YAU SHIK YIN v. WINBO INDUSTRIES (H.K.) LTD AND OTHERS

HCCW 420/2012

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

COMPANIES (WINDING-UP) NO 420 of 2012

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IN THE MATTER OF Man Shing Electrical Manufactory Limited (萬成電器製造廠有限公司)
and
IN THE MATTER of Section 177(1)(f) and Section 168A of the Companies Ordinance, Cap. 32.

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BETWEEN
YAU SHIK YIN (邱錫賢) Petitioner
and
MAN SHING ELECTRICAL MANUFACTORY LIMITED
(萬成電器製造廠有限公司)
1st Respondent
YAU SIMON SHIK MAN (邱錫文) 2nd Respondent
YAU LAI MING (邱麗明) 3rd Respondent
CHU YUET KING (朱月琼) 4th Respondent
YAU YAT MIN (邱日棉) 5th Respondent

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AND

HCCW 421/2012

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

COMPANIES (WINDING-UP) NO 421 of 2012

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IN THE MATTER OF Winbo Industries (H.K.) Limited (萬成電業(香港)有限公司)
and
IN THE MATTER of Section 168A and Section 177(1)(f) of the Companies Ordinance, Cap. 32.

—————————–

BETWEEN
YAU SHIK YIN (邱錫賢) Petitioner
and
WINBO INDUSTRIES (H.K.) LIMITED
(萬成電業(香港)有限公司)
1st Respondent
YAU SHIK MAN SIMON 2nd Respondent
(邱錫文)
YAU LAI MING 3rd Respondent
(邱麗明)
CHU YUET KING 4th Respondent
(朱月琼)

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AND

HCCW 422/2012

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

COMPANIES (WINDING-UP) NO 422 of 2012

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IN THE MATTER of Goldrite Limited (贊景有限公司)
and
IN THE MATTER of Section 168A and Section 177(1)(f) of the Companies Ordinance, Cap. 32.

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BETWEEN

YAU SHIK YIN (邱錫賢) Petitioner

and

GOLDRITE LIMITED
(贊景有限公司)
1st Respondent
YAU SIMON SHIK MAN
(邱錫文)
2nd Respondent
YAU LAI MING
(邱麗明)
3rd Respondent

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(HEARD TOGETHER)

Before : Hon Harris J in Court

Dates of Hearing : 13 to 15 July 2015
Date of Decision on Costs : 7 September 2015

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DECISION ON COSTS

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1. On 15 July 2015 I made an order staying the 3 Petitions before me on the application of the Respondents on the grounds that theywere settled. I gave an ex tempore judgment and heard the parties on costs. Normally costs would follow the event, but for reasonsapparent from my judgment I was considering making some reduction in the Respondents’ entitlement to costs because of what I thoughtwas their unreasonable and petulant conduct. I heard the parties on costs and reserved my decision. This is that decision.

2. It is not in dispute that the Respondents were wholly successful and that normally they would be entitled to their costs. The issueis whether the costs should be reduced to some degree to reflect the Court’s view that the matter should have been resolved byagreement and that the Respondents’ behaviour materially contributed to the matter coming to Court and resources being wasted. As I have already said my reasons for taking the view that Respondents’ conduct was unsatisfactory and contributed to a needlesshearing taking place is explained in my judgment of 15 July 2015.

3. It is relevant that the Petitioner was also to some degree to blame for an unnecessary application taking place, although in my viewhe was not as culpable as the Respondents.

4. It seems to me that the Court is entitled to expect all parties to litigation and, importantly, those advising them to approach proceedingswith a sense of proportion and mindful of the fact that the Court’s resources are limited and costly and that they should not beengaged unnecessarily. The Court recognises that litigation results from disagreements and that a degree of animosity between partiesis unfortunately going to arise on occasions and some account needs to be made for human nature in judging whether or not a party’sconduct has gone beyond what is acceptable and contributed to wasted resources: both of the parties and of the Court.

5. In my view the Respondents’ behaviour does go beyond what is acceptable. Their insistence on the condition referred to in paragraph9 of my earlier judgment was clearly unnecessary and unreasonable. If it had not been insisted on the Respondents’ applicationwould have been unnecessary. Some allowance needs to be made for the fact that the Petitioner could, rather than stand on his dignity,have agreed to it. In my view an appropriate order is that the Petitioner pays the Respondents 60% of their costs of the applicationwith a certificate for 1 counsel.

(Jonathan Harris)
Judge of the Court of First Instance
High Court

Mr Adrian Bell SC, instructed by Wong Yuen Chi &Co, for the petitioners (in all cases)

Mr Russell Coleman SC and Mr Danny Chan, instructed by Kwok, Ng & Chan, for the 1st to 4th respondents (in HCCW 420 & 421/2012) and 1st to 3rd respondents (in HCCW 422/2012)

The 5th respondent (in HCCW 420/2013): Yau Yat Min, appeared in person