Ong Jane Rebecca v Lim Lie Hoa (also known as Lim Le Hoa and Lily Arief Husni) and Others

JudgePhang Hsiao Chung AR
Judgment Date30 June 2003
Neutral Citation[2003] SGHC 143
Citation[2003] SGHC 143
CourtHigh Court (Singapore)
Plaintiff CounselAndre Arul (Arul Chew & Partners)
Defendant CounselKhoo Boo Jin (Wee Swee Teow & Co),Daniel Tan (Wee Swee Teow & Co),C Arul (C Arul & Partners),Vinodh S Coomaraswamy (Shook Lin & Bok),Chua Sui Tong (Shook Lin & Bok),Karen Teo (TSMP Law Corporation)
Published date03 October 2003

1 On 13 June 2003, I made the following orders in the Plaintiff’s favour against the First Defendant:

(1) The Plaintiff shall have final judgment against the First Defendant for the sum of S$2,321,770.27 with interest as follows:

(a) Interest on the sum of S$2,321,770.27 at 6% per annum from the date of commencement of the action (21 September 1991) to 16 May 1998;

(b) Interest on the sum of S$2,271,770.27 at 6% per annum from 17 May 1998 to 19 June 1998;

(c) Interest on the sum of S$2,221,770.27 at 6% per annum from 20 June 1998 to 20 July 1998;

(d) Interest on the sum of S$2,171,770.27 at 6% per annum from 21 July 1998 to 17 August 1998;

(e) Interest on the sum of S$1,819,961.39 at 6% per annum from 18 August 1998 to 11 February 1999;

(f) Interest on the sum of S$1,444,961.39 at 6% per annum from 12 February 1999 to 9 April 1999;

(g) Interest on the sum of S$1,404,961.39 at 6% per annum from 10 April 1999 to 11 May 1999;

(h) Interest on the sum of S$1,379,961.39 at 6% per annum from 12 May 1999 to 14 July 1999;

(i) Interest on the sum of S$1,279,961.39 at 6% per annum from 15 July 1999 to 4 August 1999;

(j) Interest on the sum of S$1,219,961.39 at 6% per annum from 5 August 1999 to 3 September 1999;

(k) Interest on the sum of S$1,159,961.39 at 6% per annum from 4 September 1999 to 5 October 1999;

(l) Interest on the sum of S$1,099,961.39 at 6% per annum from 6 October 1999 to 4 November 1999;

(m) Interest on the sum of S$1,069,961.39 at 6% per annum from 5 November 1999 to 11 February 2000;

(n) Interest on the sum of S$1,051,406.60 at 6% per annum from 12 February 2000 to 3 April 2000;

(o) Interest on the sum of S$701,406.60 at 6% per annum from 4 April 2000 to 28 April 2000; and

(p) Interest on the sum of S$101,406.60 at 6% per annum from 29 April 2000 to 12 April 2001.

(2) It is declared that the Plaintiff shall be entitled to a one-twelfth share of the Deceased’s interest in the piece of land in Cibenong, a one-twelfth share of the Deceased’s interest in the jute plantation in Lampung and a one-twelfth share of the Deceased’s interest in a bank account in the United States of America.

2 The background to this case and the reasons for my decision are set out in the written judgment that I delivered on 13 June 2003 in Ong Jane Rebecca v Lim Lie Hoa [2003] SGHC 126.

3 On 13 June 2003, TSMP Law Corporation made an oral application to the court for the sum of $1,500 to be paid to them as reimbursement for work done by them as stakeholders pursuant to certain Orders of Court. TSMP Law Corporation were the First Defendant’s former solicitors. They had maintained certain deposits of money as stakeholders for the parties pursuant to certain Orders of Court. After hearing oral submissions from counsel for the parties and TSMP Law Corporation, I ordered that TSMP Law Corporation shall be entitled to be reimbursed the sum of $1,500 from the stakeholding monies currently held by them to account of their costs for being stakeholders. None of the parties had objected to TSMP Law Corporation’s oral application to be reimbursed the sum of $1,500 to cover the costs of the work that they had done as stakeholders.

4 After hearing the parties’ oral submissions on the costs of the inquiry on 13 June 2003, reading the parties’ written submission on costs tendered on 16 and 17 June 2003, and hearing the parties’ further oral submissions on costs on 18 June 2003, I made the following orders on 18 June 2003:

(1) The First Defendant shall pay the Plaintiff the costs of the inquiry, except that:

(a) the Plaintiff shall not be entitled to any costs or disbursements in relation to the two appraisal reports prepared by China Credit Information Service Ltd/China Property Appraising Co Ltd;

(b) as regards Wong Kum Sek’s valuations of the Singapore properties, the Plaintiff shall be entitled to recover the costs and/or disbursements of only one valuation in respect of each of the Singapore properties mentioned in the judgment, provided that the valuation is either as at the date the property was sold or as at 29 August 1991 in the case of properties that have been sold, or provided that the valuation is either as at 29 August 1991 or is a recent valuation in the case of properties that have not been sold, those being the only relevant dates for the purposes of valuing the Singapore properties;

(c) the Plaintiff shall be entitled to not more than 50% of the costs and/or disbursements incurred in relation to the photocopying and binding of the bundles of documents (howsoever called) tendered in court; and

(d) the Plaintiff shall not be entitled to any costs or disbursements incurred in relation to the issue of the parentage of the Fourth Defendant.

(2) The Plaintiff’s costs shall be taxed on a standard basis and paid by the First Defendant personally.

(3) The First Defendant shall pay the Second Defendant the costs of the inquiry from the date C Arul & Partners were appointed as his solicitors, except that:

(a) the Second Defendant shall not be entitled to any costs or disbursements incurred in relation to the issue of the parentage of the Fourth Defendant; and

(b) the Second Defendant shall not be entitled to any costs or disbursements in relation to the work done to subpoena Steven Lim and Tay Swee Sze for the purposes of the inquiry.

(4) The Second Defendant’s costs shall be taxed on a standard basis and paid by the First Defendant personally.

(5) The First Defendant shall pay the Third and Fourth Defendants’ costs of the inquiry, such costs to be taxed on a standard basis and paid by the First Defendant personally.

(6) As regards the interlocutory applications for which the orders made were “costs in the inquiry”, “costs in the cause” and “costs in the cause in the inquiry”, the orders should be interpreted as orders that the costs of those applications shall be costs in the cause in the inquiry.

(7) As regards the interlocutory applications for which the orders made were “costs reserved”, “costs reserved to the inquiry” or “costs reserved to the registrar”, the orders are as follows:

(a) As regards the costs of SIC 600193/2002, those costs are reserved to the court hearing the application to discharge the Mareva injunction.

(b) As regards the costs of SIC 600194/2002, the Second Defendant is to pay the First Defendant the costs of this application, and all other parties are to bear their own costs.

(c) As regards the costs of SIC 600219/2002, the Second Defendant is to bear his own costs.

(d) As regards SIC 600288/2002, the costs of this application shall be costs in the cause in the inquiry.

(e) As regards SIC 600415/2002, the Second Defendant is to pay the First Defendant the costs of this application and the third party proceedings, if any.

(f) As regards SIC 600416/2002, the costs of this application shall be costs in the cause in the inquiry.

(g) As regards SIC 600489/2002, each party is to bear his/her own costs.

(h) As regards SIC 600595/2002, each party is to bear his/her own costs.

(i) As regards SIC 600634/2002, the Second Defendant is to pay the First Defendant the costs of this application.

(j) As regards SIC 601156/2002, those costs are reserved to the court hearing the application to discharge the Mareva injunction.

(k) As regards SIC 601160/2002, those costs are reserved to the court hearing the application to discharge the Mareva injunction.

(l) As regards SIC 601161/2002, the Plaintiff is to pay the First Defendant the costs of this application, while all other parties are to bear their own costs.

(m) As regards SIC 601549/2002, the Second Defendant is to bear his own costs.

(8) For avoidance of doubt, save as aforesaid, the registrar conducting the taxations of the respective parties’ costs shall have the discretion to determine whether any specific item in the bill should or should not be allowed, both as a matter of principle and in respect of quantum.

(9) With respect to the payment of court fees of $278,655 under items 34 and 35 of Appendix B to the Rules of Court, the said court fees shall be paid by the First Defendant, and the Registrar’s Certificate shall be extracted within 28 days from the date of this Order.

(10) The Mareva injunctions against the First Defendant shall be varied to the extent that the First Defendant shall be allowed to withdraw the sum of $278,655 for payment of the court fees for the Registrar’s Certificate for this inquiry. For avoidance of doubt, nothing in this direction shall be construed as a release of the sum of $278,655 from the stakeholding monies held by TSMP Law Corporation.

5 At the hearing on 18 June 2003, the parties gave me the impression that the costs of SIC 600652/2001 had been reserved to the registrar hearing the inquiry. I had therefore made a further order on 18 June 2003 that the costs of this application shall be costs in the cause in the inquiry. By a letter dated 19 June 2003, counsel for the First Defendant applied to vary this order. He pointed out that the order on costs made on 6 April 2001 in SIC 600652/2001 in fact read: “Plaintiff’s reimbursements of her expenses and costs of this application are payable to her and the amount payable is reserved for the Inquiry”. All the other parties confirmed by letter that they had no objections to the setting aside of the order on the costs of SIC 600652/2001 that I had made on 18 June 2003. In the circumstances, on 21 June 2003, I set aside the order on the costs of SIC 600652/2001 that I had made on 18 June 2003 on the ground that there was no order that the costs of this application be reserved to the registrar hearing the inquiry. I also ordered that the amount of costs payable to the Plaintiff under the Order of Court dated 6 April 2001 shall form part of the Plaintiff’s costs to be taxed under the Order of Court dated 18 June 2003.

6 These grounds of decision set out the reasons for the orders on costs that I had made on 18 June 2003.

7 In Tullio v Maoro [1994] 2 SLR 489, the Court of Appeal...

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3 cases
  • Lim Lie Hoa v Ong Jane Rebecca and Others and Another Appeal (No 2)
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 4 May 2005
    ...sum of S$717,255 found by AR Phang. Mdm Lim also appealed against the costs order that was made by AR Phang in Jane Ong’s favour (see [2003] SGHC 143). When is a payment a 4 AR Phang’s finding that only a sum of $717,255 had been given to ST Ong as a distribution from the estate was premise......
  • Lim Lie Hoa v Ong Jane Rebecca and Others and Another Appeal (No 2)
    • Singapore
    • Court of Three Judges (Singapore)
    • 4 May 2005
    ...sum of S$717,255 found by AR Phang. Mdm Lim also appealed against the costs order that was made by AR Phang in Jane Ong’s favour (see [2003] SGHC 143). When is a payment a 4 AR Phang’s finding that only a sum of $717,255 had been given to ST Ong as a distribution from the estate was premise......
  • Ong Jane Rebecca v Lim Lie Hoa and Others
    • Singapore
    • Court of Appeal (Singapore)
    • 19 January 2005
    ...payment of $37,493.67 plus interest. Costs 44 AR Phang dealt with the issue of costs in a further judgment dated 30 June 2003: see [2003] SGHC 143. Applying the general rule that costs should follow the event, since Jane Ong had obtained judgment for a substantial sum of money as well as de......

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