Articles: Class action rights

Breaking: HK Government withholds Task Force report, citing threat to financial markets stability
We asked for the report. They refused. Now we're really wondering what's in it. (29-Jan-2024)
Estate agencies' price-fixing case sent to Competition Tribunal
HK Competition Commission, 14-Nov-2023
Midland (1200) and subsidiary HK Property Services, allegedly colluded with Centaline and its subsidiary Ricacorp to set a minimum net commission that buyers of first-hand homes would pay. Centaline/Ricacorp gave evidence and will not face action from CompComm, but could theoretically be sued by customers in a "follow-on" action, except that there has never been a follow-on action under this law because HK does not have a class-action system, so access to justice it is prohibitively expensive. The Govt appointed a committee to study that problem 11 years ago, including the current Chairman of CompComm, Samuel Chan Ka Yan. He told Webb-site recently that they haven't met in years.
Hopewell and the lemon discount
What does the ability to take a company private for 57 cents on the dollar say about the future of HK's public market? Failure to reform HK's laws and regulations to improve the corporate governance framwork will see the market shrink over time as good companies stay away and controllers take existing companies private. (22-Mar-2019)
Hong Kong's not-so-free economy
The US-based Heritage Foundation has, as always, ranked HK as the freest economy in the World. For once, the Government doesn't accuse foreign forces of interfering in HK's internal affairs. But this rosy view is not held by those who take the time to study the domestic economy. Here are a few things that Heritage may have overlooked. (4-Feb-2018)
Webb on "Backchat" re policy address
RTHK, 17-Jan-2013
With Starry Lee (Executive Council, LegCo, DAB), Albert Ho (LegCo, DP) and Nick Brooke (Harbourfront Commission, Science and Technology Parks Corp).
Working group to study class action proposals
HK Government, 27-Nov-2012
A day before the 6-month deadline for a response from Government to the Law Reform Commission's recommendations, Government defers the issue by announcing that it will set up a working group (to be appointed) to study and consider the proposals, which will hold its first meeting some time before 1-Apr-2013. They could have done that 6 months ago.
Webb on "Backchat" re class actions
RTHK, 29-May-2012
LRC proposes class action mechanism for HK consumersThe full report
HK Government, 28-May-2012
But not for investors, and litigation funding companies will not be permitted. Champerty and maintenance will continue to be illegal - no reform there. Instead the LRC proposes that the Consumer Council should have a monopoly on funding class actions, beefing up the legal aid fund which takes up to 50% of the winnings. Overall, a huge disappointment, and even then, the Government might decide not to adopt the recommendations. HK deserves better.
Hong Kong proposes class actions after investor concerns
Bloomberg, 28-May-2012
Or at least, the Law Reform Commission proposes it. Whether the Government will accept the LRC's recommendation remains to be seen. More later today.
David Webb: Why HK should back competition law and class actions
International Financial Law Review, 28-Feb-2012
Current issues in HK-listed corporate governance
A presentation by David Webb at a conference in HK. (27-May-2011)
Multiple statutory derivative actions
David Webb responds to the Legislative Council's invitation for comments on proposed amendments to the statutory derivative actions regime. In its current form it is unlikely to be useful to public shareowners of listed companies, but we suggest how to improve it. We also call on the Administration and Legislators to get behind class actions, litigation finance and contingent legal fees. Justice is the friend of fair societies, and litigation is the path to it. (18-Apr-2010)
Webb on "Backchat" re market reforms, tycoons and the political structure
RTHK, 31-Mar-2010
Presentation by David Webb at a conference on Shareholder Rights
Class actions for HK
In a potentially huge step forward for access to justice, the Law Reform Commission proposes a class action system for HK. The key issue is litigation funding. Rather than a government-sponsored gatekeeper fund, we need a free-market approach, with contingent legal fees and the abolition of archaic laws against champerty and maintenance, to allow self-funded lawyers and third party funders to bear the risks of loser-pays-costs. Take our opinion poll and tell them what you think! (17-Mar-2010)
Litigation funder IMF (Australia) makes submission on HK class actions
Company submission, 2-Mar-2010
Webb on "Backchat" re class actions, litigation funding and contingent legal fees
RTHK, 6-Nov-2009
Suitability in a disclosure-based market
SEHK has announced possible waivers of the profit criteria. We don't object, but the profit test should be scrapped. It has no place in a disclosure-based market, and is no substitute for better accounting disclosure requirements and effective legal remedies and deterrents, all of which HK still sorely lacks. We make proposals for those. (8-Jun-2009)
Building a Value Proposition for HK
HK Chief Executive Donald Tsang recently convened an Economic Summit of 33 people, which spawned 4 focus groups, including one on financial services, which in turn produced 3 working groups, one of which, headed by HKEx government-appointed director and Chairman Ronald Arculli, has sought submissions on the markets. This is our submission. (4-Oct-2006)
Government Rejects HAMS Proposal
In a dark day for corporate governance reforms, the Hong Kong Government has rejected the HAMS Proposal to establish an investor representation group. Without enabling legislation for a levy on investors' trading, there will be no funding and no HAMS. The news comes despite widespread endorsement from market participants who want investor representation, rights enforcement, and a higher quality market. (24-Apr-2002)
HAMS - Representing Minority Shareholders outlines our proposal for filling the vacuum of shareholder activism in Hong Kong. Investor rights are only of value if shareholders exercise them, and we explain how HAMS - the Hongkong Association of Minority Shareholders, would lobby for those rights, exercise them on members' behalf in quasi-class actions, and through Corporate Governance Ratings, incentivise good governance and deter shareholder abuse. Hong Kong can only maintain its regional financial market status and economic competitiveness if this void is filled. We'll also tell you how you can help. (4-Mar-2001)

Sign up for our free newsletter

Recommend Webb-site to a friend

Copyright & disclaimer, Privacy policy

Back to top