Case Update on 26 November 2021

Nov 25, 2021

On 14 September 2021, Isaac acted on behalf of the Liquidators of the Company in Lau Siu Hung and Another v P & T International Inc [2021] HKCFI 2850.

Originally, the Liquidators took out an application pursuant to section 286B of the Companies (Winding-Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (Cap. 32) (“CWUMPO”). The Liquidators sought to obtain information and documents from the Respondent Company, which the Liquidators contended that its former directors had knowledge and possession of.

The interesting twist to the case was that at the time of the Liquidator’s application, the aforesaid directors no longer worked at the Respondent Company. The Court observed there was no evidence that the former directors possessed the relevant documents and in any event section 286B(4) did not empower the Liquidators to make an application to obtain information directly from the former directors. Hence, Court refused to the Liquidator’s application.

The Liquidators subsequently applied for leave to appeal. The Court dismissed the application because, inter alia, it was of the opinion that the Liquidators should directly seek information from the former directors and not through the Respondent Company. The Court was also of the view that a respondent is only required to “give the best answers that it is able to give and to provide information and/or documents requested to the best of its ability” (citing Re Richbell Strategic Holdings Ltd [2001] BCC 409 at 419H) if and when the respondent’s representatives are being examined under Section 286B(1) and 286C of CWUMPO.

The original decision is available at:
https://legalref.judiciary.hk/lrs/common/search/search_result_detail_frame.jsp?DIS=132885&QS=%2B&TP=JU

The application for leave to appeal is available at:
https://legalref.judiciary.hk/lrs/common/search/search_result_detail_frame.jsp?DIS=139092&QS=%2B&TP=JU