IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO. 22129 OF 1998
Coram : Godfrey, J.A. in Chambers (sitting as an additional Judge of the Court of First Instance)
Date of Hearing : 26 August 1999
Date of Judgment : 26 August 1999
J U D G M E N T
1. This is a claim by a finance company plaintiff for summary judgment against a defendant hirer and a number of defendant guarantors.
2. The defendant hirer claims that the plaintiff promised to hold its hand until 31 October 1998 (which the plaintiff accepts) and thatthe “standstill” was subsequently extended until May 1999, so that the plaintiff’s demand for payment eventually made in November1998 was premature. But there is no evidence sufficiently clear and unequivocal to support the defendant hirer’s case for an extended”standstill” and indeed its own evidence suggests that no agreement for such an extended “standstill” was ever concluded. I willtherefore give judgment as asked against the defendant hirer.
3. The defendant guarantors claim that the plaintiff promised to release them from their guarantees but has not done so. They rely ona letter dated 19 September 1996, under which the plaintiff agreed to do so subject to the conditions precedent there listed. Oneof those conditions was that all other bank creditors would release the defendant guarantors from any similar claims. There is someevidence that many, but not all, have done so. This is of course not good enough. Another condition is that Honko International HoldingsLtd provide a substitute guarantee, but that has not been done, and will not now be done, because the plaintiff sought to enforcethe guarantees before the conditions specified originally in the letter of 19 September 1996 were met. This has been therefore overtakenby events, and provides the defendant guarantors with no defence to the plaintiff’s action. I shall therefore give judgment as askedagainst the defendant guarantors as well. The costs of the plaintiff of the action will be taxed and paid by the defendants to theplaintiff.
Mr. Clifford Smith instructed by M/s. Deacons Graham & James for Plaintiff
Mr. Thomas Au instructed by M/s. Richard Tai & Co. for Defendants