A MAN who tried to get a bigger share than his four younger brothers of his grandfather's estate under a 1954 agreement drawn up according to Ching dynasty law has lost his claim in the High Court. In dismissing Mr Tang Ying-loi's claim, Mr Justice Rhind granted declarations sought by his brothers in a counterclaim that they are entitled to an equal share of the properties under the agreement. In the 59-page judgement, the judge said Ching law, as modified by local custom, continued to apply to land disputes in the New Territories. The disagreement in the case, which began last July, was on the content and interpretation of the Chinese law and customs affecting New Territories land. When the grandfather of the plaintiff and defendants, Chik Fok, died intestate in 1952, his estate included substantial holdings of New Territories land, valued then by the Estate Duty Commissioner at more than $200,000, the judge said. He had also embarked on various business ventures. After Chik's death, a formal written agreement was entered into on how real estate belonging to him was to be distributed. Mr Tang claimed he was given a gift under the agreement, having been promised he would get after the death of his father, who died in 1978, an ''elder son's share'' of the estate. He said he was therefore entitled to 60 per cent of the residual estate and each of his four brothers should get 10 per cent. His four brothers argued the words ''elder son's share'' did not entitle him to a larger inheritance. They said the correct distribution should be 20 per cent for each of them. The judge said there was common ground among the parties that there was no custom in the Ha Chuen area of the New Territories, where the parties are from, for the eldest son to get an extra share. The only feature of Chinese customary law the plaintiff sought to rely on was the power accorded to the head of a family to dispose of the family's property in any way he chose during his lifetime. The judge found Mr Tang was in effect relying on the agreement to bypass the inheritance rules on which the other defendants relied. He said he did not believe what the plaintiff told him regarding talks he said he had with his father and grandfather on the division of property. Mr Tang had claimed he was promised the ''gift'' when he was 15 when his father and grandfather wanted him to get married. He protested that he was in no financial position to keep a wife. He alleged that they told him not to worry as he would be given ''an elder son's share''. The judge found Mr Tang was prepared to lie whenever he thought it might be to his advantage. He granted declarations sought by the defendants in their counterclaim for equal sharing and division of the properties. This is a test case in that it will affect other properties to be divided up by the family. The brothers are Tang Ying-yip, Ying-lam, Ying-sau and Ying-hay.