Lo Siu-lan seeks permission to take her challenge to sell-off to Court of Final Appeal The elderly woman challenging Hong Kong's first real estate investment trust yesterday applied to take her case to the highest court, setting up a final showdown with the Housing Authority over its $32 billion privatisation plan. Lawyers representing Lo Siu-lan filed an application in the Court of Appeal for leave to go to the Court of Final Appeal and a copy was forwarded to the authority. The highly anticipated move came on the deadline for Ms Lo to continue with her lawsuit and almost two weeks after she was granted legal aid. The Court of Appeal will next set a date for a hearing to determine whether to grant Ms Lo approval to take her case to the top court. The authority will enter its own submission before the matter is heard. 'The Housing Authority is reviewing the contents of the application with its legal advisers and looks forward to an early conclusion of these judicial review proceedings,' an authority spokesman said. The listing of the Link Reit has already been delayed twice because of the lawsuit - on December 16 and 20 last year. The reit, which consists of a portfolio of public housing estate shopping malls and car parks, is being billed as the world's largest property trust listing. Mark Daly, a solicitor with Ms Lo's legal advisers, Barnes & Daly, said the appeal relates to the lower court's decision to try to speed up the case and its ruling that the government's sell-off was legal. On December 15, the Court of Appeal agreed to the authority's request that Ms Lo's statutory 28-day window to appeal be substantially shortened. Mr Daly had previously indicated to the authority that a possible outcome was that the Court of Final Appeal would rule that trying to speed up the case was illegal. In such an event, the plaintiff would argue that the case be retried by the Court of Appeal. The authority's deputy director of corporate services, Kenneth Mak Ching-yu, said: 'This would lengthen the time needed to achieve finality and would certainly be undesirable from our point of view.' Although the authority had estimated that the lawsuit could be resolved in as little as three months, legal experts have noted that the courts are usually in recess throughout August. The dates for hearings depend on both the schedule of the court and the availability of counsel. 'For slightly urgent 'vacation business', the courts can still convene in August if necessary,' a legal source said. Ms Lo spent yesterday morning protesting at the authority's headquarters in Ho Man Tin with more than 40 supporters, who voiced their opposition to the privatisation plan. A scuffle broke out when the group attempted to enter the building after handing in a protest letter to representatives from the authority.