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Chai v Peng

The case of former beauty queen Pauline Chai and her businessman husband, Khoo Kay Peng, is one of the largest and most complex to come before the English courts. The couple were married for 43 years, as the Malaysian businessman built up a multi-million pound empire, which includes high street name Laura Ashley.

Their divorce began in 2013, when the wife, represented by Vardags issued a petition for divorce in London. The husband disputed that she had the necessary link to England to do so, and so issued his own petition in Malaysia. For nearly two years, the parties fought over the correct jurisdiction for the case to be heard. Mr Justice Bodey, of the English High Court, ultimately ruled that England was the correct forum, a ruling later approved by the Court of Appeal.

In April 2017, Pauline Chai was awarded a £64 million divorce settlement, one of the largest ever recorded.


  • Reported judgments

Chai v Peng EWHC 3518 (Fam) Chai v Peng EWHC 3519 (Fam) Chai v Peng EWHC 1519 (Fam) Chai v Peng EWHC 750 (Fam)

  • Press coverage

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Decree Absolute

Financial proceedings

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Decree Nisi

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Financial proceedings // //


Jurisdiction dispute




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