SOCIALITES Chau Kai-bong and his wife Brenda are being sued for damages over the sale through their solicitor's firm of their former three-storey home, which the buyer later found was not sited on the land he had purchased. Nigel Humphries is seeking damages from the couple's firm, K. B. Chau and Company, for negligence in not informing him that the Chaus owned the company which sold the land and house to him. In a writ filed in the Supreme Court it was stated that by a building agreement, the Pink Ice company - of which the Chaus were directors and shareholders - built a house not on Lot 217, but on Crown land about 50 metres away. In July 1987, the land and house were assigned to Richsort Investment, another company associated with the Chaus, for $490,000. Two months later, the plaintiff retained the solicitor's firm to act for him on the purchase and acquisition of control over Lot 217, through the purchase of all the shares of Richsort and preparation of a bank mortgage. The writ claimed that as the plaintiff's solicitor, the law firm had a duty to exercise care, skill and diligence to properly investigate and/or advise whether Richsort could give and show good title. The plaintiff claimed that in breach of its duties, the firm failed to represent his best interests. He also alleged the firm acted for both the plaintiff and for the shareholders of Richsort, when there was a conflict, or potential conflict of interest, between the two. And that it failed to disclose that Richsort and Pink Ice were beneficially owned and/or operated by the Chaus, who were also partners in the law firm. After living in the house for some time, the plaintiff was notified by the Sai Kung District Land Office that the building did not stand on Lot 217, but on Crown land. The plaintiff claimed that because of the breach of contract and/or negligence and/or misrepresentation of the law firm, he had suffered loss and damage. After negotiation, the plaintiff was allowed to surrender Lot 217 in exchange for the Crown land where the house stood, but he had to pay the expenses incurred. He is claiming damages, interest and costs from the defendants.