Samsung is involved in another legal battle, but this time it is an internal one. The current chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, is facing a court battle with his older brother, his sister and a nephew’s wife who feel entitled to a greater share of the company. His brother, Lee Meng-hee, filed a lawsuit seeking more than $613 million worth of shares in Samsung Life Insurance Co. and other companies.
Spats over inheritance are common enough when it comes to large Korean industrial groups, but it is rare that these would become so public. All sides have used the media to fire warning shots at the other party. Lee Meng-hee called his brother “greedy” and “childlike” while his sister, Lee Suk-hee, claimed that she is “trying to retrieve my property that Lee Kun-hee has been hiding for 25 years.”
Lee Kun-hee is the third son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull. He took over the company in 1979 and currently controls the group as a minority shareholder. This battle could affect his leadership, but he is intent on not settling this out of court. No date for the first hearing has been set. All that we know for now is that Christmas dinner could get a little awkward.