Legal action taken to beat deadline

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 September, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2006, 12:00am

The two writs lodged yesterday were not supposed to be acted on straight away, according to a partner at law firm Haldanes.

Rather, they were aimed at staving off a looming deadline for the commencement of legal action, said David Hoare, solicitor for the family of Robert Kissel.

Under Hong Kong law, civil proceedings must be launched within three years of a person's death.

'Basically these are protection writs,' Mr Hoare said, adding they allowed parties to sue later.

'My instructions are not to progress the claims any further at this stage while [Nancy Kissel's] appeals are yet to be finalised.' The writ on behalf of the children, Elaine, Hannah and Reis, was filed by their aunt Jane Kissel Clayton and seeks damages under the Fatal Accidents Ordinance. That law allows the dependants of a dead person to sue the person responsible for their death.

The second writ was filed under Robert Kissel's name because an executor has yet to be appointed to his estate in Hong Kong.

That writ was filed in order to preserve the claim over the late banker's estate, thought to be worth many millions.