Statistical Analysis: Court representations by different law firms in Hong Kong
As stated in the Basic Law, Hong Kong residents have the right to be represented in court. To have legal representation, there are plenty choices of law firms in the market. Some (bigger) firms perform more court representations than the others. Who are they? Let’s find it out.
This analysis is based on the daily cause lists published by Hong Kong Judiciary. Information shown in the cause list includes date and time, courthouse, case number, parties, judge and the representing lawyer.
The analysis period is from 18 March 2019 to 7 January 2021, a bit over 21 months. During the period, the scraped hearing list data could be found at https://github.com/ylchan87/HKCourtList . (Note: cases from Labour Tribunal, Small Claims Tribunal, Coroner’s Court and Obscene Articles Tribunal are somehow excluded in the database.)
First, let’s look at the number of court proceedings recorded during period:
There are a total of 398,774 court proceedings recorded in the database. We can see that in Feb and March 2020, there were abnormally few number of cases heard in courts. It was the first wave of Covid-19 and hearings were adjourned during the General Adjourned Period (GAP), except for urgent and essential matters.
The number started to climb in April, and skyrocketed in May and June to clear backlogs. After that, the number remained high at over 20,000 each month.
Next, there are different courthouses and tribunals in Hong Kong, which one is the busiest?
Eastern Magistrates’ Courts, located at Sai Wan Ho, handled the highest number of cases (i.e. 62,660, monthly average up to 3,000) during the period, seconded by the High Court (i.e. 60,856). The Court of Final Appeal handled 218 cases during the same period.
Here comes the main dish. There are over 80,000 counts of court representations by…