Re Tang Hoi Chun [2024] 3 HKC 222, [2024] HKDC 14

Hilda Wong represented the plaintiff in Re Tang Hoi Chun [2024] 3 HKC 222, [2024] HKDC 143 and successfully obtained an order for vacation of the registered charging orders.

The plaintiff applied in the District Court to vacate the charging order nisi and charging order absolute both registered in the Land Registry and obtained by a bank against the half-share held by one of the two predecessors-in-title vis-à-vis the plaintiff. The plaintiff had entered into a sales and purchase agreement to sell the property, with one condition in the agreement being that the charging orders must be vacated before completion.

The application to set aside the charging orders was allowed for the following reasons:

  • (1) First, the Court had inherent jurisdiction to vacate registrations or purported registrations in the Land Registry upon good cause being shown. This jurisdiction existed apart from any statutory provisions such as s 19 of the Land Registration Ordinance (Cap 128).
  • (2) Secondly, prohibitory orders and charging orders were both clearly in the nature of modes of enforcement or execution of judgments. They were both ‘registered orders’ similarly affected and ‘caught by’ s 17 of the Land Registration Ordinance. The approach and principles relevant in applications to vacate prohibitory orders should also apply in relation to applications to vacate charging orders. In deciding whether to vacate the charging orders, regard should hence be had to the effect of s 17 and the Court’s inherent jurisdiction, rather than to ss 19 and 20.
  • (3) Thirdly, in the present case, there was ‘good cause’ to order that the registration of the charging orders be vacated. The failure to re-register the charging orders meant they had long since ceased to have effect and encumber the property, particularly in relation to the sale and purchase agreement. Given the position of the parties pertinent to the charging orders, especially the bank, there was no conceivable issue or interest relating to re-registration which arose or could conceivably arose.
  • (4) Further, any enforcement or execution proceedings on the charging orders had been time-barred.

[The above is excerpted from the headnote to the report in HKC.]


Related Members