Divorced wife gets extra HK$140.4m

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 26 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 26 March, 2013, 4:50am

The divorced wife of a top engineer has been awarded HK$572.4 million in a legal battle with her ex-husband, after a court added HK$140.4 million to the original settlement.

The larger sum was given in light of the couple's 41-year marriage and the wife's non-monetary contribution to their union, the judgment said.

Otto Poon Lok-to's former wife Kay Kan Lai-kwan, 73, was originally awarded HK$432 million by former High Court deputy judge Ian Carlson in her ancillary relief application. Dissatisfied with the ruling, she lodged an appeal to the Court of Appeal, asking for HK$832.5 million.

Kan was awarded HK$572.4 million by the Court of Appeal yesterday, including the original sum of HK$432 million. Justice of Appeal Peter Cheung Chak-yau wrote in the judgment: "The length of the marriage and the contribution by the wife justifies an equal distribution of the matrimonial assets of HK$1,144.8 million. Half of the sum is HK$572.4 million."

After learning of the new judgment, Poon, a former chairman of the Hong Kong Institute of Engineers, said: "I have no comment … I'll follow the court's instructions."

Poon, 72, married his wife on January 6, 1968. A divorce decree nisi was pronounced on May 26, 2009.

The divorced couple have a grown-up daughter. Their two other children died in tragic circumstances, one in 1995, the other in 2000.

The matrimonial assets included Poon and Kan's stake in a family trust and their own assets.

The family trust, based in Jersey and operated locally by HSBC International Trustee, was set up in 1995.

The assets of the trust comprised shares in two companies - Poon's construction business Analogue Holdings and Realty - when it was first set up.

The beneficiaries were Poon, his wife, their daughter and the two deceased children.

After the death of the two children, Poon affirmed in 2010 that the assets should be equally divided among Poon, Kan and their remaining daughter.

In the previous trial, Carlson awarded Kan 37.74 per cent of the joint matrimonial assets.

Carlson earlier said he made the initial lump sum award of HK$370 million, boosted by other assets, because he held that Poon had built up the business himself, and Kan played no direct part in it.