Wang estate rivals approve quake gift

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 May, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 May, 2008, 12:00am

It seems the shaking ground of Sichuan has at least helped the parties in the dispute over the billions of the late Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum find some common ground.

The various camps put their differences aside yesterday to voice their approval for a donation to be made from Wang's estate. At the time of her death she was believed to be Asia's richest woman.

It is understood the donation is to be in the realm of HK$15 million.

Yesterday saw the opposing parties - the Chinachem Charitable Foundation, Wang's close friend Tony Chan Chun-chuen, her father-in-law Wang Din-shin, and the secretary for justice (as an interested party) - in court to sign off on a couple of issues related to the delivery of reports from the joint administrators of the estate, which some estimates put at HK$100 billion.

The idea of making a donation was first broached by the directors of the Chinachem group of companies. However, because such a move would necessarily affect the size of the estate, and because it fell outside the day-to-day running of the firms, it was thought best to inform the court.

The manner in which the donation will be made - in essence, in whose name it will be seen as being made - was not decided.

It is understood Mr Chan wants it to be made via a company bearing only Wang's name, while other parties have other views.

Brian Gilchrist, a partner at Clifford Chance and lawyer for the foundation, said the parties would try to come to a compromise soon.

Also on the agenda yesterday was the issue of when a date for the trial over the conflicting wills - one leaving everything to Mr Chan, and the other leaving it all to the foundation - should begin.

A hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday to fix a date, but it may not be necessary if the parties can agree on a timetable beforehand. It is understood that most of them are aiming for some time in February.