IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO 51 OF 2007
ACTION NO 1040 OF 2009
ACTION NO 1041 OF 2009
D E C I S I O N
1. It is true that discovery is a continuing obligation. However, since the CJR, the courts have endeavoured to make it clear to theparties that the court will not condone late discovery made at the commencement of trial, or at the eve of trial. The CJR introducedmeasures to ensure early preparation for trial by the parties and the court will rarely exercise its discretion to admit late documentsor late evidence, in the absence of exceptional circumstances or unless good reasons exist to allow the late production to ensurethe just resolution of the dispute.
2. In this case, the background of which I have set out in my earlier decision of 6 March 2014 and will not repeat here, no good reasonhas been advanced by Philip’s camp as to why the late disclosure of the Trust Documents should be permitted for inclusion in theevidence for the trial in January 2015. Oversight, distraction by other developments in court, are not good reasons. A mere reminderof the relevant dates should adequately explain the unjustified delay. The Actions were set down in September 2011, for trial tocommence in September 2012 as originally envisaged, pursuant to an order for consolidation made in September 2010. The last 2 hearingsbefore me took place in February and October 2014.
3. In any event, Philip’s camp accept that the Trust Documents are not of primary importance and do not directly relate to the issuesto be resolved at the trial. Discovery of documents will only be ordered if they are necessary. I am not satisfied that the TrustDocuments are necessary for determination of the remaining issues to be dealt with in January 2015 and at this very late stage, furtherdiscovery will not be permitted.
4. The application for discovery is refused, with costs.
Ms Teresa Cheng SC and Mr Adrian Lai, instructed by S Cheng & Yeung, for the 1st to 3rd plaintiffs in HCA 51/2007
Ms Teresa Cheng SC and Mr Adrian Lai, instructed by S Cheng & Yeung, for the 1st to 5th defendants in HCA 1040/2009
Mr Teresa Cheng SC and Mr Adrian Lai, instructed by S Cheng & Yeung, for the 1st to 5th defendants in HCA 1041/2009
Mr Vincent Lung, instructed by Vremeli Chan & Co, for the 1st and 4th defendants in HCA 51/2007
Mr Vincent Lung, instructed by Vremeli Chan & Co, for the 1st plaintiff in HCA 1040/2009
Mr Vincent Lung, instructed by Vremeli Chan & Co, for the 1st and 3rd plaintiffs in HCA 1041/2009
Mr Ronald Tang and Mr Jerome Liu, instructed by Wong Poon Chan Law Co, for the 3rd defendant in HCA 51/2007
Mr Ronald Tang and Mr Jerome Liu, instructed by Wong Poon Chan Law Co, for the 6th defendant in HCA 1040/2009
Mr Ronald Tang and Mr Jerome Liu, instructed by Wong Poon Chan Law Co, for the 6th defendant in HCA 1041/2009
The 2nd defendant in HCA 51/2007, the 3rd plaintiff in HCA 1040/2009, and the 4th plaintiff in HCA 1041/2009 (Mr Ng Kwok Tai Andrew) appeared in person