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X. Do not engage recovery agents to handle your claims

Recovery agents are neither professionally qualified nor subject to any code of professional conduct. A recovery agent will finance a claim by paying the legal fees and other disbursements, and then if the claim is successful the accident victim has to hand over over a large share of his compensation to the recovery agent.


There is no compulsory insurance covering any claims directed at recovery agents and they are of unknown financial backing. Since accident compensation in Hong Kong is assessed on the basis of actual loss (no punitive damages), victims using recovery agents will not be adequately compensated if part of their compensation has to be paid to the recovery agents. The more seriously injured victims may not have sufficient means to maintain their livelihood.


Recovery agency contracts are generally champertous in nature and are unenforceable. Maintenance (of which champerty is a more serious form) remains a criminal offence in Hong Kong and therefore recovery agents are liable to be prosecuted. Accident victims relying on recovery agents are likely to jeopardize their chance of getting the best possible redress. Accident victims should approach solicitors or the Legal Aid Department directly.


As medical negligence cases uniquely require a combination of skills from both the legal and medical professions, it is important that you seek the services of a qualified, reputable and specialist firm of solicitors that have a strong background in this area of law. Such a firm should be able to provide you with expert advice on whether or not you are qualified to make a claim, and how to collate and present your supporting documentation. They will know how to start a claim for compensation and they will agree to act on your behalf if they believe you have a strong case.