Half-yearly Report of the Consumer Legal Action Fund (1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015)

26 January 2016
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Introduction

This is a report on the financial status of the Fund and the progress of assisted cases for the period from 1 April 2015 to 30 September 2015.  


Finance

During the reporting period, total income and expenditure of the Fund were HK$63,094 and HK$1,612,192 respectively.  As at 30 September 2015, total accumulated fund stood at about HK$12.37 million.


Report on Assisted Cases 

Overview

During the reporting period, the Fund received 4 new applications.  11 applications had been received prior to the reporting period and were under process during the reporting period.  Amongst these 15 applications, the Fund granted assistance to 1 application and declined 5 applications.  9 applications were still under consideration.  


Progress of Cases

Cases Carried Over From Previous Year

1. Beauty Service – Claims of Fraudulent Misrepresentation and Unconscionable Conduct

Legal proceedings had been commenced by the solicitors appointed by the Fund against the beauty salon and its related companies in June 2015.  A judgment by default was granted by the District Court after a hearing in September 2015.  Pursuant to the judgment, it was ordered by the court that all the subject agreements be rescinded and the various prepayments made by the assisted consumer be refunded.  

The solicitors appointed by the Fund are advising the Fund and the assisted consumer on the enforcement of the judgment obtained.


2. Headquarters and Professional Staff Costs charged by a Management Company of a Residential Housing Estate

During the reporting period, the solicitors appointed by the Fund were negotiating with the solicitors for the management company on disclosure of the relevant accounts regarding the management fees in dispute.


3. Home Renovation Services – Misrepresentation and Prepayment

In June 2015, the solicitors appointed by the Fund issued demand letters to the service providers seeking refund of the money paid.  Afterwards, the parties were engaging in settlement negotiation. 


4. Dental Services – Failure to Provide or Complete Prepaid Treatment

The solicitors appointed by the Fund had issued demand letters to the dental clinic seeking refund of money paid for the uncompleted dental treatments.  However, no reply was received. 

As a result, with the assistance of the solicitors appointed by the Fund, the 6 assisted consumers commenced proceedings at the Small Claims Tribunal against the dental clinic in September 2015.  Shortly after the reporting period, the 6 assisted consumers obtained judgment against the dental clinic on 6 November 2015.


5. Beauty Service – Personal Injuries Claim

The solicitors instructed by the Fund had issued a letter before action to the beauty salon in May 2015 but received no reply.  To prepare for commencement of legal proceedings, medical reports had been obtained for the assisted consumer.  The solicitors were in the course of gathering the relevant documents and finalizing the draft documents for commencement of proceedings. 

Newly Assisted Case

1. Beauty Service – Claims of Money Paid

This case is concerned with prepayment of beauty services where the consumer had passed away before using up all the prepaid services.  The assisted consumers are the joint administrators of the deceased consumer.  Considering the potential precedential value of this case, the Fund granted assistance to the administrators to claim on behalf of the deceased’s estate against the beauty salon, which refused to refund the money paid in cash. 

The solicitors instructed by the Fund issued a demand letter to the beauty salon in September 2015.  Since then, the parties have been negotiating for a settlement.


Statistics

Annexure 1 to this report is a brief summary on the statistics of the Fund’s cases.

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