Ongoing Nina Wang saga: Hong Kong Court of Appeal grants leave for Chinachem Charitable Foundation to appeal to the Court of Final Appeal

The Court of Appeal (“CA“) dismissed Chinachem Charitable Foundation Limited’s (the “Foundation”) appeal on 11 April 2014 and held that Nina Wang had given her estate of about HK$82.86 billion to it as a trustee holding it on charitable trust and not as an absolute gift (see previous blog post for details).  The Foundation subsequently … Read more

Recovering assets from an estate without challenging a will

In Leung Chung Ching Edwin and Wong Fung San Hanny v The Estate of Leung On Mei Amy, deceased, the Court of First Instance held that the parents of the deceased, who died intestate, were the beneficial owners of a property which they had bought in the deceased’s name. The property was, therefore, held on … Read more

The power behind the throne: costs orders against a non-party

The making of costs orders against a witness (who was not a party to the proceedings) was considered by the Hong Kong Court in To Pui Kui, the Administratrix of the Estate of Ng Po Sum, Deceased v Ng Oi Che and Others.  Such orders are rare, one reason being that witnesses should be able … Read more

Breakdown of Trust: Important Court of Final Appeal divorce ruling reaffirms the Court’s power to consider assets held in trust as part of the matriomonial estate and the presumption of the equal division of assets

The case of Poon Lok Otto v Kan Lai Kwan Kay and HSBC International Trustee Ltd. arose out of the high-profile divorce of a wealthy couple and the ramifications for the family business, Analogue Group, an increasingly common occurrence in Hong Kong and further afield. The Court of Final Appeal (“CFA”) judgment found overwhelmingly in … Read more

Hong Kong Court tackles Beddoe applications and Bartlett clauses

The case of Highmax Overseas Ltd v Chau Kar Hon Quinton considers the interaction of two issues very relevant to trustees (particularly trustees of trust funds including company shares): Beddoe applications and Bartlett clauses. Reported Court decisions on both issues are thin on the ground, so this case provides helpful insight. Read more

Hong Kong Court of Appeal upholds Court of First Instance decision that billionaire had bequeathed her fortune as a charitable trust and not an absolute gift

Following the Court of First Instance (“CFI”) decision of 22 February 2013 (see previous blog post for details), an appeal was brought to the Court of Appeal (“CA”) challenging the decision that Nina Wang had given her estate of about HK$82.86 billion to Chinachem Charitable Foundation Limited (the “Foundation”) as a trustee holding it on … Read more

United Kingdom Supreme Court: knowing recipients and dishonest assisters in fraudulent breaches of trust can rely on 6 year limitation period as a defence

In a recent decision, Williams v Central Bank of Nigeria [2014] UKSC 10, a majority of the United Kingdom Supreme Court held that knowing recipients and dishonest assisters in a fraudulent breach of trust can rely on limitation as a defence. The position of knowing recipients and dishonest assistants is contrasted with trustees who can … Read more