WONG ZHONG LAN XIANG AND OTHERS v. FRANK WONG AND OTHERS

HCAP900002A/1995

HCAP 900002/1995

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

PROBATE ACTION NO. 900002 OF 1995

____________

BETWEEN
WONG ZHONG LAN-XIANG
nee ZHONG LAN-XIANG
1st Plaintiff
WANG HUI-HONG 2nd Plaintiff
WANG GUO-XING 3rd Plaintiff
WANG XIAO-HONG 4th Plaintiff
WANG GUO-QIANG 5th Plaintiff
AND
FRANK WONG otherwise known as
KAI KOCK WONG, the executor of the
last Will of SHEE HOM WONG
1st Defendant
FRANK WONG otherwise known as
KAI KOCK WONG
5th Defendant

____________

Coram: Deputy High Court Judge A Cheung in Chambers

Date of Hearing: 15 July 2002

Date of Judgment: 15 July 2002

_______________

J U D G M E N T

_______________

1. On 18 April 2002 I handed down judgment after trial in this action. In my judgment, I make an order that letters of administrationbe granted to Mr Frank Wong or his lawful attorney subject to such conditions as the Probate Registry may see fit to impose as amatter of normal practice in the case of a foreign administrator or representation by attorney. The Plaintiffs are not happy withmy judgment and have filed a Notice of Appeal. The matter will be heard by the Court of Appeal in December this year.

2. By a Summons dated 29 May 2002, the Plaintiffs apply for various relief pending the outcome of the appeal. At today’s hearing, MsNg, counsel for the Plaintiffs, indicates to me that the Plaintiffs are not pursuing any save one of the relief prayed for in theSummons. This relates to an application for the grant of letters of administration in favour of Mr Frank Wong or his attorney bestayed pending the outcome of the appeal.

3. Having read Ms Ng’s skeleton argument and having heard submission from Ms Ng, I am not persuaded that a case for staying the grantof letters of administration has been made out. As I said, the Defendants are successful in the action. I take it as a general principlethat a successful party should not be lightly deprived of the fruits of his judgment just because the losing party has taken outan appeal.

4. Ms Ng refers to the possible waste of costs in revoking any grant that may be made by the Probate Registry in favour of Mr FrankWong or his attorney pending the appeal, if the eventual outcome of the appeal is against Mr Frank Wong. But she accepts during submissionthat because of a caveat entered by the Government, any application for the grant of letters of administration is unlikely to becompleted before the hearing of the appeal. In any event, weighing the possible costs involved in the revocation of any grant ifthe appeal is successful against the potential prejudice to the Defendants in depriving them of the fruits of their judgment, I amclearly of the view that there are no special circumstances in the present case justifying the grant of any stay of the grant ofletters of administration pursuant to the judgment that I have given.

5. So for all these reasons, I refuse the present application. I also make an order that the Plaintiffs pay to the Defendants the costsof this application to be taxed if not agreed.

(A Cheung)
Deputy Judge of the Court of First Instance
High Court

Representation:

Ms Queenie Ng, instructed by Messrs H H Lau & Co., for the Plaintiffs

Mr Bernard Mak & Mr Victor Dawes, instructed by Messrs Li, Wong & Lam, for the Defendants