A Hong Kong businessman has given £20m to King’s College London in what the college says is the largest individual donation ever made to a European law faculty.

Luxury goods magnate Dickson Poon will fund a recruitment drive for eight new chair positions over the next five years.

With its new home in Somerset House East Wing, the Dickson Poon School of Law aims to become an international centre for legal research.

Up to 75 students a year will be taken on a scholarship programme, of which 15 places will be reserved for students from Hong Kong and China.

The donation is part of a £40m overall investment in the 180-year-old King’s School of Law, completed following a fundraising campaign fronted by former prime minister John Major.

Poon, whose investments include Harvey Nichols, said: ‘My donation reflects a shared enthusiasm with the distinguished Law Faculty at King's College London to set new standards in legal education and research.

‘The faculty will be expanded, student scholarships increased, leadership forums created and a new degree introduced. These ground-breaking innovations underscore our unique focus on transnational law that will groom future leaders needed to guide an increasingly connected world.'

King’s College is the fourth oldest university in England and has almost 23,500 students.