Mother spent HK$6m to contest diva's will

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 March, 2011, 12:00am

The elderly mother of late Canto-pop diva Anita Mui Yim-fong has spent almost HK$6 million so far on failed attempts to overturn the validity of her daughter's will.

The figure was in a Court of First Instance judgment handed down yesterday that dismissed the singer's mother's application to admit a Queen's Counsel to represent her in her appeal in the top court.

Tam Mei-kam, 87, has been trying to nullify a will made by her daughter before she died of cancer in 2003.

The will, which was witnessed by HSBC private trust director Doris Lau and Mui's godmother Sheila Ho, stated that most of the singer's assets would go to the Karen Trust and other beneficiaries, including the New Horizon Buddhist Association and the star's fashion designer, Eddie Lau Pui-kai.

According to the judgment, Tam now receives a monthly allowance of HK$120,000 paid out of the trust. She has still not paid HK$2 million in litigation costs.

Mr Justice Michael Hartmann yesterday threw out Tam's application to admit Gilead Cooper QC to represent her in the appeal before the Court of Final Appeal on May 9.

Hartmann said he was not persuaded by Tam's argument that the appeal would involve matters of unusual complexity.

Tam's lawyers earlier told the court that they would argue that the will was not valid because Mui, who had limited ability in English, made the will in English without the presence of a lawyer or interpreter.

Tam lost her appeal last July.