IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
CIVIL ACTION NO 4763 OF 2011
D E C I S I O N
1. The defendant’s application to amend the Defence has to be considered in light of what transpired at the hearing before this courton 28th February 2013.
2. At the hearing on 28th February 2013, the defendant sought leave to file and serve paragraphs 13, 14, 15 and 17 of the Supplemental Witness Statement ofthe defendant annexed to the defendant’s summons filed on 29th January 2013.
3. Paragraph 15 raised the issue of whether the plaintiff was the sole user of Unit E15 at the material time.
4. Significantly, the plaintiff’s solicitors conceded the defendant’s application regarding paragraph 15 at that hearing.
5. Paragraph 15 became paragraph 13 of the 2nd Supplemental Witness Statement of the defendant filed on 5th March 2013.
6. This was fully responded to in the 2nd Supplemental Witness Statement of Wong Kin Keung filed on behalf of the plaintiff on 14th March 2013.
7. Bearing in mind the earlier concession made by the plaintiff, clearly, no prejudice has been caused to the plaintiff by the presentapplication to amend. Further, any possible prejudice can be cured by giving leave to the plaintiff to file a further SupplementalWitness Statement within 21 days from today.
8. Further, in my view, there is nothing to suggest that the application to withdraw the admission is not made in good faith.
9. Further still, the merits of the plaintiff’s case on the issue is not so strong that I should refuse leave to amend on that basisalone.
10. Accordingly, I will allow the application and shall now work out the precise form of the order with the assistance of the parties.
11. (1) Order in terms of paragraph 1 of the Summons dated 11th March 2013, save that in paragraph 2 of the Amended Defence (i) the reference to paragraph 2 of the Statement of Claim should bea reference to paragraph 1 of the Statement of Claim, and the reference to paragraph 2(a) and (c) of the Statement of Claim shouldbe a reference to paragraph 1(a) and (c) of the Statement of Claim; and (ii) the sentence “In the premises, paragraph 1(b) is notadmitted” be added before the last sentence beginning with the words. “The defendant avers that…”;
(Discussion re costs)
12. In the circumstances, the order I make is that the costs of and occasioned by the amendment be to the plaintiff in any event, tobe taxed if not agreed. 90% of the costs of the hearing today be to the defendant in any event, to be taxed if not agreed (withcertificate for counsel).
Ms Emma Wong, instructed by K M Lai & Li, for the plaintiff
Mr Stanley C K Siu, instructed by Deannie Yew and Associates, for the defendant