Injury awards should not be on a par with those in Britain because there is little in common between the man on the Clapham omnibus and the man on the Wan Chai ferry, a top barrister claimed yesterday. Martin Lee Chu-ming QC, was arguing against a $6.5 million payout to teenager Chan Pui-ki who was left severely brain damaged after she was knocked down by a bus in 1989. In a landmark case last year, Mr Justice Peter Cheung Chak-yau ruled that awards to injury victims in Hong Kong should be increased 50 per cent. He said it was wrong that payouts should trail behind those in the United Kingdom when the territory had sprinted ahead economically and socially. Pui-ki, 16, was left mentally and physically handicapped after she was hit by Kowloon Motor Bus (KMB) driver Leung On when she was 10. The schoolgirl, who is looked after by her parents, is unlikely to work or marry. Mr Justice Cheung calculated compensation for Pui-ki's pain, suffering and loss at $1 million. But Mr Lee, counsel for KMB and Mr Leung, said it was inappropriate to base awards in Hong Kong on payouts in Britain. He said: 'What is there in common between a man on the Clapham omnibus and a man on the Wan Chai ferry? Not much.' But Mr Justice Charles Ching and Mr Justice Gerald Godfrey, two of the five Appeal Court judges hearing the case, agreed awards appeared to be low in Hong Kong. Mr Justice Ching said: 'People in England . . . seem to take personal injury much more in their stride than Chinese people. If anything the awards in Hong Kong should be higher.' Mr Lee did not give an alternative figure, but it is understood KMB would agree to $675,000. KMB is also objecting to calculations of $3.62 million for loss of earnings. Mr Lee claimed a further $1.68 million for domestic help and $1.22 million for psychiatric treatment should be scaled down to $480,000 and $256,000. He told the Court of Appeal that Pui-ki was unlikely to need significant psychiatric treatment or home help until middle age when her parents died. Mr Lee pointed out Pui-ki had already overcome two suicide bids without needing to go to hospital. The hearing continues.