POOR LITTLE SWEETIE. So Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum's dead husband did leave his estate to his father and Asia's most powerful businesswoman 'probably' forged another will to make it look otherwise. What a great finale to the Wang soap. Or is it? Ding-dong, take a look at the satellite litigation over at Chime. As explained in Mr Justice David Yam's 585-page judgment on the war of wills, Chime became the flagship of the Chinachem group in the second half of the 1970s. The irony seems to be that despite all the probate bickering, Nina may well stay in control of the Chinachem purse strings. She has staked her claim to a majority of Chime shares. She has also claimed beneficial ownership of Christoban Enterprises, which held a majority stake in Chinachem Investment and China United Chemical. Before going into the details, it is worth noting that her husband Teddy may have been wary of including her in his will, but seemed perfectly happy with their business relationship - and made provisions to that effect during his lifetime. According to Mr Justice Yam, there are many other companies holding valuable assets in which Teddy and Nina had equal shares. The pair also had numerous joint accounts 'where Nina would have a right of survivorship'. In other words, he may have cut her out of his will, but not out of the business. This was obviously not a man who took his business relationships lightly. It seems unlikely that he would have 'neglected' to separate his personal and business interests when it came to his wife and her future at the group. He once took an employee to the police station for stealing a measly HK$7. Was it really an 'accident' that Nina had equal control over bank accounts the judge said would not form part of the estate. She may, however, have trouble proving her majority claim to the shareholding in Christoban and Chime. Nina became a director of Chime in 1977, but did not at the time hold any shares. In 1980, Teddy and Nina were both allotted 2,000 A shares and 12,000 B shares. Nina's brother and his wife got 3,000 A shares and 3,000 B shares. Another 19,998 A shares had previously been allotted to a Mr Tai Ching-ping. Administrators of the estate have honed in on the ownership of all of these shares - were they held on trust for Teddy or for Nina? If the answer favours Nina - and if she was deemed to have beneficial ownership in Christoban too - this would mean that 'between at least 1976 to 1980, the flagship companies of the group were virtually owned and controlled by Nina according to her version . . .' the judge noted. He stressed that, if in fact Teddy had virtually given her everything and were to die there and then, 'there would be very little left in the estate'. Even if Nina's brother and sister-in-law held their Chime shares on trust for Teddy, Nina would still have had 6.67 per cent of the A shares, and 40 per cent of the B shares since 1980. This would equate to 23.33 per cent of the voting rights in Chime, the judgment said. The administrators however argue that Nina took over the 19,998 A shares and allotted herself 15 million B shares, to the detriment of Teddy's stake. The B share 'uplift' took place just a few months after Teddy's disappearance in 1990. It does however seem as if the administrators have a tough battle on their hands. In July, the Court of Appeal noted that in respect of the management accounts of Chime, 'it is said that no such accounts exist'. The court ordered the disclosure of whatever statements they did have, 'and if it be the case that there are no such documents, then, so be it'. The probate battle may be over - unless Nina decides to appeal - but there seems little doubt that a full-out war will be waged over the majority ownership of Chime. In the words of Mr Justice Yam: 'It can be safely inferred that Teddy would probably feel that even if all the shares of him were left to Wang Snr, as the latter got older, it would be increasingly unlikely that he would physically interfere with the running of the companies which he had not done for many years since about 1965.' At the conclusion of his long judgment, Mr Justice Yam took the opportunity of highlighting the time and resources consumed by the probate action. Here we must disagree vehemently with his remarks. Mr Justice Yam posed the question: Taxpayers may be miffed that the wealthy clients are not paying for the privilege of the courts' precious time when they could. In this, the final From the Bar column, it may seem hypocritical to challenge Mr Justice Yam's comments. We love the idea of Robin Hood economics. It is just that in this case we did not mind the time, or the resources being depleted. Had these parties not gone to court we might have been deprived of tuning-in to what was possibly the most salacious trial in Hong Kong's history.