Samuel is a commercial disputes lawyer with a particular focus on defending claims against professionals including accountants, lawyers (solicitors and barristers), insurance brokers, financial advisers and property agents. He also advises professional services firms in relation to regulatory investigations and disciplinary proceedings, and provides general risk management advice to them.
Samuel has also acted as Hong Kong monitoring counsel for insurers in respect of some high profile US securities class actions.
The High Court recently considered the proper basis for the distribution of money in the client account of a closed law firm. The money is held by the relevant regulator on trust for the persons beneficially entitled to it – namely, the former clients. Where there is a shortfall between the verified claims of former clients and the balance in the client account, the court may need to direct how the money should be distributed.
Securities and Futures Commission v Sun Min is another recent example of the Securities and Futures Commission using Section 213(2)(b) of the Securities and Futures Ordinance to obtain restitution, in the form of so-called 'restorative' orders, on behalf of counterparties to impugned transactions. What is interesting about this particular case is that the judge expressed some concern as to whether the amount of restoration sought might result in a windfall for the counterparties involved.
In another significant development in the Securities and Futures Commission's efforts to combat market misconduct-type activity involving listed shares in Hong Kong, the lead market regulator has commenced civil proceedings under Section 213 of the Securities and Futures Ordinance in respect of China Forestry Holdings Co Ltd (in official liquidation). The regulator's civil complaint also names two co-sponsors and the auditor involved with the company's initial public offering.
The Court of Appeal recently handed down three consistent decisions confirming that prime rate plus 1% should continue to be used as the starting point for awarding pre-judgment interest on damages awarded by the courts in civil disputes. The court considered that there was insufficient evidence to show clearly that prime rate is no longer relevant or rarely used in Hong Kong.
The Securities and Futures Commission has commenced its first set of proceedings in the Market Misconduct Tribunal against a listed company for allegedly failing to disclose price-sensitive inside information to the public as soon as reasonably practicable, contrary to the Securities and Futures Ordinance. In the absence of a formal class action regime in Hong Kong, the commission has made headlines in bringing some of the highest-profile litigation in this jurisdiction.
In an important judgment handed down recently by the Court of First Instance in Hong Kong, the companies judge ruled on the ambit of the power to order a person to produce documents to a provisional liquidator pursuant to Section 221(3) of the Companies (Winding-Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance.