Lloyd's Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly


Alex CY Chan*

Kelvin KC Tse

Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board v Fong
After two judgments of the Supreme Court,1 another aftershock has occurred of the death of Sir Ian Brownlie QC in a car accident in Cairo, this time felt by the apex court of Hong Kong. In Employees Compensation Assistance Fund Board v Fong Chak Kwan 2 Lord Collins, sitting as a non-permanent judge, has expressed his view on the contours of the tort gateway for service out of jurisdiction.3 As will emerge below, the majority decisions in the Brownlie cases, namely, that the word “damage” in the tort gateway should be afforded a broad interpretation, have received his Lordship’s imprimatur, albeit subject to one important caveat which came perhaps as a surprise.

The facts

Fong was injured in an accident while at work in mainland China. He later returned to Hong Kong for medical treatment. He commenced proceedings in Hong Kong against, inter alios, the second defendant employer. He obtained leave to serve a concurrent writ out of the jurisdiction in the United States, having successfully relied upon the tort gateway under Ord.11 r.1(1)(f) of the Rules of the High Court (Cap.4A), which allows


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