HKCFI 91
IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE
HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
ACTION NO 950 OF 2014
||ARNOLD ROBERT LIMITED
||GLORIOUS MOTORS LIMITED
|Before: Mr Recorder Stewart Wong SC
|Dates of Written Submissions: 21 November, 10 and 14 December 2018
|Date of Decision: 10 January 2019
DECISION ON APPLICATION TO VARY
INTEREST RATE AND COSTS ORDER NISI
1. On 8 November 2018, I handed down a judgment in this matter (“the Judgment”). In the Judgment, I hold that the defendant was in breach of the Agreement by refusing to proceed with the sale of the McLaren with the Ferrari used as the trade-in, and demanded the plaintiff either to pay for the full Quotation or cancel the transaction.
2. I make the following orders in favour of the plaintiff:
(1) The defendant is to pay the plaintiff the sum of HK$696,000, together with interest on the said sum at the rate of 1% above the prime rate as quoted by Hongkong and Shanghai BankingCorporation Limited from time to time from 19 February 2014to the date of this Judgment, and at the judgment rate thereafter until payment.
(2) There be an order nisi that costs of this action be to the plaintiff, to be paid by the defendant, to be taxed on the District Court scale if not agreed.
3. The sum of HK$696,000 is the liquidated damages provided for under the Agreement, being 20% of the price of the McLaren. Although various heads of loss and damage are claimed in the Statement of Claim, at trial the plaintiff confines its claim to that sum.
4. By letter dated 21 November 2018, the plaintiff applies to vary the orders I made. Referring to and relying on an offer made to settle the action (“the Offer”), which was not accepted by the defendant, the plaintiff now asks for the following variations:
(1) Interest on the judgment sum of HK$696,000 be enhanced as of 15 April 2015 to the judgment rate plus 4% until payment;
(2) Costs of the plaintiff incurred from and including 15 April 2015 to be taxed on an indemnity basis;
(3) Interest on costs be awarded at 4.5% from 15 April 2015, and at 9% from the date of Judgment until payment.
5. The significance of the date of 15 April 2015 is that it is the last date on which the defendant could have accepted the Offer without leave under Order 22, rule 16 of the Rules of the High Court.
6. The Offer, expressed to be a sanctioned offer under Order 22, was made by letter dated 17 March 2015 from the solicitors for the plaintiff, whereby the plaintiff offered to fully and finally settle the whole of its claim against the defendant arising from the subject matter of this action, upon the defendant paying to the plaintiff the sum of HK$692,000 inclusive of all interest. The defendant’s attention was drawn to the consequences set out in rule 24.
7. The defendant did not accept the Offer.
8. Rule 24 provides as follows:
“ (1) This rule applies where—
(a) a defendant is held liable for more than the proposals contained in a plaintiff’s sanctioned offer; or
(b) the judgment against a defendant is more advantageous to the plaintiff than the proposals contained in a plaintiff’s sanctioned offer.
(2) The Court may order interest on the whole or part of any sum of money (excluding interest) awarded to the plaintiff at a rate not exceeding 10% above judgment rate for some or all of the period after the latest date on which the defendantcould have accepted the offer without requiring the leave of the Court.
(3) The Court may also order that the plaintiff is entitled to—
(a) his costs on the indemnity basis after the latest date on which the defendant could have accepted the offer without requiring the leave of the Court; and
(b) interest on those costs at a rate not exceeding 10% above judgment rate.
(4) Where this...