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CHINACHEM CHARITABLE FOUNDATION LTD  (Plaintiff)

CHAN CHUN CHUEN (1st Defendant)

THE SECRETARY FOR JUSTICE (2nd Defendant)

WANG DIN SHIN (3rd Defendant)

in HIGH COURT IN HCAP 8/2007

Background Facts

Date Document/Event
1955 Nina KUNG (then aged 18 years) was married to Teddy WANG Tei-huei
1970s & 1980s The business of Chinachem Group blossomed.
1988 Nina WANG and her husband Teddy WANG set up Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd
1990 Teddy WANG was abducted & never released despite payment of HK$260M ransom.
1991 Nina WANG (aged 54 years) met 32 years old CHAN Chun Chuen (as Fung-shui master) through the former Legislative Councilor Gilbert LEUNG.
After September 1992 Intimacy relationship between Nina WANG and CHAN Chun Chuen developed.
28-07-2002 Nina WANG's executed a Will naming Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd as beneficiary and wishing its management to be supervised by an authority comprising (1) the Secretary General of the United Nations, (2) the Premier of the People’s Republic of China and (3) the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR
Jan 2004 Nina WANG was diagnosed to have suffered from cancer (Stage IV adenocarcinoma of the endometrium)
16-09-2005 Court of Final Appeal gave judgment in favour of Nina WANG over her battle of Teddy WANG's Wills against WANG Din Shin
December 2005 Nina WANG was informed that the cancer was incurable.
16-10-2006 Winfield WONG & NG Shun Mo gave evidence that they saw Nina WANG (then aged 69 years) signed a 1-page document giving certain money to one surnamed CHAN ("Specific Bequest Will"). 
March 2007 $30 million was donated by Nina WANG (probably one of the last charitable projects) via Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd to the China Association of Social Workers
03-04-2007 Nina WANG passed away, aged 69 years.
04-04-2007 CHAN Chun Chuen alleged he held Nina WANG's latest will dated 16-10-2006 ("Disputed 2006 Will). He retained a solicitor firm to contact Winfield WONG to procure an affidavit of due execution from Winfield WONG. However, CHAN Chun Chuen did not inform Nina's siblings of the Disputed 2006 Will.
2007 Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd filed the Writ
11-05-2009 Probate action hearing commenced. Chinachem was represented by counsel team consisting of Dennis CHANG, SC, Lawrence LOK, SC, Benjamin YU, SC and by Johnny MA & Jeremy CHAH. CHAN Chun Chuen's counsel team was comprised with Ian MILL, QC,  Edward CHAN, SC, Jonathan HARRIS, SC & Frances LOK.
22-09-2009 Evidence of witnesses & experts finished after 40 days of trial
02-02-2010 Written Judgment of Mr. Justice M. H. LAM  was delivered.
After Feb 2010 This case may be appealed against by the parties.

 

Extracted Comments & Rulings of  

Mr. Justice M. H. LAM, Judge of  The Court  of First Instance, High Court 

Regarding The Judge's Comments & Rulings
2002 Will
  • It was validly executed by Nina WANG & attested.
  • Reflected the long-held intention of Nina WANG to leave estate to charity.
  • This Will intended Chinachem Charitable Foundation Ltd to continue with charitable works.
CHAN Chun Chuen
  • His evidence (as to how he came to obtain the Disputed 2006 Will  from Nina WANG) was rejected by the court.
  • The court did not find him a credible witness.
  • The court found that his evidence in many respects was tailored to suit his convenience.
  • The court rejected his evidence that he was not involved  in the preparation of the Disputed 2006 Will & that he lied & withheld relevant information regarding circumstances leading to the preparation of the Disputed 2006 Will.
  • The court found that he had been contemplating a legal battle with Nina's estate for quite some time before her demise.
  • He did nothing to confirm Nina's testamentary wish, since he did not obtain the Disputed 2006 Will in the manner he described to the court.
Relationship between Nina WANG & CHAN Chun Chuen
  • Started off as client & Fung-shui master
  • Intimacy developed after September 1992.
  • Fung-shui services in return for financial benefits.
  • Nina WANG was aware the CHAN Chun Chuen would not leave his wife and children, and she would never become a family member of his.
  • A secret intimate relationship which Nina WANG did not want others to know.  A relationship to be buried after her death. 
  • Not sufficient to cause Nina WANG to give him her  estate when 2002 Will was made.
  • Nina WANG placed higher regard on charitable objectives  than to CHAN Chun Chuen.
  • Nina WANG was not prepared to give him her entire estate irrespective of her other commitments & responsibilities.
  • Nina WANG had not prepared CHAN Chun Chuen to facilitate him taking up the responsibilities of running Chinachem business empire & implementing charitable objectives.
Specific Bequest Will dated 2006 (note : this document cannot be found and  has not been produced before the court)
  • Only a 1-page document.
  • Nina WANG signed this document in the presence of Winfield WONG & NG Shun Mo.
  • No crease on this document.
  • Nina WANG acknowledged and understood this document to be a partial will.
  • Nina WANG did not suffer from delirium at the time this document was signed.
Disputed 2006 Will
  • Not signed by Nina WANG at all.
  • Not attested by witnesses.
  • This document was signed & written on top of another Unsigned Document. These 2 documents were together.
  • A crease appeared on this document & Nina WANG's alleged signature was executed after the crease was made.
  • Not prepared by Nina WANG due to her poor health.
  • No one in Chinachem nor her siblings nor Winfield WONG took part in preparation of this document.
  • The court held that the only other person who had met Nina WANG at that time who was likely to have a part to play with the preparation of this document was CHAN Chun Chuen.
  • The court accepted Chinachem's experts Mr. Radley & Dr. Giles that both Nina's & Winfield WONG's signatures on this document were highly skilled simulation.
  • The court's conclusion was that this document was a forgery.
  • Even if this document was executed by Nina WANG, it was executed by her without testamentary intent.

 

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