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16 May 2023

CFA decision: exclusive jurisdiction clauses generally trump insolvency proceedings 香港终审法院裁决:专有司法管辖权条款优先于破产程序

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Re: GUY KWOK-HUNG LAM [2023] HKCFA 9 (date of decision: 4 May 2023)
关于GUY KWOK-Hung LAM [2023] HKCFA 9(裁决日期:2023 年5 月4 日)。

In the recent decision in Re Guy Kwok-Hung Lam, the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal set out the proper approach to a bankruptcy petition where the parties had agreed to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of a specified foreign court.

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal unanimously reaffirmed  the approach adopted by the Court of Appeal. It was held that in an ordinary case where the underlying dispute of the debt was subject to an exclusive jurisdiction clause, the court should dismiss the petition unless there were countervailing factors such as the risk of the debtor’s insolvency impacting third parties, the debtor’s reliance on a frivolous defence, or an occurrence of an abuse of process.

在最近Re Guy Kwok-Hung Lam一案的裁决中,香港终审法院阐明了在当事人已同意接受特定外国法院的专有司法管辖权(即,排他性司法管辖权)时,法院应如何正确处理破产呈请。

香港终审法院法官一致认可上诉法院采用的方法。终审法院认为,在普通案件中,如果债务的基本争议受制于专有司法管辖权条款,除非案件存在债务人破产会影响第三方风险、债务人依赖无意义的辩护或存在滥用程序等不利因素,否则法院应该驳回破产呈请。

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