Trusts: After Marley

Mike Muston reviews a case which indicates that the courts will take a ‘common sense’ approach to construction and rectification ‘The case of Millar provides further confirmation, following on from the Supreme Court decision in Marley, that courts will approach cases of construction and rectification on a practical and common-sense basis.’ The case of Millar …
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Wills: Generation gain

Amanda Noyce outlines the lessons from a case concerning how a disputed share of a settlement fund should be assigned ‘The question that the Public Trustee sought to have determined was whether, according to the terms of the settlement, David‘s share accrued to the share that was held for his brother, Jeffery, and so was …
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Ong v Ping [2017] EWHC Civ 2069

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

Morgan J had held that the late Lim Lie Hoa (Madam Lim) had until her death in 2009 held the house, its proceeds of sale and other rights relating to it upon the trusts of a settlement dated 14 December 1985 signed by her and by the appellant Ong Siauw Ping (Ping), her son. 


Ping had opposed the claim that the house was held upon the declared or any trust. The only issues raised by the appeal were: (i) whether Madam Lim made a declaration of trust in respect of the house; and, if she did, (ii) whether it was ‘manifested and proved’ by the writing requirements of s53(1)(b)

Construction: Dubious drafting

Sapna Garg examines a recent case on contractual interpretation ‘What can we take from this case? It is a trite point, but surely there is no clearer illustration of how failing to draft a contract clearly and unambiguously can land the parties in a lengthy and costly dispute.‘ At the start of a new business …
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Trust deeds: Filling in the blanks

Emilia Piskorz considers the weight given to subject matter certainty in a Court of Appeal case ‘Even though the trust deed did not refer to the property, given the correspondence, the reasonable man would conclude that Madam Lim believed that the property was held on the trusts of the deed she executed.‘ In a judgment …
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Construction: Brick by brick

Claire King analyses recent judicial trends in the contractual interpretation of construction contracts ‘What has sometimes been used as a “get out of jail card” (ie arguing business common sense to escape an otherwise harsh result) is going to be an increasingly hard card to use in the future.’The key to resolving disputes is all …
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Contract: Nohow or contrariwise

Paul Brehony and William Gow consider the pendulum of case law in contractual interpretation ‘Parties should draft express provisions to clarify intention and not rely on pre-contractual representations or negotiations.’In Investors Compensation Scheme Ltd v West Bromwich Building Society [1997], Leggatt LJ cited Alice Through the Looking Glass when rejecting the interpretation adopted by the …
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Trusts: When is a ‘trust’ not a trust?

Katherine Hallett highlights a case that demonstrates the weight the court gives to the fact matrix when considering a possible declaration of trust ‘Practitioners should not refer to a “trust” unless they do actually intend to import the full legal meaning of that word into their document.’ Mr and Mrs Singha divorced in 2010. A …
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Gorbunova v Estate of Boris Berezovsky & ors [2016] EWHC 1829 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

B had been involved in litigation against A and the AP family (the litigation) from which he potentially stood to recover large sums of money. The claimant, G, was B’s long-term partner. In March 2012 the litigation deed was drawn up to reflect agreement between B and G regarding G’s entitlement to B’s assets (including the litigation). B subsequently lost his case against A and entered into settlement discussions with the AP family. The litigation agreement was a further document signed in September 2012 to reflect an agreement between B and G concerning her entitlemen...

Break Notices: The letter of the law

Martin McKeague provides tips on exercising commercial lease breaks ‘Once the decision has been made to seek to bring a commercial lease to an end, the failure to serve a valid break notice can have drastic consequences.’Focusing on the core of a business can be a sensible strategy when it comes to improving efficiency. It …
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