Samsung chief's brother not to appeal for inheritance
SEOUL, Feb. 26 (Yonhap) -- The elder brother of Samsung Electronics Co. Chairman Lee Kun-hee will not appeal an appellate court decision that rejected his demand for a 940 billion won (US$850 million) share of his sibling's inherited wealth, the brother's lawyers said Wednesday.
Upholding a lower court's decision, the Seoul High Court earlier this month ruled against the chairman's eldest brother, Lee Maeng-hee, and allowed the chairman to keep his holdings in Samsung Group's key subsidiaries.
"(Lee Maeng-hee) decided to give up filing for appeals (with the Supreme Court) as it is more important for him to keep relations with his family than to continue with the suit," Yoon & Yang LCC, a law firm representing the elder brother, said in a press release.
Lee Maeng-hee, who virtually controls food and media conglomerate CJ Group, first launched the suit in 2012, accusing the chairman of secretly taking ownership of the stocks that their father, Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull, left in a trust under a third person's name before his death.
It later became 4.08 trillion won in civil suits with the participation of an elder sister, Lee Sook-hee, and the family of the founder's deceased son.
The high-stakes legal fight highlighted a deep discord between the brothers, who denounced each other in public as the battle unfolded.
During the appeals trials, the elder Lee trimmed down the damage claims from 4 trillion won to 940 billion won, saying that he wants to reconcile with the chairman.
The Samsung owner did not accept the gesture, claiming that his elder brother became covetous as Samsung emerged as a global industrial behemoth.
The late Lee, who founded Samsung in 1938, had eight children and left the majority of his wealth to the Samsung Electronics chairman, his second living son, when he died in 1987.
Lee Maeng-hee is reported to have spent nearly 17 billion won on legal fees during the two-year-long legal battle.