Akai Holdings Asset Recovery
Lead global counsel in asset recovery project involving cross-border investigations and legal actions in Hong Kong, England, Bermuda, the United States and Europe, including Hong Kong’s largest audit negligence case.
Represented the Liquidator of Akai Holdings Ltd in a series of investigations and legal actions arising from one of Asia’s largest corporate collapses. The decisions in these cases included a number of firsts for insolvency law in Hong Kong. The actions led to the recovery of over US$400 million for the company’s creditors.
These actions included a major audit negligence claim, which commenced in 2005 and settled on record terms in September 2009 at the end of the first week of a trial scheduled for six months. This litigation involved extensive pre-trial disputes, including two successful appeals in the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal addressing issues of legal professional privilege, use of examination transcripts and jurisdiction to order security for costs ( HKCFAR 649). It also involved litigation in several other jurisdictions, including New York, Bermuda and England.
Lipman Karas also led a US$500 million fiduciary duty and equitable fraud claim for the plaintiff against a Hong Kong listed company and its directors over the stripping of corporate assets. The case settled on highly favourable terms during the pre-trial phase, but several actions preceded settlement, including in the Court of Final Appeal Hong Kong on the scope of liquidators’ powers to obtain documents under the Companies Ordinance, the largest asset freezing order granted by a Hong Kong court against an individual and successful litigation to appoint Hong Kong and BVI solicitors as receivers in support of the asset freezing order. This was the first time receivers had been appointed in Hong Kong in aid of an asset freezing order ( HKCFI 74;  HKCA 890).
See also Borrelli v Ting  Bus LR 1718 on appeal to the Privy Council from the Court of Appeal of Bermuda. This is the leading Commonwealth decision on unconscionability and economic duress in a commercial context.