Rebecca is a commercial disputes lawyer with particular focus on commercial litigation, professional indemnity and dispute resolution.
Rebecca joined the Commercial Disputes Hong Kong team at RPC in 2013. Prior to that, she practised in New South Wales, Australia.
She has experience in a broad range of high profile commercial disputes, including contractual disputes, professional indemnity, fraud and insurance, with a particular focus on the finance, accounting, property and construction sectors.
Rebecca is fluent in English and Cantonese.
She was admitted in New South Wales, Australia in 2010 and Hong Kong in 2015.
In a recent case, the Court of Appeal allowed the defendant's appeal against a lower court's finding that he had made a false statement of truth with respect to an admission in a defence filed on behalf of a company. As is normal in such appeals, the Court of Appeal was reluctant to disturb a lower court's primary finding. However, in this case, the Court of Appeal considered that the lower court had been plainly wrong to make an order for committal for contempt of court.
A third guidance note on the use of remote hearings for civil proceedings took effect on 2 January 2021. The guidance note (representing Phase 3) provides for wider use of videoconferencing facilities and telephone hearings with respect to all levels of civil courts in Hong Kong. In particular, Phase 3 is more comprehensive and provides more options for connecting with the courts' videoconferencing facilities.
In a relatively close-knit community such as Hong Kong, it is not uncommon for parties to proceedings or their witnesses, lawyers or experts to be known to a judge or tribunal member, which could create a perception of potential bias. In these circumstances, applications might be made for the recusal of the judge or tribunal member and for the case to be reassigned. Two recent cases serve as a timely reminder of the inherent difficulties and sensitivities involved in an assessment of apparent bias.
In an age of electronic scams, with money passing through bank accounts in Hong Kong, foreign plaintiffs are increasingly pursuing defendants in Hong Kong to recover their money. In seeking summary judgment, some plaintiffs are careful not to allege fraud on the part of the defendants – rather, their claims may be for the return of money unjustly received by the defendants for no consideration. A recent case is a good example.
The High Court recently revisited the often thorny issue concerning the permissible boundaries for a plaintiff to put forward inconsistent alternative claims in a court pleading. In doing so, the court has confirmed that much rests on the knowledge of the relevant party at the time of advancing the alternative claims. While the general principles are not new, they are of significant practical importance to civil litigation in Hong Kong (and in jurisdictions that have similar civil procedural rules).
The Court of Final Appeal has brought an 11-year dispute between the founders of the first Itamae Sushi chain restaurant in Hong Kong to an end, dismissing the appellant's appeal by way of a majority judgment. The judgment confirms that the duty of a director is to act in the best interests of a company, which encompasses the 'no-conflict' rule.
The ownership dispute between the founders of the Itamae Sushi chain restaurant has been ongoing for a decade. Recently, the Court of Final Appeal granted permission to appeal so that the dispute can finally be resolved. The case highlights the importance of clear contractual drafting and obtaining written confirmations of oral representations, as well as demonstrating that the scope of a director's fiduciary duties is often difficult to define.
The Hong Kong High Court and the UK Privy Council recently issued significant decisions on cross-border insolvency. This update discusses the impact that these cases will likely have on the conduct of liquidations in Hong Kong, as well as on the jurisdiction of the Hong Kong courts when asked to provide assistance to foreign liquidations.
A defendant that wishes to challenge the civil jurisdiction of a Hong Kong court should not file and serve a defence pending the outcome of the challenge. This will amount to a submission to the court's jurisdiction. Cases in which service of a defence has occasionally not been deemed a submission to jurisdiction are best explained on their facts and do not reflect normal practice.