Interactive Technology Corporation Ltd v Ferster [2021] WTLR 561

Summer 2021 #183

Judgment was handed down following a trial of a claim against a former director for breach of fiduciary duty through unauthorised remuneration. The claim was found to be established in judgment given on 15 November 2016. On 19 December 2016 there was a hearing to deal with consequential matters including the terms of order. The order made provided for judgment for equitable compensation in respect of the unauthorised remuneration.

The claimant then applied for an interim payment. The defendant objected on the basis that it was far from certain that the claimant had suffered any lo...

Guest & anr v Guest WTLR(w) 2021-05

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The respondent (who had been the claimant at first instance) was the eldest son of the two appellants. He had worked on the family farm full-time for some 33 years, until his relationship with his parents deteriorated. The respondent then brought proceedings against the appellants seeking a declaration of his entitlement to a beneficial interest in the farm on the basis of an alleged proprietary estoppel. At first instance, the court found in his favour, concluding that the first appellant had consistently and over time led the respondent to believe that he would inherit a sufficient sta...

Auden McKenzie (Pharma Division) Ltd v Patel [2020] WTLR 1133

Winter 2020 #181

This was an appeal against summary judgment on a claim for equitable compensation for £13,149,479 plus interest at 2.5% pa compounded annually.

A was a director of R. A and his sister (Ms Patel) had founded R and had been sole directors and (directly and indirectly) owned all of the shares. Between 2009 and 2014, A had caused R to pay £13,763,452 against sham invoices to Dubai companies. The Dubai companies had retained 5-10% of the invoiced sums and paid the balance to A (and Ms Patel’s) personal bank accounts, to them in cash, and to third parties for the purchase of a New York ...

O’Neill v Holland [2020] WTLR 1397

Winter 2020 #181

This was a second appeal against the decision of HHJ Pelling to overturn the trial judge’s order declaring inter alia that A was a 50% beneficial owner of A and R’s former home (the property) under a common intention constructive trust.

The trial judge had found that A’s father had bought the property in 1998 with the intention that it should be A and R’s family home. In 2008, A’s father had transferred the property to R for nil consideration. The trial judge had found that A’s father intended A to have a beneficial interest in it and had originally planned to transfer it into A a...

Sofer v SwissIndependent Trustees SA [2020] WTLR 1075

Autumn 2020 #180

The claimant was the intended beneficiary of the Puyol trust (the trust) which was created in discretionary form by Hyman Sofer (the settlor) in July 2006. The defendant was a professional trustee company based in Switzerland. The settlor was added as a ‘specified beneficiary’ while the claimant and other issue of the settlor became ‘general beneficiaries’. The trust included a power for the trustee to lend any money forming part of the trust assets to any beneficiary and there was a prohibition on the trustee paying any part of the capital to any beneficiary prior to the death of the se...

Kingsley & anr v Kingsley [2020] WTLR 593

Summer 2020 #179

The deceased and the respondent were siblings who co-owned farmland in equal shares and used it in a partnership between them (though it was not a partnership asset). After the deceased died, the respondent remained in occupation and continued to farm the land. His executors (the appellants) therefore applied for an order for sale under the Trusts of Land and Appointment of Trustees Act 1996 (TOLATA).

The appellants also claimed an occupation rent, which the respondent admitted she was liable to pay. Before trial, the appellants sought and obtained an interim ord...

Watson v Kea Investments Limited [2020] WTLR 351

Spring 2020 #178

In 2012, the claimant trustee (K) invested £129m into a joint venture (Spartan), which was alleged have been procured by the deceit of Mr Watson. The action between K and Spartan was settled, with certain agreements between Spartan and K set aside. As a result, K was entitled to treat Spartan as constructive trustee of £129m, which also gave rise to a right to interest under the equitable jurisdiction of the Court, or s35A Senior Courts Act 1981. K continued its claim against Mr Watson, who was found liable to pay equitable compensation to K of all sums which were due f...

Rossendale Borough Council v Hurstwood Properties [2020] WTLR 253

Spring 2020 #178

Two schemes to avoid the payment of National Non-domestic Rates (NDR), by granting a short lease of unoccupied properties to special purpose vehicle companies (SPVs), which were then allowed to be dissolved, either by voluntary winding up or as dormant companies. Under the NDR legislation, the liability to pay rates on unoccupied property fell on the ‘owner’, being the person entitled to possession, which would include a lessee. However, properties owned by a company being wound up voluntarily were excluded under the applicable Regulations from being subject to NDR at all.

The cla...

Price v Saundry [2020] WTLR 233

Spring 2020 #178

By Declaration of Trust dated 6 July 2009 made between the Appellant and the First Respondent’s husband the latter declared that he held the properties set out in the schedule and the net proceeds of sale and the net income until sale upon trust for the parties thereto as tenants in common in equal shares. The First Respondent became a trustee as a result of being her husband’s sole personal representative. Subsequently she appointed her brother as an additional trustee and, after his death, his executrix was substituted as a party. The Appellant brought a claim seeking an order removing...

Lomax v Lomax [2020] WTLR 191

Spring 2020 #178

The claimant made an application under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 as a widow of the deceased. She wanted the parties to engage in Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), but the defendant refused to do so. The claimant asked the court to order an ENE under CPR r3.1(2)(m).

At first instance, Parker J made it clear that she believed that an ENE would be of benefit to the parties, but declined to order this. The claimant appealed against the decision not to order an ENE.

The single issue on appeal was whether a court can order an ENE in c...