Husband or wife in Hong Kong regulation business problems authorized obstacle in opposition to regulator’s determination to shut his observe down

a sign in front of a building: A partner in a Hong Kong conveyancing firm has filed for judicial review at the High Court after the Law Society moved to close his practice. Photo: Warton Li

A husband or wife in a Hong Kong conveyancing company has filed for judicial critique at the Large Court right after the Legislation Modern society moved to close his practice. Image: Warton Li

A husband or wife at the key Hong Kong conveyancing organization shut down by the Legislation Society past thirty day period has strike back again at the qualified body’s intervention, contacting it irrational, “oppressive and disproportionate” in an application for judicial assessment.

Ng Wing-hung, of Wong, Fung & Co, on Wednesday took authorized action to challenge the society’s conclusion on December 23 to intervene in his firm’s observe, and later ignore proposals that would have permitted his purchasers to full their conveyancing transactions.

He also defended the integrity of his firm’s accounts and companions, and mentioned the clients’ cash were being “by no means in jeopardy”, contrary to suggestions by the culture, which regulates the city’s 12,000 solicitors and some 900 law firms.

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“The consumers are the victims of the intervention as they simply cannot complete their transactions and their rights are currently being arbitrarily infringed,” his Substantial Court docket filing read through. “Plainly, there is great community desire included in this application.”

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Ng is now trying to get an urgent hearing to take care of the make any difference, demanding courtroom orders to quash the society’s decision to intervene and for its council to reconsider his proposals, which incorporated enabling him to control the accounts underneath strict supervision, or permitting yet another experienced law firm to get around so the pending transactions could be finished.

The agency, in accordance to Ng, was just one of the major dealing with conveyancing in Hong Kong.

Information posted by Centaline Assets Agency cited in his application confirmed the full thought of the transactions dealt with by the organization was extra than HK$15 billion in 2019 – and that there were being only two other corporations exceeding HK$10 billion.

Wong, Fung & Co was abruptly shut down final month immediately after the society uncovered “irregularities in the apply”, this sort of as a previous clerk misappropriating a client’s money, as very well as “critical breaches of the Solicitors’ Accounts Guidelines”, such as overdrawing on customer accounts and allowing for unqualified persons to be authorised signatories.

a group of people performing on a counter: Leaders of the Law Society discuss their move to shut down Wong, Fung & Co at a press conference last month. Photo: RTHK

© Provided by South China Morning Write-up
Leaders of the Legislation Modern society talk about their move to shut down Wong, Fung & Co at a push meeting very last month. Photograph: RTHK

The society did not disclose the amount of clientele affected or the total of funds concerned, indicating only that an investigation was less than way. But an insider had earlier told the Submit that about 10,000 customers were being impacted.

Ng estimated that the quantity of transactions handled previous 12 months was identical to 2019, and there were about 700 expected to be accomplished from December 23, 2020 to January 31, impacting scores of shoppers who are now “exposed to really serious hardship and the chance of being ruined fiscally”.

Those people who borrowed cash to receive home were now not able to full their buys since the cash they deposited into the firm’s client account ended up frozen, although other individuals who entered agreements to offer their qualities had been not able to finish the income mainly because their title deeds were being now in the possession of the intervening brokers appointed by the culture.

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Ng was also adversely affected, as he may possibly be subject matter to opportunity promises from the clientele.

This end result was “especially strange”, he stated, presented the alleged irregularities “could not have an impact on these clientele” considering the fact that the clerk accused of misappropriating HK$6.1 million experienced remaining the firm in 2019, and the associates experienced deposited HK$23 million to make up for the obvious shortfall in funds.

But Ng pressured there was no shortfall “at all in the firm’s consumer accounts”, and attributed the perceived distinction to defects in the computer accounting system and erroneous entries, which he mentioned the firm experienced rectified by engaging new accountants and upgrading its software program.

“It is irrational for the council to make a decision that intervention is in the desire of the firm’s shoppers or the community,” he claimed, contacting the decision “oppressive and disproportionate”.

“The clients’ funds ended up never ever in jeopardy.”

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This short article originally appeared on the South China Early morning Submit (, the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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