News & Events

Court of Appeal dismisses Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board’s appeal on meaning of “damage sustained within the jurisdiction” under private international law

Paul Harris SC and Anson Wong Yu Yat have successfully resisted an appeal by the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board concerning an important point of private international law in the recent judgment of Fong Chak Kwan v Ascentic Ltd [2021] HKCA 1138 handed down on 5th August 2021. Anson acted as a sole advocate in the court below: [2020] HKCFI 679.

Paul and Anson were instructed by Kenneth Lam Solicitors on behalf of the Plaintiff, who had suffered serious personal injuries during the course of his employment in the Mainland.

The Court of Appeal accepted their argument that “damage sustained within the jurisdiction” means any significant damage, subject only to the doctrine of “forum conveniens”. The Court rejected the narrower definition advocated by the Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board.

This case has important implications for accidents occurring outside Hong Kong in which Hong Kong residents are injured.

A copy of the Judgment can be found here.

A more detailed analysis will follow in due course. Stay tuned.


Paul Harris SC

Paul was called to the Hong Kong Bar in 1993 and the Bar of England and Wales in 1976. He took silk in 2006. Paul is a public law and human rights specialist who also holds considerable experience in all other areas of civil litigation. He practises in Hong Kong and in London, where he is a member of Doughty Street Chambers.  

Anson Wong Yu Yat

Anson was called to the Bar in 2015 and serves as a Member of the Committee on Intellectual Property of the Hong Kong Bar Association. Anson has developed a broad civil practice with an emphasis on public law (such as Leung Kwok Hung v Secretary for Justice (2020) 23 HKCFAR 518 (CFA); [2020] 2 HKLRD 771 (CA); [2020] 1 HKLRD 1 (CFI), which challenged the constitutionality of the Emergency Regulations Ordinance and the “anti-mask” law), intellectual property litigations and competition law matters.

Recently, Anson acted as junior counsel in two applications before the Appeal Committee and successfully obtained leave to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal on both occasions: FAMV 152/2020 (heard on 12 November 2020, on insolvency matters) and FAMV 151/2020 (heard on 14 December 2020, on land law and equity).