Udl Argos Engineering & Heavy Industries Co., Ltd v Dragages Hong Kong Ltd

Court:High Court (Hong Kong)
Judgement Number:HCA1264/2007
Judgment Date:29 Aug 2007
HCA001264/2007 UDL ARGOS ENGINEERING & HEAVY INDUSTRIES CO., LTD v. DRAGAGES HONG KONG LTD

HCA 1264/2007

IN THE HIGH COURT OF THE

HONG KONG SPECIAL ADMINISTRATIVE REGION

COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE

ACTION NO. 1264 OF 2007

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BETWEEN

UDL ARGOS ENGINEERING & HEAVY INDUSTRIES CO., LIMITED Plaintiff
and
DRAGAGES HONG KONG LIMITED Defendant
formerly known as DRAGAGES ET TRAVAUX PUBLICS (HK) LIMITED

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Before : Deputy High Court Judge Gill in Chambers

Date of Hearing : 21 August 2007

Date of Judgment : 29 August 2007

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J U D G M E N T

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1. In October 1996 the defendant Dragages contracted with Cathay Pacific to build Cathay Pacific’s new headquarters at Chek Lap Kok.

2. In May 1998 the plaintiff UDL Argos won a sub-contract for structural steelworks from Dragages. The sub-contract contained a provision that any disputes arising between the parties in connection with the sub-contract shall be referred to the arbitration and final decision of a single arbitrator.

3. UDL Argos claims that the work was completed towards the end of 1999 and it submitted a final account which was for $2,941,927.04 being the balance of the total sum of $12,791,354.04 still unpaid.

4. This amount was not then and has not since been paid or reduced; however, the matter was not advanced for some years until November 2006, when Li Kam Wa of UDL Argos wrote to Dragages to pursue completion. The matter was taken up by Alan Donnet of Dragages and the two met on 8 February 2007.

5. Mr Donnet told Mr Li that he believed the matter had been resolved in an exchange of letters and undertook to search his files and revert.

6. And so he did. He wrote to Mr Li by letter of 8 March and told him that a letter from Dragages of 17 January 2001 and a response from UDL Argos of 22 January 2001 amounted to a settlement of moneys due under the sub-contract; so that was that.

7. Mr Li searched his company’s records for copies of these letters, but could not locate either. He responded, by letter of 20 March, which contained the following paragraphs:

We refer to your information provided in the meeting on 8 February 2007 and that as per your letter … dated 8 March 2007 and confirmation to the fact that contrary to your misplaced belief there was NO executed or enforceable settlement agreement for the Subcontract final account ever concluded.
Given the above results as your thorough search and investigation we believe you are now in a good position to proceed and process with your obligation to certify and pay for valued work done under the Subcontract.
We therefore would expect a constructive proposal leading to finalization of this matter to be in place on or before 31 March 2007 beyond which time we
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