IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS NO. 1097 OF 2006
Before: Hon Sakhrani J in Court
Date of Hearing: 28 August 2006
Date of Judgment: 28 August 2006
J U D G M E N T
1. These proceedings concern the funds held in a Japanese Yen account particularized in the originating summons. The account was openedwith the 1st defendant’s branch in Hong Kong on 25 August 2003 in the name of Mr Suto Shohei (“Mr Shohei”).
2. Mr Shohei was formerly the president of the plaintiff. On the evidence before the court I am satisfied that the account was openedso that funds deposited therein were to be held by Mr Shohei on behalf of the plaintiff before they were to be remitted to the plaintiffeventually. After the account was opened funds were credited to the account as shown in the evidence. However, on 6 September 2004Mr Shohei passed away in Japan before the funds in the account were remitted to the plaintiff.
3. Mr Shohei is survived by his widow, the 2nd defendant. She accepts that the funds in the account did not belong to Mr Shohei and she makes no claim to the same.
4. On the evidence before me the 2nd defendant is the sole owner of the estate of Mr Shohei. She does not dispute the plaintiff’s entitlement to the funds in the account.
5. The 1st defendant adopts a neutral stance in these proceedings.
6. On the evidence before me I am satisfied that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought. I make an order in terms of paragraphs1 to 4 of the originating summons save that in paragraph 1 the word “currently” should be inserted between the words “funds”and “held” so that it should read “a declaration that the funds currently held in a Japanese Yen account (Account No. : 0/212,371/02, 07) with the 1st Defendant’s branch in Hong Kong in the name of Mr Shohei Suto (now deceased) (the “Funds”) were monies held by Mr Shohei Sutoprior to his death on 6 September 2004 on trust for the Plaintiff”.
7. The question of costs has also been agreed between the parties. I make an order that the 1st defendant’s costs of and occasioned by the originating summons be paid out from the funds in the account to be taxed on a trusteebasis and I further direct that the 1st defendant be allowed to deduct such costs from the funds before paying the same to the plaintiff. I also make an order that the2nd defendant’s costs of and occasioned by the originating summons be also paid out of the funds. Such costs to be taxed on a trusteebasis if not agreed.
Mr Alfred Liang, instructed by Messrs Arculli Fong & Ng, for the Plaintiff
Miss Sara Tong, instructed by Messrs Linklaters, for the 1st Defendant
Mr Mark Sutherland, instructed by Messrs Chong & Yen, for the 2nd Defendant