Barrister's bid for injunction on chamber mates fails in District Court

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 7:11am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 January, 2014, 7:11am

A barrister has sued seven fellow barristers, including a senior counsel, for expelling her from an office they shared, a court ruling has shown.

Winnie Chan Wing-ming, a barrister since 1992, had applied for an interim injunction to prevent her former chamber mates, including senior counsel Joseph Tse Wah-yuen, from forcing her out and cutting her access to the chamber's secretarial, messenger and administrative service.

Her application was dismissed by District Court Judge Alex Lee, who hoped the matter could be resolved amicably.

Lee's judgment revealed that Tse and Chan had been in dispute for at least two years.

Since January 2011, they had been sharing a room at the Far East Finance Centre in Admiralty, which served as their barristers' chambers, together with barristers Chan Chung, Mark Sutherland, Edward Wong Ching-yu, Doris Ho Ching-wai, Kenny Chow and Tracy Tin.

The source of their dispute was not known but the first document that showed Tse making a series of complaints against Chan was dated November 3, 2011.

"Although the plaintiff and the defendants have been chamber mates for a number of years and they must have met each other almost on a daily basis, it seems that the plaintiff and the defendants have not been on speaking terms for some time, so much so that the communication between the plaintiff and [Tse] was done through e-mails and letters," the judge wrote.

On July 2 last year, Chan was given a six-month notice to quit by January 2 this year after a unanimous decision made by the seven defendants.

Chan complained to the Bar Association but it said it was not in a position to investigate.