A HIGH Court judge has criticised construction firm Sung Foo Kee (SFK) for poor behaviour in paying one of its sub-contractors. The construction firm was also ordered to pay damages. In handing down judgement yesterday, Mr Justice Kaplan said: ''It is a matter of some regret to me that I have been forced to conclude that SFK, a well-known public company in the construction field, have behaved towards a small sub-contractor, such as UBC, in a manner which does them no credit at all.'' Sung Foo Kee will have to pay damages to UBC (Construction) for its work in building public housing blocks and commercial centres. The judge also partly allowed a counterclaim by Sung Foo Kee contending that UBC had been overpaid. He added that the ''overriding impression'' he had formed of the case was that ''SFK did not manage this project very well . . . In order to keep things going, they gave every encouragement to UBC to get on with the work, carry out the variation orders and employ men on their behalf - all of this in the context that UBC would be paid for these various items.'' UBC was one of more than 50 sub-contractors under SFK which was the main contractor under an agreement entered into with the Housing Authority to build two public housing blocks and related commercial centres at Wah Ming Estate. The court was told that UBC, which had entered into an $11 million plastering sub-contract on July 4, 1988, threatened to stop work because of its problems in getting paid. Mr Justice Kaplan observed that it had been clearly to SFK's benefit to prevent that happening and it had succeeded. UBC contended that it was asked to carry out the variation orders and quotes were agreed for the work. In its counterclaim, SFK argued that it had overpaid UBC in respect of the variation orders. In some cases, it denied that the work was carried out and in others submitted that the works were covered by items in the contract. Mr Justice Kaplan found that UBC was paid from time to time, sometimes at the agreed rate, sometimes at other rates. He said: ''I am of the view that UBC has been deliberately misled by SFK.'' In conclusion, he said he was leaving it to the good sense of counsel to agree to appropriate figures in the light of his judgement.