Russell Brown won a significant legal case against Edward Lehman, Managing Director and founding partner of Lehman, Lee & Xu, a mainland Chinese law firm, who was found guilty of contempt of Court by the Hong Kong High Court.
Lehman’s own counsel described his conduct in breach of an Injunction Order as “stupid”, “foolish” and “culpably negligent.” The Honorable Mr. Justice To imposed a fine of HK$200,000 against Lehman and awarded indemnity costs of HK$400,000 to the Plaintiffs.
It turns out that there was fault with the advice given to Lehman by his own lawyer. The Court of Appeal found that there was no contempt of Court and therefore no basis for the earlier Court Order of suspended imprisonment. Russell Brown’s side was ordered to pay to Mr. Lehman the costs incurred by him in bringing the appeal.
Unfortunately for Lehman, Hong Kong Barristers have traditionally been immune from negligence actions. Whilst in light of certain developments in other common law countries this may no longer be the case, the writer suspects that it would not be economical to try to litigate against someone whose sole occupation is litigation.