Threat of bankruptcy petition for Tony Chan

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2012, 12:00am

Self-styled fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen may face a bankruptcy petition if he fails to pay a HK$80 million legal bill slapped on him by the High Court in May after he failed in his claim for Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum's multibillion-dollar estate.

A representative of the Chinachem Charitable Foundation, which was awarded the late tycoon's estimated HK$50 billion estate, said it might ask the High Court to consider declaring Chan insolvent after he failed to pay the foundation's legal costs more than a month after being ordered to do so. But the representative said the foundation had no immediate plan to do so.

If a bankruptcy petition were approved by the court, Chan's assets - which he has claimed to be about HK$700 million - would be sold off and the proceeds would be distributed among creditors.

The representative said Chan had been trying to raise funds to pay the bill, including by mortgaging or selling his luxury house in Bowen Road, Mid-Levels, which is estimated to be worth about HK$500 million.

Wang, the former Chinachem chairwoman once renowned as Asia's richest woman, died of cancer, aged 69, in April 2007.

The Court of Final Appeal ruled in April last year that a 2006 document, which Chan claimed was a will by Wang leaving him her entire fortune out of love, was a forgery. The court recognised a 2002 will leaving the money to the foundation, which was set up by Wang and her late husband, and ordered Chan to pay most of the legal costs. The HK$80 million includes costs from lawsuits in the Court of First Instance and Court of Appeal but not the top court.

Earlier, the estate administrators took out an injunction freezing HK$130 million of Chan's assets.

Yesterday, the foundation appeared in the High Court over a change of estate administrator from Deloitte to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Deloitte is asking for about HK$100 million in fees. The parties are asking the High Court to appoint an independent assessor to determine the outstanding fees.