IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO. 2007 OF 2006
R U L I N G
1. I have before me an application made on behalf of the defendant for security for costs. There is no question that the plaintiffis an overseas company and so is amenable to this sort of order, and that is accepted on the plaintiff’s behalf by Mr Hill. Sonow the only real issue is the amount of security that should be ordered. The gross skeleton bill prepared in support of the application,as adjusted, comes to $683,900. I accept what Mr Scott S.C. says on behalf of the defendant, that this is a complicated matter;it deals with the question of the technology of telephone communications. There are obviously contractual issues which are goingto need to be addressed, it all takes time. An expert appears to be very much on the cards, quite apart from an expert on Canadianlaw, hopefully, Canadian law as practised in Quebec is sufficiently well settled that this issue will, in due course, fall away butthat will result in experts being engaged and the defendant has taken the precaution of doing that already.
2. The court is always naturally cautious in its assessment of these matters and I am certainly not going to depart from that practice. The case may settle early; it does not appear that this is going to happen at the moment but there is always this possibility tobe canvassed and regard needs to be had to that. There are obviously questions in respect of taxation which have not been addressedin the skeleton bill, although it is one that has been properly drawn up. For my part I think the correct order is to direct – makingproper allowances in a rather global way – one can never approach this matter with mathematical precision – that security will beprovided by the plaintiff in the sum of $485,000.
(Discussion re manner of payment and costs)
3. I think the real point here is that the defendants have had to come to get this order; they have achieved an order, in terms ofquantum it is less than was asked for, so to that extent Mr Hill is right but there has been no previous offer by the Plaintiff topay a particular amount, so I think that the costs ought to follow the event. I will give the defendants their costs of this applicationand I am going to indicate that two-thirds of the hearing today has been occupied dealing with this matter and the remainder in relationto general directions and the adjournment of the application to vary the injunction.
Anthony Hill of Messrs Minter Ellison, for the Plaintiff
John Scott S.C., instructed by Messrs Robertsons, for the Defendant