Local barrister Louie Mui Kwok-keung, who was found guilty two years ago of illegally engaging in litigation for the purpose of sharing the proceeds of a successful suit, has now been accused of hiding assets in his application for bankruptcy at the High Court on Monday.
Over the course of nine years, in five instances, Mui made secret “no win, no fee” agreements with clients, while requesting a 25 to 30 per cent share of the damages awarded in each case.
Mui was found guilty of champerty and sentenced to three and a half years in prison in 2013. He was also ordered to pay the four parties in the cases $1.5m in total.
Mui then claimed that he had no means of repaying these debts and applied for bankruptcy in the High Court. The case was heard on Monday, and saw a creditor in one of the champertous cases objecting to Mui’s bankruptcy claim, arguing that Mui had sufficient assets to pay off all the debts. Mui is said to owe this creditor HK$730,000.
The creditor’s lawyer said that Mui had transferred a Whampoa Garden apartment worth HK$6.8m, of which he owned a share of around HK$3.4m, to his mother and his girlfriend before he was sentenced, in order to avoid paying the debts. He also said that Mui deliberately hid assets of around $1.5m.
The judge gave Mui 28 days to respond to the allegations and adjourned the case.