in the high court of the
hong kong special administrative region
court of appeal
civil appeal no. 188 of 2008
(on appeal from HCMP NO. 1752 of 2007)
Before: Hon Rogers VP in Chambers
Date of Hearing: 7 August 2008
Date of Decision: 7 August 2008
D E C I S I O N
1. This is an application for a stay pending appeal. It is a very strange case because the relief sought and granted by the judgeeffectively was that the Defendant, a solicitors firm, should render a bill, and that is really all there is to this case.
2. Mr Sussex, SC, who has appeared on behalf of the Plaintiffs, says that this appeal is simply unarguable. He may be right, in whichcase the Plaintiffs, if they see fit and can get a date, can apply to strike it out, but it is not a decision that I am preparedto take this morning; hence, one has an appeal. When the application for a stay first came before the judge below, for some reasonhe thought that the application for a stay was out of time. Despite the fact that Mr Sussex thought that I was getting excited aboutthe point, I cannot understand why the judge thought that it was out of time. I feel it was well within time.
3. Anyway, that is beside the point. In my view, this is a plain, straightforward matter. There is no urgency in the defendants’providing this bill. If they are right, they should not be providing their bill. They should get paid some other way. Mr Sussexsays that they should never be able to get paid some other way. So be it. That is how this appeal is going to be heard. In myview, this is quite an obvious case, where there should be a stay. It is not going to harm anybody, despite Mr Sussex’s submissionthat there is a hold-up of money held by the solicitors. In the scheme of things, I do not consider that is of a significant amount,taking into account all the other factors in the case.
4. I will therefore grant a stay and the costs will be costs in the appeal.
Mr Charles Sussex SC, instructed by Messrs Iu, Lai & Li, for the 1st and 2nd Plaintiffs/Respondents
Mr Erik Shum & Ms Elsie Yiu, instructed by Messrs Ho, Tse, Wai & Partners, for the Defendant/Appellant