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Tony Chan seeks third chance to claim fortune

Joyce Man

Fung shui master Tony Chan Chun-chuen is fighting to get a third chance to claim the HK$100billion fortune of the late Nina Wang Kung Yu-sum.

In a 90-minute hearing yesterday, his lawyers asked the Court of Appeal for leave to bring his case before the Court of Final Appeal. The court reserved judgment.

On February 14 this year, Chan lost his second attempt to claim the money after what the Court of Appeal termed a 'thoroughly dishonest case' to wrest Wang's estate from the Chinachem Charitable Foundation.

The court reaffirmed the Court of First Instance's finding that a 2006 will bequeathing Chan the entire estate was a forgery.

Chan's lawyers argued yesterday that he was entitled to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal 'as of right' because the sum under dispute was more than HK$1 million.

Anderson Chow Ka-ming SC, for Chan, also argued that leave to appeal to the highest court should be granted because the probate attracted enormous public attention. And, he said, the Court of Appeal's finding that the 2006 will was forged had serious implications for Chan, who was entitled to ask the top court to rule on the matter.

The Chinachem foundation did not object to Chan's application for appeal.

Wang, once Asia's richest woman and the Chinachem Group chairwoman, died of cancer in April 2007, aged 69.

After the Court of First Instance found in February last year that Chan's document was a forgery, he was the next day. He was released on HK$5 million bail and told to report back to police this month.

Chan is now on his third team of lawyers. At his first probate hearing, he was represented by the award-winning firm Haldanes. He then hired the prestigious law firm Reed Smith Richards Butler for his unsuccessful hearing at the Court of Appeal.

Yesterday he was represented by Hau, Lau Li & Yeung. It has just 12 staff.