On Thursday 6 April 2017, Mr Justice Bodey ruled that the 78-year-old boss of Laura Ashley pay his ex-wife, Pauline Chai, £64m to settle their long-running divorce row, which has been noted as one of the biggest divorce settlements in the UK courts.
Pauline Chai was seeking £100m from Khoo Kay Peng following their split after 42 years of marriage. She claimed their assets were worth at least £205m.
She claimed she had contributed to her husband’s success by being a “traditional” wife, and that she and Khoo had made a sharing agreement entitling her to half of the family wealth.
“This has been an extremely long standing dispute. Ms Chai originally sought £105m – half of the family wealth – which was thought unlikely. Dr Peng offered £9m because he considered he had made a far greater contribution towards its creation.
“Awarding £64m – in one of the largest divorce awards the UK courts have made – suggests that the judge preferred Ms Chai’s case to Dr Peng’s. We are yet to see the terms of the judgment itself, but it is likely that it will represent a further refinement of the concept of Special Contribution as a defence to financial claims in divorce.”