Registered: Aug 2006
12-03-11 05:08 AM
Ex-wife wins $1.2b battle
Mary Ann Benitez
Friday, December 02, 2011
A billionaire property tycoon has been ordered to cough up HK$1.2 billion to his ex-wife - further sealing Hong Kong's reputation as Asia's divorce capital.
High Court Justice John Saunders ruled yesterday that Samathur Li Kin- kan, the son of billionaire Samuel Tak Lee, pay Florence Tsang Chiu-wing HK$1.22 billion - which represents 20 percent of the couple's assets when applying the "sharing principle."
The wife's "needs" include a HK$250 million Hong Kong property, a 2.5 million (HK$30.53 million) London property, HK$2.5 million to buy two cars, HK$5 million to buy a yacht and HK$4.6 million to join clubs in Hong Kong and England. She was given HK$215 million as a "Duxbury award" - a fixed sum for life.
As of March this year, Li was worth HK$6.42 billion, while his wife was worth HK$79 million. A separate fund of HK$26 million will be set up for their daughter, now three years old. The court ordered that Li and his father pay Tsang's court costs.
In the past, courts based their awards on a wife's "financial needs" to continue her way of life. "Because of the ruling it changed the whole landscape. It is not a hard and fast rule but it has implications for people who are very rich," Cheung said.
In last year's landmark ruling, the top court said that divorcing couples should receive an equal share of assets in most cases.