GURDAS S CHOITHRAMANI v. THE HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LTD

HCA 2073/2011

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO 2073 OF 2011

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BETWEEN

GURDAS S CHOITHRAMANI Plaintiff
and
THE HONG KONG AND SHANGHAI BANKING CORPORATION LIMITED Defendant

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Before: Deputy High Court Judge Whitehead, SC in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 29 April 2014
Date of Ruling: 29 April 2014

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R U L I N G

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1. I do not think that this is an appropriate case for indemnity costs. Counsel for the defendant has drawn my attention to the veryserious allegations which are made in this case. They are not being pursued today because this matter has now been struck out.

2. I accept that the allegations are very serious, but two matters must be borne in mind. First, the truth or otherwise of these allegationshas not been tested; and, secondly, as far as I can see, and what I am told by counsel today, the plaintiff does not intend to abandonthese allegations but wishes to take the matter further if he can through the Official Receiver.

3. So, in those circumstances, I think that the seriousness of the allegations which would otherwise have probably attracted an indemnitycosts order do not meet the mark in this particular circumstance.

4. In my view, the matters appearing in the statement of costs for summary assessment prepared by Mayer Brown JSM are perfectly reasonable.This is a long and protracted litigation with a very difficult history. The plaintiff in these proceedings has raised a myriad ofissues, some of them are matters of law which are very difficult, and I have no hesitation in ruling that the matters charged forboth by solicitors and counsel are perfectly proper and reasonable.

5. I have done my own calculation – it can be checked, of course, if I have got it wrong – a 30 per cent reduction brings the matterto $1,562,402. I intend to round that down $1.55 million, and I so rule.

6. The orders I make are as follows:

(1) The application for indemnity costs is refused.

(2) Costs are taxed and assessed in the sum of $1.55 million to be paid by the plaintiff to the defendant within 28 days hereof.

(Robert Whitehead SC)
Deputy High Court Judge

Mr Mohnani, Dheeraj Suresh, of Jal N Karbhari & Co, for the plaintiff

Mr Eugene Fung, SC, leading Ms Janet Ho, instructed by Mayer Brown JSM, for the defendant