Samsung inheritance feud goes to court

The long awaited trial to decide whether Samsung’s Chairman Lee Kun-hee will have to shell out cash to his relatives, will begin today at the Seoul Central District Court.  

Kun-hee is being sued by his older brother, a sister and a nephew’s wife who are demanding a share of an inheritance from his father, Samsung’s founder Lee Byung-chull.

They claim that hundreds of millions of dollars of Samsung Life shares that were owned by their late father under a borrowed-name.

Lee Maeng-hee says that his younger brother secretly inherited the shares leaving his other siblings in the dark but Lee Kun-hee claims the inheritance issue was settled 25 years ago when his father died, and that the disputed shares were not even inherited from his father.

The family feud has caused scenes outside of Samsung’s offices as well as many wars of words.

However, according to Reuters, the case could do more than cost Kun-lee money and delay plans to hand over the business to his son Jay Lee. It could also shine light on the way Samsung is run and bring up more details of a 2008 lawsuit when Kun-hee was found guilty of financial wrongdoing and tax evasion.

This could dent the reputation of the company and also force shares to drop, analysts have warned.