Enforcing Foreign Judgments in Hong Kong
Foreign lawyers should be aware of the two methods to enforce a judgment of a foreign court in Hong Kong on behalf of clients. The first and most widely available method is to obtain a valid Hong Kong judgment. The second method is to apply for an ex-parte order registering a foreign judgment.
Obtaining a Hong Kong judgment requires either suing on the foreign judgment as a debt or re-litigating the case in dispute. The approach of suing on the judgment as a debt is preferred. To do so, the plaintiff must file a claim with the court in Hong Kong citing the foreign judgment debt as the cause of action. The original cause of action and jurisdiction in which the original judgment was granted (common law or civil law) are irrelevant considerations. The plaintiff would usually then apply for summary judgment which, if granted, gives the plaintiff a valid enforceable Hong Kong enforceable judgment. Re-litigating the case to get a judgment is not usually necessary. This approach is time-consuming and it is uncertain as to whether the Hong Kong court would grant the same judgment as originally obtained.
The other method of enforcement requires the plaintiff to apply for an ex-parte order to register the judgment pursuant to the Foreign Judgments (Reciprocal Enforcement) Ordinance (“FJREO”). Once registered, the judgment has the same characteristics as one obtained in Hong Kong and is therefore enforceable by the usual methods of execution. However, this method is only applicable to judgments obtained in jurisdictions recognized under the FJREO, this list is quite restrictive in scope.
With substantial resources to handle various types of white collar, regulatory and other criminal and quasi-criminal cases, Weir & Associates’ Litigation Department treats each matter with the dedication and care it deserves.
Our solicitors have years of litigation experience with a wide criminal defense practices. We have represented businesses and individuals subject to regulatory investigations or at trials and appeals.
With increasing governmental regulation and stricter enforcement, the need for comprehensive compliance counselling and regulatory advice is essential to avoiding enforcement action. We also advise businesses and individuals on internal investigations, white-collar compliance issues, and regulatory matters with criminal ramifications.
Serious disputes arising in construction are faced by construction and architectural design firms, contractors, sub-contractors, equipment and material suppliers, government authorities, developers and owners of real estate portfolios. Weir & Associates has been at the forefront of developing cost-effective alternatives to traditional construction, design and environmental related litigation. We combine our team’s skills with its technical and industry knowledge to provide a results-oriented approach that strives towards negotiating favorable settlements where possible, or proceeding to trial as necessary.
Our solicitors are experienced in a wide range of construction litigation. We have represented domestic and international clients in contractual disputes, architectural and engineering liability claims, building design defects liability, product liability and warranty claims, environmental concerns, public and private surety bond claims, construction liens, acceleration and delay damages claims. Alternative dispute resolution is often appropriate for settling construction litigation matters. Our expertise in arbitration, mediation and other dispute resolution formats has been invaluable in resolving disputes early and cost effectively.
Weir & Associates encourages clients to seek legal advice before entering into substantial contracts. Clients benefit from our lawyers’ experience in negotiating and drafting design and construction agreements, including architectural and engineering contracts, design-build, engineer-procure-construct (EPC) and construction management agreements. Through early communication and document preparation, our clients’ expectations are properly reflected within their contracts, where all eventualities are adequately considered so future disputes can be minimized.
Weir & Associates represents clients in a wide range of commercial litigation matters. Our experience includes:
- Antitrust and trade regulation;
- Commercial contract disputes;
- Debt recovery;
- Employment and pension benefits;
- Estate Litigation;
- Insurance and reinsurance;
- Intellectual property;
- Major construction disputes;
- Mergers and acquisitions;
- Products liability and tort;
- Trust litigation;
- White collar criminal defense.
We believe litigation is not an end in itself, but a process which should be approached with a view that leads to a prompt and economically sensible resolution of a dispute. While not shying away from an inevitable confrontation, we seek all alternatives to litigation before proceeding to court; our main objective is to ensure the process is cost effective for our clients. Generally, we will provide a preliminary assessment of the case and then advise the client as to the best course of action, including settlement options and appropriate forums for resolving disputes. Accordingly, our solicitors have substantial experience in commercial litigation resolved by mediation, arbitrations and where necessary, by the courts.
Litigation is a cornerstone of our legal practice. Companies from around the world, in many industries, retain our services when a Hong Kong or regional dispute arises.
An extension of our litigation practice is our specialized banking litigation services. We are well-positioned to represent clients before the Hong Kong courts and other non-public forums in response to investigative proceedings, including those involving financial regulators.
We act as lead counsel for financial institutions in regional matters as well, including disputes arising in mainland China. We have previously represented local and foreign banking institutions in Hong Kong regarding:
- Matters arising from loans and guarantees;
- Foreclosure actions arising out of loan defaults; and
- Criminal or quasi-criminal offences involving banking and/or securities irregularities.
Our lawyers are also experienced in regulatory investigations, hearings, inquiries, arbitrations, appeals and reviews.
Weir & Associates is a Hong Kong law firm
geared to provide comprehensive legal solutions through access to a wide range of resources. For further information, please contact us by telephone, email or fax.
Solicitors and Notaries
6th Floor, Wings Building
110 Queen’s Road Central,
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2526 1767
Fax: (852) 2868 3568