A company controlled by Henderson Land chairman Lee Shau-kee was harassing through the courts two squatters who obtained title to a block of land it formerly controlled, a court heard yesterday. William Marshall SC, representing 84-year-old Wong Yam-tai and her daughter, Chan Suk-yin, 42, said a challenge by Harvest Good Development to the law under which his clients obtained the land should not involve them. The Court of Final Appeal in January unanimously said the two women had spent enough time on the land - five plots covering about 11,000 square metres in the hills behind Tai Po - to undo any title Harvest Good might once have claimed over it. Mr Lee bought the properties with two friends in 1961. In March, Harvest Good was granted leave for a judicial review into a decision by the secretary for justice not to repeal the sections of the Limitations Ordinance that led to them losing the land. Its application named Ms Wong and Ms Chan as co-respondents. The Limitations Ordinance states that if a person can prove they have possessed a piece of land for more than 20 continuous years without entering into any kind of agreement with the leaseholder, ownership passes to them. Harvest Good claims the law violates two articles of the Basic Law. Article 6 states that the government 'shall protect the right of private ownership of property in accordance with law', while Article 105 enshrines the principle that due compensation be paid to those lawfully deprived of their property. Mr Marshall was arguing before Mr Justice Michael Hartmann in the Court of First Instance that leave for the appeal should be set aside and his clients names removed from the application. It is the latest round in a legal tussle that dates back to 1993, when a court ruled that the women had gained title to the land in 1982. Mr Marshall said Harvest Good was trying to use the public law of judicial review to reverse a decision - the transfer of title - that was fairly obtained through private law. 'It certainly cannot be the case that leave for judicial review could have been granted [on the basis] that public law can award damages against private citizens who've done nothing more than use the legal system to vindicate their rights,' he said. 'It is without doubt an abuse of process.' He noted that even in the Court of Final Appeal, the argument of breaches of the Basic Law was never raised. It only cropped up after that court rejected the company's arguments in January. 'The Basic Law has been with us since 1997, yet they have never run anything on it at any stage of the 13-year legal case,' he said. Mr Justice Hartmann reserved judgment.