HCMP 685 /2011
IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF APPEAL
MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO. 685 OF 2011
(ON AN INTENDED APPEAL FROM HCMC NO. 11 OF 2010)
Before: Hon Hartmann JA and Lam J in Court
Date of Hearing: 6 July 2011
Date of Ruling: 6 October 2011
RULING AS TO COSTS
Hon Hartmann JA (giving the Ruling of the Court):
1. This ruling arises out of ancillary relief proceedings. The respondent came before us seeking leave to appeal a decision of theCourt of First Instance refusing her application for the appointment of an interim receiver to protect certain of the matrimonialassets pending a final determination of the litigation between herself and her husband, the petitioner. Having heard submissions,we dismissed the application. We gave our reasons in a judgment handed down on 12 July 2011. This ruling contains our determinationas to costs.
2. While in matrimonial matters the court has a broader discretion in respect of costs than it does in other civil proceedings, thefundamental rule still applies that, absent good reason otherwise, costs should go to the successful party.
3. The proceedings before us were interlocutory but nevertheless they were discrete proceedings, not so bound up with the general proceedingsthat the issue of cost cannot more equitably be resolved forthwith.
4. In our judgment, it would be proper in the present case to award costs of the failed application to the respondent, that is, tothe husband, such costs to be taxed if not agreed. The application was a novel one arising out of the complex commercial dealingsof the husband. In the circumstances, we are satisfied that this was a proper case for the employment of two counsel and there willbe a certificate to that effect.
Mr Barrie Barlow SC and Ms Mairéad Rattigan, instructed by Messrs Withers, for Respondent/Applicant
Mr John Scott SC and Ms Sara Tong, instructed by Messrs Robertsons, for the Petitioner/Respondent