PEARLDELTA GROUP LTD v. HUGE WINNERS INTERNATIONAL LTD AND OTHERS

CACV 105/2010

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF APPEAL

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 105 OF 2010

(ON APPEAL FROM HCA NO. 595 OF 2008)

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BETWEEN

PEARLDELTA GROUP LIMITED Plaintiff
and
HUGE WINNERS INTERNATIONAL LIMITED 1st Defendant
LEE MAN BUN(李文彬) 2nd Defendant
NG SIO KOK(吳小菊) 3rd Defendant
YANG SHAO-CHEN(楊少辰) 4th Defendant
HAN JIN-LONG(韓金龍) 5th Defendant
LUO HUI-CAI(羅會才) 6th Defendant

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Before: Hon Rogers Acting CJHC, Le Pichon JA and Stone J in Court

Dates of Hearing: 12 November and 23 December 2010

Date of Judgment: 23 December 2010

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J U D G M E N T

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Hon Rogers Acting CJHC:

1. This is an application for leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal.

2. The application first came before this court on 12 November of this year. It was supported by a consent summons purporting to consentto leave being given to appeal under section 22(1)(a) of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal Ordinance, Cap 484. However, that refers to a liquidated demand and a liquidated demand is one which can be calculated by pure arithmeticon the basis of undisputed figures.

3. The demand in this case by the plaintiff is a calculated amount. It is calculated, in part, on the basis of a figure which thiscourt did not accept and, therefore, this court could not accede to any such application. I would add, at this stage, that thiscourt could not accede to it for two reasons. First of all, this court cannot make an order by consent if it does not consider itan appropriate order to be made; and secondly, it is a matter of jurisdiction and the court cannot exercise a jurisdiction whichit does not have – in other words, exercise a jurisdiction under 22(1)(a) when it does not exist.

4. So when this matter first came before this court on 12 November, the plaintiff was represented by Mr Carolan and the matter waspointed out that this was not a liquidated claim. This clearly took Mr Carolan by surprise and in deference to counsel and to assistthe parties an adjournment was accorded.

5. When the matter came back before this court this morning, the preliminary request by the plaintiff was simply that this applicationshould be dismissed, because, presumably, it was appreciated that it would not be granted. It was pointed out to counsel more thanonce that it would be an abuse of the process of the court to ask this court to dismiss an application without making arguments toit which were proposed to be made to the Court of Final Appeal.

6. When that was pointed out, counsel did attempt to suggest that this was a liquidated claim without putting forward any argument. It was pointed out that clearly the plaintiff’s claim did not fall within the definition of a liquidated claim for the reasonswhich I have already given.

7. I would therefore dismiss this application. I have taken the steps of outlining what has happened so far, so that if an applicationis made to the Court of Final Appeal, that court will be well aware of the absence of any real argument which has been placed beforethis court.

Hon Le Pichon JA:

8. I agree.

Hon Stone J:

9. I also agree with the judgment of the Vice-President.

(Anthony Rogers)
Acting Chief Judge,High Court
(Doreen Le Pichon)
Justice of Appeal
(William Stone)
Judge of the Court of First Instance

Mr Paul Carolan, instructed by Messrs Blank Rome, for the Plaintiff/Applicant on 12 November 2010

Mr Eugene Kwok, instructed by Messrs Blank Rome, for the Plaintiff/Applicant on 23 December 2010

Mr Keith Lam, instructed by Messrs Tung, Ng, Tse & Heung, for the 1st to 3rd Defendants/Respondents