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Specialism: Lawyers Contentious Trusts
Company: Hugill & Ip
Location: Hong Kong, Hong Kong
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Average client size: £5 million - £25 million
Fixed fee offering: Yes - At Hugill & Ip fixed fees are becoming increasingly common in work for private clients. In particular work of an advisory nature is the most common way we charge clients by agreeing a fee based on the specific need and the work to be handled. It is less common in our contentious work given the unpredictability of the litigation process.
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KPMG - Estate of Chan Chung Han
We act for the professional administrator (KPMG) appointed by the Court replacing the executor named in the Will of the Deceased who is her son.
We have taken the following steps in the course of the administration:
- The exiting executor stole over HK$23m from the assets holding vehicle of the estate, and we successfully sought an assets freezing order against him, his wife and their company who received stolen funds, and later on entered judgment against them for the misappropriated funds;
- The exiting executor was living in the Deceased’s home since 2013 and we successfully sought repossession of the home;
- We are also claiming mesne profits for the exiting executor’s occupation of the Deceased’s home since 2013, the amount of which exceeds HK$2m;
- The exiting executor failed to deliver all of the title deeds of the real properties held by the assets holding vehicle, and we successfully sought an order that the exiting executor is liable for damages suffered by the estate;
- There was a claim by the other son of the Deceased against the estate for a declaration that the beneficial interest of the shares of an assets holding vehicle held by the Deceased belong to him. The exiting executor has been defending the claim with the funds of the estate. The claim was dismissed in 2015 but the other son successfully appealed against that judgment, and the Court of Appeal ordered a retrial in November 2019. The exiting executor was replaced by our client before the retrial.
- We successfully applied for an order that the estate will remain neutral at the retrial with the costs be borne by the estate;
- For the estate’s own costs of the first trial and appeal, and the costs that the estate was ordered to pay the appellant in his appeal, we successfully applied for an order that the exiting executor shall bear those costs personally instead of the estate
- The administrator appointed by the Court to take over the estate administration, Ms. Tiffany Wong, resigned from KPMG. We seek to appoint Mr. Patrick Cowley, another partner with KPMG, to replace her as estate administrator, the application of which is opposed by one of the beneficiaries with alternative candidates proposed.
- The beneficiaries cannot agree on whether the real properties should be sold pending the replacement of the administrator, and we made an application to Court in this regard, the result of which is still pending.
- This litigation was one of a number of actions taken on behalf of the administrator to protect the estate assets from misappropriation by one the beneficiaries of the estate and the estate's former executor.