It’s likely that coordinating international depositions can take extra planning and will usually cost significantly more than taking depositions in the U.S. Here are several tried-and-tested tips for saving money for your client when taking depositions in Hong Kong.
Work with locals: Find a court reporting firm with teams living in Hong Kong, or nearby, to reduce or, better yet, eliminate travel costs altogether. A firm with reporters, videographers and interpreters living throughout Asia can provide the expert coverage you expect without the travel fees you dread. As an added bonus, these teams can provide tips on where to stay, eat, shop, etc., to make the most of your time in Hong Kong without blowing your budget. Additionally, they can assist with the logistics of your upcoming depositions such as printing and shredding of documents. Check with them to see if they have any corporate discounts that can be made available to you as well.
Plan in advance: When at all feasible, plan as far in advance as possible. Flights and hotel reservations will increase in cost the closer you get to your deposition dates. Interpreters stay very busy as well and are often booked months in advance, so to ensure quality interpretation for your depositions, it is best to reserve an interpreter as soon as dates are determined. Also check cancellation policies with your court reporting firm as well as the hotels and airlines, to avoid extra fees. Prices skyrocket around certain holidays, and availability will be extremely limited. Such holidays include Chinese New Year (February 8-10 in 2016), Ching Ming Festival (April 4 in 2016) and Buddha’s Birthday (May 14 in 2016). Keep in mind, most witnesses will also refuse to be deposed on a holiday, as they will be busy partaking in the festivities!
Cut travel costs for your legal team: Coordinate with your court reporting firm to depose your witness via videoconference. The firm can reserve the Hong Kong location (and the U.S. location as well and have the local court reporting team stream the deposition to you back in the States). As videoconference locations in Hong Kong can be expensive, another option to further cut costs to your client would be to take the deposition via mobile videoconference. Your court reporting firm can provide cost comparisons so you can select the best option for your particular case.
Free Time: Lastly, if you have the good fortune to take your depositions in person, enjoy Hong Kong! This is a marvelous destination, with much to offer in the way of dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing. Again, take advantage of the local reporting team — ask them for suggestions!