this defence have been unclear....
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RPC | Hong Kong | 25 May 2021

Adjournment of trial only in 'exceptional circumstances'

Trial dates are regarded as 'milestone dates' for civil litigation and are therefore immovable, save for 'exceptional circumstances'. In such circumstances, the courts have a discretion to adjourn a trial. An exercise of such discretion involves balancing the prejudice suffered by the parties, as a result of an adjournment, with the primary aim of securing a just resolution of a dispute in......
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