Ex-wife in HK$2m holiday claim

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 October, 2011, 12:00am


The list of expenses of the ex-wife of a high-profile business heir keeps growing, with the woman wanting to continue her holidays, including to the Maldives and Seychelles, to the tune of nearly HK$2 million a year.

The Court of First Instance heard yesterday that the holidays cost the woman, identified only by the initials TCWF, HK$160,000 a month, excluding airfares.

She is seeking HK$5.5 billion in total for everything from a luxury boat costing HK$15 million to HK$143,000 for dog food every year. That amounts to 55 per cent of her former spouse's assets.

Maintaining her lifestyle also requires HK$5 million a year for clothes, HK$691,000 for a nanny in Britain and HK$2.4 million a year in 'recreation expenditure'.

And the court heard yesterday that she also wants more than HK$500,000 for their daughter's gap year before university. The child, who is now three, should have HK$312,500 for travelling and HK$250,000 for living expenses, the mother is claiming.

'It doesn't sound like the kind of gap year most students have,' Martin Pointer QC, for the ex-husband, said. Later, he said: 'We challenge the reasonableness of these figures.'

It's the same daughter that the husband, identified as LKKF, allegedly told her to abort. The woman agreed with Richard Todd QC, for the billionaire tycoon father known as STL, that her ex-husband was an 'alpha male' who 'enjoys the good life' and has a tendency to 'exaggerate with a view to presenting himself as being more important in the world than perhaps the world might otherwise regard him'. While pregnant, she discovered her husband was cheating on her, spurring her decision to get the divorce, which was granted in 2008 after eight years of marriage.

While Todd drew attention to the ex-husband's shortcomings, he aimed to paint his tycoon father as the brainchild behind the son's Tokyo business venture and the rightful owner of its assets.

Comparing father and son to Chairman Mao and a field marshal respectively, he said the then-'baby faced' son depended on his father to provide the start-up capital of 3.64 billion yen (HK$3.67 billion) when they first began the business. The court heard one interpretation of their business agreement said that until the son paid back the start-up sum, the father could buy all the shares at one dollar, and get any profits generated - which would keep them out of reach of the son's ex-wife forever.

Todd said it was the father who used his clout to make contacts with businesspeople in Japan for his son. 'I put it to you that without STL there would be nothing,' he said.

But last Friday the ex-wife said her interpretation of the agreement was that even if the father bought back all the shares, the son could still pay him back the start-up money years later and then get the profits - and thus she would be entitled to part of them.

The hearing continues.