Charities: When should the court intervene?

An internal dispute at a religious charity led to High Court clarification on the extent to which members of a charity are fiduciaries. Philip Reed explores the implications Jaffer represents a step towards greater certainty in respect of members’ duties outside charities established as Companies Act companies. Readers will doubtless be familiar with the Supreme …
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Accounting Rights: Classified information

Can beneficiaries demand the disclosure of trust accounts? Mathew Roper explains ‘It now appears to be settled in English law that the court should approach a request by a beneficiary for disclosure of trust documents as one calling for the exercise of a discretion rather than an adjudication upon a proprietary right.’ The right of …
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Barnsley & ors v Noble [2016] EWCA Civ 799

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

Michael and Philip Noble were brothers who built up a substantial property empire known as the Noble Organisation. It had a complex ownership and management structure involving a number of companies and partnerships and certain trusts for the benefit of their respective families. Michael died in 2006. The executors were Philip, his widow Gillian, and John Barnsley (an accountant associated with PricewaterhouseCoopers). There was a demerger of the business side and property side of the Noble Organisation with Philip taking the business assets and Gill taking the property assets. This was ...

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution & ors v Headley & anr [2016] EWHC 1948 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | October 2016 #163

Evelyn Irene Farmer (the deceased) died on 12 January 1996 leaving a will dated 10 August 1993 (the will). The claimants were five of the ten charitable remaindermen under the trusts created under the will. They took absolutely upon the deaths of the deceased’s son and daughter in law. The deceased’s son was deceased but the daughter in law was still alive, and consequently the claimants’ interests were yet to fall into possession. The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s estate.

In 2007, the defendants wrote to the claimants enclosing an interim...

Asset Protection: Unauthorised access

Peter Steen and Bethan Byrne consider firewall legislation and analyse the continued conflict with the English Family Division ‘This article explores what chinks there are in the armour of offshore jurisdictions and considers how efforts are increasingly being made to sidestep the firewall rules.’The current buzzwords of the offshore worlds are ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’. In …
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Blades v Isaac [2016] EWHC 601 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2016 #159

The claimant was a member of a class of objects of a discretionary trust created by the will of Valerie Mary Lee who died on 19 June 2013. The defendants, who were partners in Tanners Solicitors LLP, were the trustees (including the sole proving executor). The relationship between the claimant and her elder sister (who had been added to the class of potential beneficiaries after the death of their mother) was affected by a history of strains between members of the family. The first defendant proved the will on 28 January 2014 in relation to an estate valued at £903,574. The second defend...

Appleby Corporate Services v Citco Trustees 17 ITELR 413

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | April 2016 #158

In March 2000 a settlor transferred about US$10m to a company registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI). In December 2000 the settlor then settled the entire issued share capital of the company upon a BVI discretionary trust. The beneficiaries of the trust were the settlor’s wife and children and the trustee was the defendant company. The trust deed gave the defendant all the powers and immunities set out in what is now the Second Schedule to the Trustee Act (BVI). On the same day in December the defendant and the company entered into an investment management agreemen...

Trusts: Following in the footsteps of Schmidt

Keith Robinson discusses a case concerning the disclosure of information to beneficiaries and the role of the protector ‘The Court of Appeal pointed out that the decision of whether or not to make disclosure under clause 9.2 is that of the trustees and not the protector (who only has a power of consent).’It is now …
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Offshore Trustees: Are you watching closely?

Andrew Willins and Sebastian Said examine a case which has lessons on liability and its proper limitation for trustees ‘Courts in the BVI and the Cayman Islands have rightly set their face against reducing the general law duties to such a level as to render them meaningless.’It is comparatively rare to encounter judgments from the …
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