11 April 2011
Mayer Brown JSM, a leading global law firm, is pleased to announce that it advised Lingrade Development Limited in its successful appeal before the Court of Final Appeal against the Hong Kong Government for compensation under the Railways Ordinance.
Lingrade, a unit of Podium Development Co. Ltd., originally proposed to redevelop a site in Lam Tei, in the Tuen Mun district of Hong Kong for residential purposes. In the late 1990s, the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation obtained approval for its West Rail scheme which included the construction of a viaduct at a small area of the site. The government gazetted a notice under the Railways Ordinance giving KCRC the right to temporarily occupy such an area to carry out the works.
Because of this decision, Lingrade had to abandon its original scheme and the completion of the redevelopment was delayed by 14 months. Lingrade incurred additional financing costs and suffered loss in sales proceeds because the units had to be sold in poor market conditions during the SARS period.
The Lands Tribunal ordered that compensation should be awarded to Lingrade for "additional financing costs" and "loss in sales proceeds". Consequently the Government appealed to the Court of Appeal, resulting in the court ordering Lingrade to provide the Tribunal with a concrete plan for assessment.
Lingrade then appealed to the Court of Final Appeal, which unanimously allowed the appeal and restored the Land Tribunal's original decision because it did not see any reason why the Tribunal's decision should be interfered.
The Mayer Brown JSM team was led by real estate partner Alan Yip.