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Length of litigations in Hong Kong


Many of my friends are curious on the length of litigation in Hong Kong, the approximate litigation costs and whether there is a system of contingency / conditional fee in Hong Kong.

Since there is no statutory prescribed trial duration limit for litigation matters to conclude in Hong Kong Courts and with a trial system of up to three instances, it is difficult to estimate the exact time each case may require. The actual time required depends on a number of factors, such as case details, the decisions of the lawyers of both parties and the parties themselves – regarding whether to raise a counterclaim, to appeal, to settle through other means, etc.

Regarding litigation costs, court fees in Hong Kong are quite low. For proceedings to be heard in District Court, the court fee is HK$630; while for the claims to be heard in High Court, the court fee is HK$ 1,045. Unlike the Mainland courts, Hong Kong court fees are standardized, rather than being proportional to the claim. Additionally, given the lack of any trial duration limit in Hong Kong, litigation costs are subject to decisions by either sides on whether to appeal/counterclaim/settle and as such are difficult to estimate accurately in advance.

Litigation under the Common Law regime of Hong Kong is a complicated and sophisticated process. This article is merely a brief summary for general reference, and should not be considered as legal advice for any specific matter. Should you be in need of litigation advice or assistance, please contact Mr. Zhang Yuanhong, practicing solicitor in Hong Kong, for consultation.

This article is written by the author according to his own understanding and practical experience. It is not a specific legal opinion or suggestion for a case. All lawyers, friends and readers, when encountering specific cases, please consult your specific case handling lawyers and take their opinions as the standard。