Battle erupts over Fok's HK$28b bequest

Updated: 2011-12-21 07:18

By Li Likui (HK Edition)

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Heirs of the late State leader, Fok Ying-tung, will battle in court over the father's HK$28 billion estate.

A younger son of the former vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference is suing his elder brother, accusing him of pocketing more than HK$1.4 billion of the family fortune.

Benjamin Fok Chun-yue filed a writ in the High Court on Monday, asking that his elder brother, Ian Fok Chun-wan, chairman of the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce, be removed as co-executor of the father's estate.

Benjamin Fok also requested the court order that the estate be audited.

Fok Ying-tung's business empire touched on real estate, casinos and petroleum.

He founded the Fok Ying Tung Foundation in 1984, one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the city.

Fok Ying-tung willed his legacy to his three wives and children. At the time the will was executed, May 20, 1978, the family patriarch appointed his sister Fok Mo-kan and her husband, his two sons Ian and Benjamin as the four executors of the legacy.

In his writ, Benjamin Fok claimed his elder brother had appropriated to himself family assets, including 350 shares of the family's company, Henry Fok Estates Limited, all shares of the three overseas companies and the money in three overseas bank accounts after their father died in October 2006.

Ian Fok has claimed the total value of those assets in the accounts and shares of the companies amounted to HK$1.4 billion.

Benjamin Fok disputed the amount and said the figure cited was only a general estimate.

Benjamin Fok said he had requested that his brother explain the accounts of the legacy. The younger brother claimed his brother had revealed only that their father held a bank account worth HK$226 million.

He charged that Ian Fok had used various means to have other family members to sign papers, even offering those willing to sign up to HK$500 million.

In addition, the younger brother charged that his co-executor had privately distributed jewelry worth HK$90 million, without consulting the other executors.

Benjamin Fok argued that the three other executors, including the 85-year-old Fok Mo-kan, her husband, who died in 1993, and his brother should be replaced by Anthony Gordon Rogers, retired vice-president of the Court of Appeal.

Apart from Ian Fok, another 15 members of the family were listed as defendants, including Fok Ying-tung's three wives, and eight children of Fok Ying-tung's second and third wives.

China Daily

(HK Edition 12/21/2011 page1)