The High Court yesterday threw out an application by ousted Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung for a judicial review of the handling of his defamation complaint against a lawyer. The SHKP chairman had filed the complaint with the Law Society against solicitor William Kwan Cheuk-yin. In November 2008, Kwan told the SHKP board of directors that when Kwok behaved "totally out of character" he would make decisions that "could do harm" to the company. Kwan, a non-executive director of the company, made the remarks about a year after Kwok fell out with his younger brothers, Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong and Raymond Kwok Ping-luen, and six months after Kwok was replaced as chairman of the property giant. Kwok was unhappy that the society had asked him to come back only after he had concluded any other legal action he might take against Kwan. He also questioned why the society would not immediately decide whether it would refer the case to a disciplinary tribunal. He wrote to the Chief Judge of the High Court, Mr Justice Andrew Cheung Kui-nung, asking him to refer Kwan to a tribunal. Cheung replied that it was more appropriate for Kwok to pursue a judicial review instead. Yesterday, Mr Justice Thomas Au Hing-cheung dismissed Kwok's application on the grounds that he had failed to exhaust other means to resolve the matter before lodging a judicial review. The judge noted that Kwok could have applied to the Law Society for a review of its decision, compelling it to consider the matter again. "There is nothing in the present case to show that the [society's] review procedure is inadequate or ineffective in dealing with any incorrectness of the decision," he said. The judge also dismissed what he termed "speculative arguments" by Kwok's lawyer that Kwok did not engage in the review mechanism because there was a possible conflict of interest as Kwok was a committee member of the Law Society.