Three small investors sue the former chairman of a big company. They claim to have lost money in their investments in the company because of misleading statements by the then chairman. They are now suing in the Small Claims Tribunal, where the money involved is limited to $50,000 or less. Parties in Small Claims Tribunal actions are not allowed to hire lawyers because it would disadvantage less well-off complainants.
The tycoon refused to appear in the tribunal. He is asking the tribunal to transfer the case to the High Court where he can employ a legal team to argue his case. This is reported in the newspapers today. The claimnants, naturally, oppose the request, saying they do not have the money to hire lawyers. Moving the case to the High Court puts the claimnants at a severe disadvantage. And may in fact force them to abandon the case.
This is disturbing. It is unfair that the rich can bully less-well-off people with their money. It should not happen in a place like Hong Kong. The lawyers who work for such people should also be ashamed of themselves.