Chinachem begins new fight for Nina billions (HK)

Chinachem Charitable Foundation told the top court that as the beneficiary it has complete control over the HK$83 billion estate of late tycoon Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum.

Opening for Chinachem, barrister Brian Green told the Court of Final Appeal that Wang’s 2002 will was an unconditional gift to the foundation, meaning it could take over the funds.

The will did not intend the foundation headed by Wang’s brother Kung Yan-sum to hold it as a trustee, or it would have explained the provisions in greater detail.

Kung said Wang once Asia’s richest woman would not have known what a “trust” is back then when the will was drafted.

The latest legal battle comes after the same court ruled in 2011 that a 2006 will presented by self- styled feng shui master Peter Chan Chun-chuen formerly known as Tony was a forgery.

Since then, the Department of Justice and the foundation have disagreed over how the one-page 2002 document written in Chinese, now recognized as Wang’s one true will, should be read.

Court of Final Appeal non-permanent judge Patrick Chan Siu-oi said provisions in the 2002 will clearly state that the foundation will be monitored by a management organization formed by the United Nations secretary-general, Chinese premier and head of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government.

But Green said the management organization mentioned merely demonstrates a wish or suggestion on how the matter should be dealt with.

The ultimate way of handling the wealth may be discussed by the foundation, he added.

Asked by Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma Tao-li if Wang had only “included the UN secretary-general, Chinese premier and the HKSAR chief executive for window dressing,” Green agreed.

It was the intention of Wang to hand over her estate to the foundation as a beneficiary, while the three individuals were included to enhance the position of the foundation, Green said.

Given the three individuals are all busy people, he continued, they cannot possibly monitor the foundation’s operation closely so it could not have been a mandatory requirement.

Even if the management organization mentioned in the will cannot be established, Green said the foundation will set up one of its own to be monitored by the Department of Justice.

The hearing continues today with the Department of Justice opening its case.


Chinachem begins new fight for Nina billions
Jasmine Siu
April 22, 2015
The Standard