STANDARD Chartered Securities has issued a writ in the High Court claiming about $40 million plus damages from three former directors of the securities firm when it was known as ChinTung. The three are Mr Arthur Lai Cheuk-kwan, his brother Mr Raymond Lai and Mr Peter Mou. The securities house claims one or more of the three received secret commissions on the sale and placement of shares in Bond Corporation International (BCIL) through nominee companies in 1990. The writ also claims they made secret purchases of BCIL shares in 1990, despite a ban on ChinTung staff dealing in the shares. A statement issued by Standard Chartered Securities last night refers to a wrongfully diverted ''success fee'', but the writ describes the alleged payment of $26.4 million from Tomson and $12 million from BCIL in 1990 as ''secret commissions''. The statement said the claim related to a success fee payable on the sale by Tomson Pacific of a 34.5 per cent stake in BCIL and a placement by ChinTung of a further 31.4 per cent stake. Standard Chartered said details of the payments only came to its notice recently during the investigation by the inspector appointed by the Financial Secretary to investigate the affairs of Tomson and BCIL. The Financial Secretary announced its investigation into Tomson Pacific and World Trade Centre Group (formerly known as Bond Corp International) in September last year. Mr John Lees, a partner in accounting firm Ferrier Hodgson & Marfan, was appointed inspector. Mr Arthur Lai said last night he would vigorously defend the Standard Chartered action. ''Of course we will defend it. The commissions were known at the time by the ChinTung operating director and Standard Chartered Asia and ChinTung were invited to participate in the deal and received fees.'' Mr Lai said he had brought the BCIL business to ChinTung and felt ''shocked'' by the wording of the English and Chinese language statements issued by Standard Chartered. The deals referred to in the writ were done in May 1990. Tomson agreed to buy 461 million BCIL shares, about 34.5 per cent of the company, from BCIL's parent, Bond Corp International Holdings (BCIH) and to underwrite the placement of the parent's remaining 31.5 per cent holding in BCIL. According to the writ, one or more of the Lai brothers and Mr Mou or their nominees received secret commissions or profits of $26.4 million from Tomson and $12 million from BCIH in relation to the sale and placement. The writ says that on a ''best particulars'' basis prior to full discovery, $26.4 million was paid to Mandarin Development as nominee for one or more of the three. The writ mentions a letter dated May 31, 1990 from Tomson to Mandarin saying Tomson agreed to make the payment as a ''cash commission'' seven days before the completion of Tomson's deal to buy the BCIL stake from BCIH. On a similar basis, the writ says $12 million was paid by BCIH to Wealthcorp as a nominee for one or more of the three on completion of the placement of the remaining 31.5 per cent stake. A letter dated April 20, 1990 from BCIH to Mr Arthur Lai is mentioned that refers to the payment as a ''negotiated success fee.'' According to the writ, the three defendants had the opportunity to receive the payments because of their employment with ChinTung and through their possession of confidential information regarding the intentions of Tomson and Bond Corp as they related toBCIL shares. Standard Chartered is seeking recovery of the alleged secret commissions, which the writ describes as being held on trust by the defendants' nominees. Under the heading ''The Secret Purchase of Bond Shares'', the writ claims that one or more of the three defendants caused eight million BCIL shares to be placed privately with their nominee, Mandarin. These shares were sold between July 27, 1990 and August 1, 1990 for a profit of $1.26 million in alleged breach of the prohibition on trading issued in a memo to staff in May 1990. These share-trading profits are included in the claim. Standard Chartered Securities chairman and chief executive Raymond Theodolou would not comment on the High Court action except to say the alleged secret payments and share trading occurred while ChinTung was still in existence and under different management and were revealed as a result of the Financial Secretary's investigation. Mr Arthur Lai hit the headlines recently when there was a $83 million ruling against him in the High Court for breach of his duties to his employer, ChinTung Futures, before its collapse around the time of the 1987 share crash. Mr Justice Bokhary described his conduct in opening and operating an account on behalf of an anonymous Thai general as '''very rash indeed''. The judge stressed there were no allegations of dishonesty on Mr Arthur Lai's part. Shortly after that court decision, Mr Lai resigned as chairman of Chesterfield, citing fears that his personal court case could hurt the company's share price. Last night he said he was ''almost bankrupt'' as a result of the futures ruling. He was replaced as chairman of Chesterfield by Mr David Tang. From Standard Chartered Securities' point of view, there will be no provisions needed for the disputed $40 million, whatever the outcome of its current action, as it had never been booked as profit.