Trusts: A safe foundation

Claire Blakemore suggests that when dealing with trust assets, even the powers of the family courts have their limits ‘Any inconsistencies between how the trust is used or the trust documentation and the presentation to the court can have a significant impact on the outcome.’The law on the treatment of trusts on divorce is constantly …
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P v P [2015] EWCA Civ 447 On appeal from: [2015] WTLR 1 and [2014] EWHC 2990 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | July/August 2015 #151

A husband and wife met in 1999 and married in 2003. They had one child together, of primary school age at the time of the proceedings. In 2005 the husband and wife moved into a farmhouse owned by the husband’s parents. In 2009 the husband’s parents settled the farmhouse on a discretionary trust for the benefit of their children and remoter descendants. Subject to the power to appoint the capital and income to the discretionary beneficiaries, the farmhouse was held on trust to pay the income to the husband for life, and it was declared that the making of any land comprised wit...

Quan v Bray & ors [2014] EWHC 3340 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | June 2015 #150

In 2000 Li Quan (the wife) created a charity called Save China’s Tigers. In 2002 her husband Stuart Bray (the husband) established a fully discretionary trust in Mauritius called the Chinese Tigers South Africa Trust (CTSAT) – the sole beneficiary of which was the charity.

In July 2012 the wife was removed as a director of the charity and in August 2012 she filed for divorce and made no mention of the trust. On 17 July 2013 she filed an application by way of amendment to her form A seeking a variation of the post nuptial settlement. The core of her case being that CTSAT was ...

AB v CB & anr [2014] EWHC 2998 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | January/February 2015 #146

This was an application for ancillary relief following the wife’s divorce petition of October 2012, upon which decree nisi was pronounced on 17 April 2013. At the time of these proceedings the wife was 44 years of age, and the husband was 41. On paper, the husband had almost no assets and a modest income. However, the husband came from a family of great wealth with substantial lands in Pembrokeshire which they had owned for generations. His financial security was therefore absolutely assured.

The wife and the husband had first met in 1999. They had married in Februa...

CR v MZ & ors [2013] EWHC 295 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | March 2014 #137

Previously MZ, the husband (H) and CR, his wife (W) had lived in West Africa. Initially H’s family had been against the marriage but after two children were born to the couple the wife was fully accepted. In late 2005 H and W bought their first flat, in Belgravia (Flat A) for a total cost of £1.62m. The deposit of £155,000 was provided by FZ, H’s father (F), as well as a further £217,000 towards the purchase. The balance came by way of mortgage of £1.24m, which was guaranteed by both H and F. The property was purchased in the name of COG Limited, a company which was set up by...

M v M & ors [2013] EWHC 2534 (Fam)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | December 2013 #135

The transcript of this judgment is reported in part from para 164 onwards and starts with a discussion of the law. No part of the report provides a factual narrative.

Held (allowing the wife’s claim for financial relief):

The court had power on divorce to order a party to the marriage to transfer to the other party such property as may be so specified to which that party was entitled, either in possession or reversion. In this case almost all the wealth created by the husband during the course of the marriage was held through offshore company structures and the ques...

Divorce And Trusts: Trusting Prest

Prest emphasises that it is unfeasible for the Family Division to take a differing approach to other divisions when piercing the corporate veil. Suzanne Todd explains ‘The recent decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Prest has far-reaching effects, way beyond the boundaries of the Family Division.’ Most people are familiar with Jane …
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Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd & ors [2013] UKSC 34

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | September 2013 #132

Michael Prest (husband) and Yasmin Prest (wife) were married for 15 years and had four children before the wife petitioned for divorce in March 2008. During the marriage the matrimonial home was in England, though for most of the time the husband was found to be resident in Monaco and there was also a second home in Nevis. Petrodel Resources Ltd (PRL), which was incorporated in the Isle of Man, was the legal owner of the matrimonial home and five other residential properties in the United Kingdom. PRL was part of a group of companies, one of which was the legal owner of two more resident...

Financial Provision: Open and shut case?

James Copson considers the implications and practical consequences of the Supreme Court’s decision in Prest ‘Respondents and companies will be looking for ways of rebutting the presumption of a resulting trust – as is clear from Prest the weight of evidence will vary from case to case.’At first glance the Supreme Court ruling in Prest …
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