A PILOT whose ship was involved in a serious collision in Hong Kong harbour launched a High Court battle yesterday to win back his revoked licence. Lee Kwan-yeung, 47, was banned from working as a pilot for a year following an inquiry into the crash involving the 12,000-tonne Uni Humanity and a German container ship. Wai Ping-nam, who was piloting the 34,000-tonne DSR Atlantic on its maiden voyage, had his sentence suspended for nine months by the Marine Department. But David Steel, QC, counsel for Mr Lee, criticised the decision against his client as ''unjust, wholly misconceived and perverse''. He said it was wrong that Mr Lee should have been penalised more severely when the Marine Department tribunal accepted his mistakes were ''technically and legally not as serious'' as Mr Wai's. The tribunal had even agreed that in a civil action Mr Wai would probably have been held ''substantially more to blame'' for the crash on the night of October 22 last year. The court heard the Taiwanese Uni Humanity nearly sank and beached itself at Green Island after the DSR Atlantic split its middle section from the main deck to below water level. The collision happened after both pilots thought the other ship was giving way as they crossed 120 metres south of Tsing Yi Island. The German ship was racing another ship to get into Kwai Chung first and was approaching an eight-knot speed limit zone at 15 knots, the court heard. Under international shipping regulations the DSR Atlantic should have been the vessel to give way, while the Uni Humanity should have stayed on course. But Mr Wai had failed to take any evasive action, believing it was up to Mr Lee to give way. In the ordinary way the ''give-way vessel'' would be two-thirds to blame for such an accident, Mr Steel said. But the tribunal claimed Mr Lee's guilt was exacerbated by his dishonesty in evidence about radio contact although it gave no reason for its conclusion. The Pilotage Authority is represented by Adrian Huggins, QC. The hearing before Mr Justice Mayo is likely to last two days.