Stephen Chow seeks to strike out ex's HK$80 million commission claim

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 27 September, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 27 September, 2012, 3:11am

Comedian Stephen Chow Sing-chi yesterday sought to strike out a claim by his former girlfriend for HK$80 million she says he owes her in commissions on the expected sale of a Peak house.

High Court Master Jack Wong Kin-tong yesterday transferred the case between Chow and Alice Yu Man-fung for a hearing by a judge in chambers.

The date will be fixed after an exchange of documents between the two sides. Objecting to the strike-out move, Yu's lawyer said the case involved complicated legal issues and Yu was seeking to amend her statement of claims.

The application was made by the Chow-controlled company Star Royale Limited, the second defendant in the case.

Chow's lawyer said the comedian might seek a stay of proceedings depending on the outcome of the strike-out action.

Neither Yu nor Chow appeared in court.

According to a writ filed earlier by Yu against Chow and Star Royale, Chow benefited from Yu's financial advice. In return, he paid her a salary plus millions of dollars in commissions.

Yu said Chow - spelled Chiau in the writ - would not have been able to get into the highly lucrative Skyhigh development without her assistance.

The claim involves one of four houses at 10 Pollock's Path, a joint venture by Chow and Ryoden Development. Three of the houses are sold, with the third, owned by Ryoden, going for HK$800 million in May last year.

The fourth house, owned by Chow, has yet to be sold. But Yu is suing for a 10 per cent commission in the expectation that it will fetch the same price.

Yu says she introduced Chow to the deal when she learned Citibank would auction the property.

She said her social networking power helped bring in Ryoden, without whom Chow would not have had enough money to close the deal. She said she received HK$14.9 million from Chow in commissions on two houses, sold for HK$350 million and HK$300 million, in 2009.

In July of last year, Chow suggested selling the house in four years, and paying the commission over the intervening period, the writ said. In March, it says, Chow sent her a cheque for HK$10 million, saying it was a gratuity and denying he owed her any commission.