Hong Kong Court of Appeal embraces modern test for penalty clauses following UK Supreme Court in Cavendish when considering employer’s right to enforce termination notice provision

In a notable judgment (Law Ting Pong Secondary School v Chen Wai Wah [2021] CA 873), the Hong Kong Court of Appeal (CA) has adopted the modern approach to penalty clauses handed down in the UK Supreme Court in Cavendish Square Holding BV v Talal El Makdessi [2016] AC 1172. The recent appellate decision has … Read more

Rules of Online Litigation of the People’s Court of China launched

The Supreme People’s Court of China (SPC) has recently released Rules of Online Litigation of the People’s Court of China (Rules). The Rules are judicial interpretations formulated by the SPC binding on courts in Mainland China and will come into effect on 1 August 2021. Background As the digital economy in China continues to grow, … Read more


Where there is an ongoing investigation into the alleged misconduct of an employee, the employer wish to suspend an employee’s duties until the investigation is concluded. In Lengler Werner v Hong Kong Express Airways Ltd [2021] HKCFI 1333, the Court of First Instance (CFI) clarified the scope of an employer’s right under the Employment Ordinance … Read more

Singapore extends third-party funding framework to SICC proceedings and domestic arbitrations

From 28 June 2021, Singapore will permit third-party funding of proceedings in the Singapore International Commercial Court (SICC), domestic arbitration proceedings and related mediation proceedings. Before this, Singapore permitted third-party funding for international arbitration proceedings and related court and mediation proceedings only (as reported in our blog post of January 2017). In making these changes, … Read more


Herbert Smith Freehills has secured an important victory in Hong Kong proceedings with far-reaching consequences for arbitration disputes around the world. Many commercial contracts contain “escalation clauses” requiring parties to take certain steps before formal arbitration begins – such as a requirement to “negotiate in good faith” before starting arbitration. Previously, failure to comply with … Read more

Two bites of the cherry? Res judicata and abuse of process

On 1 June 2021, the Hong Kong Court of First Instance handed down another lengthy Judgment in the long-running dispute among certain members of the prominent Lo family. On the applications of HSBC Trustee (the “Trustee“) and Dr KS Lo (“KS“), the Court struck out large portions (the “Offending Paragraphs“) of Mr Lu Lo (“Lu“)’s … Read more

Hong Kong’s highest court clarifies law on dispositions after winding up

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal (the “CFA“) has clarified in a recent judgment the application of section 182 of the Companies (Winding Up and Miscellaneous Provisions) Ordinance (“CWUMPO“) and when the court will grant a validation order. As will be familiar to many readers, s182 of CWUMPO provides that any disposition of a … Read more