Disclosure: Considering entitlement

William Moffett examines when trust information should be disclosed to beneficiaries and the importance of holding trustees to account ‘Beneficiaries with fixed interests, as distinct from discretionary beneficiaries, can reasonably expect disclosure to be made to them by trustees, or to receive the assistance of the court in obtaining disclosure if it is refused to …
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Disclosure: Uncovering trustees‘ reasons

The Court of Appeal has provided beneficiaries with an alternative avenue for seeking disclosure against a trustee. Sophie Holcombe explains ‘The Court of Appeal expressly stated that it would not be correct to refuse to exercise the court‘s discretion to order compliance “because this disclosure could not be obtained from the trustees under the governing …
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Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLP Neutral citation: [2017] EWCA Civ 74

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2018 #171

The appellants were beneficiaries of a number of Bahamian trusts; the respondent solicitors (‘TW’) act on behalf of the trustee of these trusts. On 4 August 2014, the appellants served a subject access request (‘SAR’) on TW, requesting disclosure of the personal data relating to the appellants held by TW as the solicitors for the trustee. The appellants were not satisfied by TW’s response to the SAR. They therefore applied to the court to exercise its discretion under s.7(9) of the Data Protection Act 1998 (‘DPA’), and grant a declaration that TW had not complied with t...

Lewis v Tamplin [2018] EWHC 777 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Spring 2018 #171

The claimants/applicants brought a part 8 claim, as beneficiaries of a trust of land in Glamorgan known as the Tamplin trust, for disclosure of documents and information by the defendant/respondent trustees. This claim was founded on the basis that the trustees owe a duty to account to the beneficiaries for their stewardship of the trust assets. They also made an application for pre-action disclosure; the court gave judgment on both matters.

The defendants opposed both the claim and the application on a number of grounds. Firstly, the beneficiaries had already received sufficient ...

Disclosure: A new dawn?

James Lister evaluates whether the Court of Appeal has established a new approach to disclosure and data protection ‘While in principle there are some potentially alarming consequences of this decision (Dawson-Damer & ors v Taylor Wessing LLP & ors [2016]) for trustees and their advisers in particular, it must be borne in mind that the …
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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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Erceg v Erceg & ors [2016] NZCA 7

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | November 2016 #164

The Acorn Foundation trust and the Independent Group trust (‘trusts’) were established by the late Michael Erceg (‘settlor’) in the early 2000’s. The appellant, who was a brother of the Settlor, was included within the classes of both discretionary and ultimate beneficiaries of each of the trusts. He was adjudicated bankrupt on 2 February 2010 and his estate vested in the Official Assignee under the Insolvency Act 2006. He was not discharged from bankruptcy until 12 May 2014 by which time the trusts had been wound up without any distribution being made to the appellant. Having u...

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...

Trusts: The importance of judicial discretion

The Guernsey Court of Appeal affirms the scope of the jurisdiction conferred by Article 51 of the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007. Hannah Southon and Alison Meek explain ‘While some of the considerations discussed in BCD may be relevant, a more flexible test is required in order for the court to achieve justice on behalf of …
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Re X (Trust) [2012] JRC 171

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | May 2013 #129

The plaintiff/representors (A and B) are the principal beneficiaries of X Trust, a discretionary trust governed by the law of Jersey with the first defendant/respondent (C) being the sole trustee. There are other stipendiary beneficiaries.

It is a large trust and owns shares in a public quoted company that have plummeted in value. No claim in respect of this loss has been made. However, there are other losses totalling nearly £100m and A and B wish to bring a breach of trust claim in respect of these losses.

If A and B are successful in their claim they will not personall...