Consultant in TV row to sue old firm for HK$10m

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 3:29am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 March, 2014, 4:46pm

A consultant who alleges she was asked to resign after speaking out against the government in last year's television licensing row says she will sue her former company for more than HK$10 million she says she is owed.

Jenny Ng Pui-ying, former managing partner at Value Partners, said that after the company announced she had resigned "voluntarily" it had issued a dismissal letter to avoid paying out money due to her.

In an interview with the Economic Journal, she accused the consulting firm - engaged by the government to report on the issuing of new free-to-air television licences - of "tackling" her with "an unusual action".

She told the Chinese-language newspaper that she decided to resign and her resignation was accepted before reports emerged she had been pressed to quit after the company's Italian founder, Giorgio Rossi Cairo, received a complaint accusing her of breaching confidentiality.

The complaint came after Ng came out in December to say that the government had used a report from her consultancy as a shield against criticism of its decision not to grant a free-to-air television licence to Hong Kong Television Network. She said it had quoted "a few paragraphs" from a 400-page report "out of context" in seeking to justify the awarding of licences only to applicants backed by pay-television players Now TV and Cable TV.

Value Partners said on February 5 that Ng had quit "voluntarily" in a letter dated January 22.

After her departure, she said, the company issued a letter of dismissal because, she claimed, it did not want to compensate her for lack of notice or compensate her for leave owing.

She was quoted as saying she believed "someone had stirred up the matter" but she had no evidence to point to the government. Ng reiterated in the interview that she did not regret speaking out against the government, but what upset her most was that her contribution to the company had been wiped out.

In an invitation to a press conference this afternoon, Ng wrote that Value Partners "had unreasonably withheld her salary and bonus of more than HK$10 million" and "her personal e-mail account was hacked".

Ng could not be reached for comment last night. Value Partners had not responded to questions about Ng's accusations.