The temporary use of the landmark building in Central that served as home to the Court of Final Appeal until last month has became a focus of controversy, as lawyers at an investigation into Hong Kong's lead-tainted water scandal found the old courtroom too small for its new role. The Former French Mission Building has been chosen as the venue of the judge-led commission, as Hong Kong's highest court has moved out from the neo-classical red-brick house on Battery Path after a stay of 18 years. READ MORE: Hong Kong government should pay legal costs of residents affected by lead-in-water scandal, inquiry hears The former courtroom was packed with more than a dozen lawyers representing 15 different parties at the commission's first hearing yesterday. Martin Lee Chu-ming SC, representing public housing residents, told commission chairman Andrew Chan Hing-wai, a Court of First Instance judge: "Mr Chairman, there used to be five judges sitting on your side and it is very spacious for you two now. However, it is very crowded on us lawyers' side. Is there any other possible venue? It is an important issue." Another barrister, William Wong Ming-fung SC, who represents the Water Supplies Department, agreed that it was better to look for an alternative venue, pointing to the conspicuous boxes of documents brought by the commission's legal team led by Paul Shieh Wing-tai SC. But Chan said: "Given limited time, it is difficult for us to look for another place … Preparations for the hearing venue were not as easy as you may imagine. If we move elsewhere, we will have to set up all the digital recording equipment and CCTV for taking live notes again." At the end, he said he could try to find another place but could not promise a result.