Oxford Hong Kong Mooting Competition 2014

The Oxford Hong Kong Mooting Competition 2014 was held on 19 July 2014. With the ongoing generous support of Clifford Chance Hong Kong, the annual Competition is in its fourth year and attracted Oxford students and alumni from around the world. In accordance with the tradition of Oxford ‘lightning moots’ it took place over a single day and teams were expected to prepare for both appellants and respondents, with a coin toss being used to determine which team would represent which party.

This year’s moot problem raised the issues of ex turpi causa and liability of public authorities. It explored the questions of whether fraudulent knowledge of the managing director of a one-man company should be attributed to the company so as to preclude the company from seeking relief; and whether it makes a difference if the company had minority shareholders. The moot problem also examined the question of whether a public authority tasked with both regulating and promoting investments in the football industry owes a duty of care to ensure that companies on its “Top 10 Safe Bets List” were actually safe and not fraudulently operated. All these issues were vigorously argued in the competition.

To foster better relationships among students and alumni, alumni currently practising as barristers in leading sets of chambers in Hong Kong were invited to become mentors to the participating teams. The organising committee would like to thank the five practitioners who offered their kind assistance this year: Keith Lam, Janet Ho, Jeffrey Tam, John Hui and Patrick Siu.

This year's moot was the largest competition ever held with 8 teams competing. The morning was packed with four fierce preliminary rounds, judged by barristers Mr Bernard Man (St. Anne’s) and Mr Christopher Chain (St Anne's). The mooters were then invited to join the judges and the organising committee for lunch, before the identity of the four teams that advanced to the semi-final rounds were announced. The afternoon began with the two semi-final rounds, presided over by barristers Mr Abraham Chan (St. Catherine’s) and Dr William Wong S.C. (Wadham).

The competition culminated in the Grand Final, which was presided over by the Honourable Mr Justice Ma, Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong. The Grand Final this year also saw the largest crowd ever with many practitioners and alumni, including the Chairman of the Bar Association Mr Paul Shieh S.C., in the audience. After a heated round of submissions, Byron Chiu (BCL, 2015) and Karen Tsang (BA, 2016) for the respondents beat Kate Chan (visiting student) and Brian Lee (BA, 2016) for the appellants. The Grand Final was then followed by a 10-course Chinese style dinner.

All in all everyone had a great time and the organising committee would like to take this opportunity to once again express our heartfelt gratitude to Clifford Chance. Last but not least, we would like to thank the Law Faculty for their wholehearted support.

Arthur Chan