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In two separate decisions, the High Court provides a new sentencing framework that imposes heftier punishments for failing to ensure the safety of employees at work and provides clarification as to whether settlement payments may be taken into consideration when determining the amount of compensation payable by an employer for workplace injury. In brief The General Division of the High Court (SGHC) in two recent decisions in Public Prosecutor v Manta Equipment (S) Pte Ltd [2022] SGHC…

In brief On 13 July 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued Department Circular No. 27 (“Circular No. 27”), which modifies the appeal process for rulings of prosecutors in the National Prosecution Service (NPS) and creates a Prosecution Integrity Board to monitor, audit, and assess prosecutor conduct in preliminary investigations and appeals. The department circular takes effect on 31 July 2022. In more detail Circular No. 27 modifies the appeal process (via a Petition for Review)…

In brief In one of the first cases in Hong Kong in which the court has granted freezing injunctions over bitcoins, the Court of First Instance has now handed down judgment in the trial of Nico Constantijn v Stive Jean-Paul Dan [2022] HKCFI 1254. The court held that the defendant acted as the plaintiff’s sales agent in respect of the plaintiff’s bitcoins. The court found the defendant had breached his fiduciary duties in failing to account to…

In brief The Hong Kong court has delivered an important judgment on the interpretation of Rule 2.10 of the Takeovers Code and provided practical guidance on the types of court meeting that may be approved for privatisation of a Hong Kong incorporated company pursuant to a scheme of arrangement under the Companies Ordinance and the Takeovers Code. In view of the pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Court also directed a hybrid court meeting, allowing overseas shareholders…

In brief The Federal Court of Australia has awarded aggregate damages in an Australian consumer class action proceeding commenced by a private applicant. The last time an order of this kind was made was in 1998, in representative proceedings commenced by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).[1] In Williams v Toyota Motor Corporation Australia Limited (Initial Trial) [2022] FCA 344 (“Williams”), a class action concerning defective diesel particulate filter systems, Justice Lee awarded damages on an…

Parkins vs. Boral Limited (Class Closure) [2022] FCAFC In brief Background – Class Closure Orders “Class closure orders”, which require group members to either register their claims in order to participate in any settlement, or to opt out so as to not be bound by any settlement (a Class Closure Order) have been made by various courts in various jurisdictions over the years, underpinned by the rationale that such orders facilitate settlement by allowing all…

From a civil litigation and insolvency perspective, we look at the key impacts of the Hong Kong Courts’ recent General Adjournment of Proceedings (GAP) from 7 March 2022 to 11 April 2022 and related governmental closures. Key Takeaways 1. The recent implementation of GAP has resulted in a de facto stay of new actions and proceedings, and adjournment of existing actions, including bankruptcy and winding-up petitions. 2. While monitoring the GAP situation, debtors and creditors…

In Brief The Hong Kong Judiciary continued to further expand the scope of remote hearings and issued various guidance notes and guidelines to facilitate the operation of remote hearings since its first initiative during the General Adjournment Period (GAP) in 2020.[1] In response to the fifth wave of COVID-19 in early 2022, the Judiciary implemented the second GAP on 7 March 2022 and issued its latest guidance note dated 25 March 2022 on hearing outside…

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) has recently published the draft law on Protection of Consumers’ Rights (“Draft Law”). The Draft Law includes a number of proposed changes to the existing product liability and consumer protection framework. If adopted, the Draft Law may have major impacts on the business of companies whose products are produced or sold in Vietnam complying with new requirements under the Draft Law. The MOIT is gathering public comments on…

In brief Best efforts clauses are a common feature in an array of commercial contracts, spanning across different industries and jurisdictions. These clauses typically require one or both party/parties to engage its/their best efforts to bring a certain stipulated outcome to fruition. Often, such clauses are regarded as preferable to clauses that guarantee a certain outcome, since it is not uncommon in commercial contracts for a desired outcome to be dependent on acts to be…