Tso and Tong are not legal entities

A Tso and a Tong are not legal entities and proceedings cannot be brought in their names.

In Tang Yau Yi Tong v Tang Mou Shau Tso ([1996] 2 HKLR 212, CA) three individuals had made a gift of land in Tai Po to a Tong. It was accepted that one of the individuals had not been the beneficial owner of the property but had held it as representative of a Tso. The question was whether the relevant beneficial interest belonged to the the Tso or to the personal representatives of the transferor. The members of the Tso objected to a sale of the land by the Tong and could only do so if they had a beneficial interest. It was held that the beneficial interest belonged to the Tso. The Court of Appeal pointed out that Tsos and Tongs are not legal entities and proceedings cannot be brought in their name.

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