COVID-19

Insolvencies in Hong Kong in a post-COVID-19 World

COVID-19 has created unforeseen challenges to businesses all over the world, resulting in many companies being unable to survive the pandemic. Hong Kong has been no exception. In Hong Kong, according to data published by the Hong Kong Government’s Official Receiver’s Office, in the first seven months of the year, 5219 compulsory bankruptcy petitions and 247 compulsory winding-up petitions were presented, representing 13.7% and 5.1% year-on-year increase respectively. The effect of COVID-19 may yet be fully reflected by these figures.

Employment Update: Second tranche of the Employment Support Scheme set to open for applications

The Government has announced that the application for the second tranche of the Employment Support Scheme (“ESS”) is set to open on 31 August 2020 until 13 September 2020 (“Application Period”). Employers who wish to apply for ESS relief must submit a new application for the second tranche.Self-employed individuals who have already received a one-off lump sum subsidy in the first tranche will not be able to apply for the second tranche of the ESS.

COVID-19: Does the pandemic classify as a Barder event?

Upon divorce, the Hong Kong Court has the power to make orders for financial provision between spouses. In making such orders, the Court has a duty to consider various matters which are set out in Section 7(1) of the Matrimonial Proceedings and Property Ordinance, Cap. 192 (“MPPO”) including the parties’ financial resources and all the other relevant circumstances of the case.

Why having two weddings can have unintended consequences

Since early 2020, the world has been experiencing an unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic which is affecting many aspects of people’s lives, including travelling plans and plans to get married. Some have postponed or cancelled their wedding plans, whilst others have decided to go through a simple marriage ceremony in their place of residence, to be followed by a wedding celebration in the same location or in a foreign location when the situation later permits.

COVID-19 Scams – What to do if you are defrauded

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we have seen an overwhelming demand worldwide for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which includes respirators, surgical masks, gloves and face shields. Regrettably, unscrupulous traders never miss an opportunity to capitalise on public fears and concerns.  Amid these difficult times, there has been a surge of fraud schemes associated with PPE transactions all around the globe. In Hong Kong, over 1,600 reports of online mask scams were received by the Hong Kong Police between January and March this year, consisting of more than 3,000 individual victims and local companies involving a total of HK$48.2 million. It has also been reported that fraudulent mask schemes totalling US$799 million were uncovered in United States in the last few months, and similar patterns have been observed across the Europe.

The Benefits of Collaborative Law During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Hong Kong Courts were closed for several months and thousands of court hearings were adjourned during this General Adjourned Period (“GAP”). Although the Family Court has now reopened there are social distancing measures in place which mean that hearings are continuing to be adjourned. We expect this to be the ‘new normal’ for some time to come.