Legal row over assets of late tycoon William Mong Man-wai
Rice-cooker king's first wife accused of trying to undermine entitlement, under William Mong Man-wai's will, for the billionaire's second wife
The second wife of late rice-cooker tycoon William Mong Man-wai has accused the billionaire's divorced first wife of trying to destroy her entitlement under Mong's will.
Lawyers for the widow, Wong Pui-fan, told the Court of Appeal yesterday that the founder of Shun Hing Group made "generous provision" for her and their daughter, Perlie Mong Pui-yee.
But British barrister Gilead Cooper QC, for Wong, said first wife Serena Yang Hsueh-chi had been trying to destroy this "through the control of Shun Hing".
The court heard that Mong, who died in 2010, set up a trust in the British Virgin Islands, naming Wong and her family as the beneficiaries.
Four Shun Hing subsidiaries and a related firm sued Mong's estate for about HK$1.9 billion in debt in April. The companies said Mong took the money from Shun Hing without proper authority, or that it had been extended in the form of loans between 2002, the year of his high-profile divorce, and his death.
Records also showed that Yang, her three daughters and two sons filed a writ last year asking the court to declare they were entitled to the Huge Surplus Trust, which holds 50 per cent of Shun Hing Holdings - one of Mong's many companies.
Wong's lawyers were appealing against a court order that allowed the executors of Mong's estate to draw funds from the estate to oppose Wong's request for documents relating to Mong's divorce. Bank of East Asia chairman David Li Kwok-po and lawyer Vic Choi Fan-keung are the executors.
Lawyers for the executors objected to providing the documents, on privacy grounds.
They added that Mong had made an implied undertaking to the court that he would not use the documents for any purpose other than the matrimonial proceedings.
Cooper said this was nothing to do with the executors as they could deal only with the monetary properties. But lawyers for the executors said they objected as a "matter of conscience". They said they had also successfully thwarted Yang's request for largely similar documents.
Barrister Lisa Wong, for the executors, contended that Mong's right for privacy continued after his death. "Why because he is dead should his views be excluded all together?" she asked.
Countering, Cooper said: "This is simply a right the deceased might have enjoyed during his lifetime but the right ceased on his death."
Madam Justice Carlye Chu Fun-ling, Mr Justice Andrew Chung On-tak and Mr Justice Jeremy Poon Shiu-chor reserved their decision.
Mong set up Shun Hing Hong in 1953 and used his father's business links with Panasonic to import Japanese goods. He sold his first eight rice cookers door to door.