Row over HK$330m fund back in court
The second son of late Bossini founder Law Ting-pong said he had absolute discretion over the distribution of about HK$330 million his father had reserved as a 'rainy day' fund for his descendants, the Court of Appeal heard yesterday.
Edward Chan King-sang SC, lawyer for Law Shuk-hoi, put forward the argument in an attempt to overturn a Court of First Instance ruling in July last year that said the son had a duty to give money from his father's estate to his eligible family members.
The late businessman did not leave a will but wrote a letter of wishes before his death in which he divided his wealth into three portions - one for financial assistance to his descendants, one for charity and one for a son who had gone missing.
Chan argued that the second son was given full control, which he termed 'mere power', over the one-third estate of his father.
However, Benjamin Yu SC, acting for the descendents, said that the son was only conferred 'trust power' which obliged him to distribute the assets.
Under the letter of wishes, Law Shuk-hoi could provide financial assistance, give gifts, loans and rewards to the descendants when they faced destitution or had made a 'breakthrough'.
Mere power, Chan said, meant Law was only obliged to consider whether to exercise power to make a distribution. Chan said, in contrast, trust power meant that Law was obliged to make a distribution out of the trust and he only had discretion as to the amount he would give out.
Law Ting-pong had eight children. Twenty-eight descendants, including those children, who were alive at the time of Law's death are possible beneficiaries under the letter.
Mr Justice Robert Tang Ching, Mr Justice Peter Cheung Chak-yau and Mrs Justice Judianna Barnes Wai-ling reserved judgment.