Chandler v Lombardi [2022] WTLR 487

Summer 2022 #187

The parties were children of Concetta Chandler, who had died on 24 January 2019. C was her son and executor. D was her daughter.

On 4 June 2018, Mrs Chandler had transferred her house into the joint names of herself and D as tenants in common in equal shares. C sought a declaration that the transfer was void and rectification of the land register to reflect this.

From 2005 (when it was purchased) until the transfer, the house had been held in Mrs Chandler’s sole name.

On 28 November 2018, D had registered with the Office of the Public Guardian a lasting power of atto...

Goodrich & ors v AB & ors [2022] WTLR 525

Summer 2022 #187

W was the founder of WBL, an internationally renowned publisher of children’s books. In 1989 W instructed solicitors to create an employee trust (WBET) for WBL and transferred 51% of the WBL shares into WBET. The remainder of the shares were divided amongst family trusts established by W.

W died in 1991 and the shares in WBL held by the family trusts were distributed to employees and officers of WBL through a qualifying employee share ownership trust and a share incentive plan. Some of those shares were acquired from employees by the WBL Employee Share Ownership Plan (ESOP).

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HM Attorney General v Zedra Fiduciary Services (UK) Ltd [2022] WTLR 557

Summer 2022 #187

The Attorney General applied for a cy-près scheme to be made pursuant to the Charities Act 2011, ss62 and 67 with respect to a charitable trust known as the National Fund. The defendant as trustee of the National Fund (the trustee) invited the court to direct an alternative scheme.

The National Fund had been established in 1928 for the purpose of the discharge of the National Debt. By the date of the hearing the National Fund held £600m, and the National Debt, as at the end of October 2021, was £2,277.6bn.

In its judgment of 20 November 2020 (...

Johnston v Wackett [2022] WTLR 575

Summer 2022 #187

Sidney Albert Johnston (the deceased) died on 27 March 2017. In prior proceedings, the deceased’s son, Colin Johnston (Colin), had brought a successful claim against the deceased’s estate under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 (the 1975 Act claim).

Following trial of the 1975 Act claim, Colin received a lump sum award of £125,000 (the award) and an order for costs.

A point of importance in the 1975 Act claim had been historic litigation between Colin and the deceased. This had resulted in a costs order being ...

Mattingley v Bugeja [2022] WTLR 601

Summer 2022 #187

Kim Mattingley (Kim) died on 28 June 2020. C was Kim’s daughter. D was Kim’s administratrix and sister (ie C’s aunt). Kim left an English will dated 31 May 2016 (the 2016 will). Letters of administration with the will annexed (limited to English assets) were granted to D.

Under the 2016 will, Kim left her residuary estate to C, but in fact there was little or no residuary estate. The 2016 will provided that Kim’s interest in 8 Crabtree Close, Ings Hill, West Malling (the property) and certain effects within it be devised absolutely to D. The 2016 will expressed a wish that D permi...

Morris v Fuirer & ors [2022] WTLR 659

Summer 2022 #187

The claimant, who was the only child of Cynthia Morris (the testatrix), was the principal beneficiary under her will dated 25 October 2000 but not under later wills made on 28 November 2006 and 14 July 2010 (the wills). The testatrix died on 7 August 2017. Under the terms of her last will, the second and third defendants were appointed as executors; pecuniary legacies were bequeathed to the claimant (£35,000), the first defendant (£70,000) and the fourth defendant (£10,000); and her residuary estate was gifted to the sixth to ninth defendants who were charities. The claimant first intima...

Skillett v Skillett [2022] WTLR 679

Summer 2022 #187

Charles Skillett (Mr Skillett) and his wife had four children. Mr Skillett owned a smallholding and, on 7 December 2010, received a market appraisal valuing the smallholding at £50,000. On 19 May 2011, Mr Skillett and his wife made mirror wills which provided, in summary, on the death of the first spouse, for the surviving spouse to take everything absolutely, and on the death of the surviving spouse, for the smallholding to be given to their eldest son, the other three children to receive £50,000 and the residuary estate to be split equally among all four children. Mrs Skillett passed a...

St Clair v King & anr [2022] WTLR 703

Summer 2022 #187

The defendants were the executors of the deceased’s last will dated 20 May 2009 (the 2009 will). The claimant, who was the stepdaughter of the deceased, challenged the 2009 will. There were seven issues at trial:

  1. (i) whether 2007 wills made by the deceased and her husband (the claimant’s father) were mutual wills such that if the 2009 will was admitted to probate, the estate needed to be administered to give effect to a constructive trust reflecting the terms of the 2007 will;
  2. (ii) whether there was a contract between the claimant and the deceased before the 2009 wi...

Womble Bond Dickinson (Trust Corporation) Ltd v No Named Defendant [2022] WTLR 765

Summer 2022 #187

By a trust instrument dated 29 April 1986 (the 1986 deed), Stephenson Clarke Shipping Ltd, a subsidiary of Powell Duffryn plc and member of the Powell Duffryn group of companies (the PD Group), as the named settlor, settled cash and securities on a discretionary trust for the benefit of employees and former employees of the PD Group (the trust). The trust defined the beneficiaries as ‘the employees and their spouses and dependants and the former employees and their spouses from time to time during the trust period [being the period expiring eighty years from the date of the trust] of the...

Boothman & ors v Horsford & anr [2022] WTLR 1

Spring 2022 #186

The claim sought removal of the defendants as executors of the estate of James and Agatha Horsford, who were the parents of the claimants and defendants.

The mother had died in December 2011 and the father had died in January 2014. It was common ground that the father’s estate was not fully administered. The claimants said this was an unconscionable delay. It was also said that the defendants had not properly accounted for their executorship and there remained outstanding questions as to what constituted his estate and what had happened to the monies within it. The defendants were...