Chan wins round against US group
THE Supreme Court has ordered a stay of the legal actions against fund manager Chan Sun-sun for ''misappropriation of funds''.
Yesterday's decision, which means a first-round victory for Mr Chan in his legal battle with US high-technology firm Phoenix Laser Systems Inc, was reached in the case's first hearing.
Phoenix, as plaintiff, filed lawsuits in the San Francisco Superior Court and Hongkong Supreme Court, alleging Mr Chan misappropriated $10.4 million that was to be used for a joint venture in Fujian to develop laser crystals.
The reason the Supreme Court cited for staying the case is that the US company should not file like claims in both jurisdictions as this would abuse legal procedure.
That means the company must elect whether to proceed in Hongkong or the US. If it chooses Hongkong, then the US proceedings must be discontinued.
Phoenix has already asked for a dismissal of the claim in the US.
The High Court also decided that Phoenix would be liable for the cost of proceedings to date.
Mr Chan said Phoenix might still appeal while he was considering serving a counter-claim against the company.
Mr Chan, the largest shareholder in Phoenix, has been involved in a series of legal disputes with the management of the company.
He is now also seeking minority shareholders' approval to remove some of the directors of Phoenix from their management positions.
According to the writ by Phoenix, the company and Mr Chan had an agreement whereby Mr Chan would raise subscription money for the firm for commission.
The writ said that without the company's consent Mr Chan had converted the money raised to his own use.
Phoenix is a developer of integrated laser workstations for use by the medical community.
Its technology allows surgery designed to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness and a number of other eye disorders.