The divorce of Malaysian millionaire businessman Dr Khoo Kay Peng can be heard in England, a High Court judge has ruled.
Pauline Chai, Dr Peng’s wife and a former Miss Malaysia, filed for divorce from the boss of fashion and design retailer Laura Ashley last year. They have been married since 1970 and have five children together.
Dr Peng had unsuccessfully applied to have the divorce proceedings heard in Malaysia, but the federal court in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur rejected his bid. Chai, who lives on the family’s £30 million estate in Hertfordshire, sought to have the case heard by an English court.
The couple have already spent approximately £2 million on the dispute over where the case will be heard, so this could end up as one of England’s most expensive divorce cases ever. Chai claimed that Dr Peng is worth £440 million, although he denies this is true.
Sitting at the High Court, Mr Justice Bodey urged the couple “with all the strength [he] can muster” to come to a financial settlement. He said that this would be preferable to a protracted legal battle.
The judge added that the couple not possibly spend all of the available money in a lifetime “even if they wanted to”.
In a previous hearing in May, Mr Justice Holman said the costs of the proceedings “can only be described as eye-watering”.
Photo of the Royal Courts of Justice by nomsaleena via Flickr