Rettendon Parish Council v Hart & ors [2020] EWHC 2221 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2020 #180

On 5 December 1861 an award made under the Inclosure Act 1845 created two separate charitable trusts of plots of land within the parish of Rettendon in Essex: the Allotment for Exercise and Recreation (charity number 271480) and the Allotment for the Labouring Poor (charity number 271479).

The claimant was the local civil parish council, established by s1(1) of the Local Government Act 1894. The defendants were current or former members of the parish council. Between 2013 and 2017 a series of appointments of individual parish councillors as trustees of t...

Charities: Parish duties

A parish council also acting as a charity trustee can result in confusion over where duties lie. Ian Blaney and Michael Anderson discuss an illuminating case Parish councils cannot be a trustee of a charity established for ecclesiastical purposes, nor accept a gift of property for the relief of poverty. Parish councils (or in Wales, …
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Charities: Joined-up thinking

When is a charity not a charity? When it is a club. Timothy Sherwin explains Practitioners should be careful in the drafting of membership provisions in any charity, and especially those charities which rely on s5 of the 2011 Act, in order to ensure that they do not restrict entry to the membership more than …
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David Roberts Art Foundation v Riedweg [2019] EWHC 1358 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Autumn 2019 #176

The claimant was a registered charitable company and the owner of 15a and 37 Camden High Street, London, SW1 7JE (the property). In or around November 2016 the claimant’s directors decided to sell the property and instructed Robert Irving Burns (RIB) to market it. Following a targeted marketing campaign, the defendant made a formal bid to buy the property for £8,000,000. Heads of terms were agreed on 22 December 2016.

On 10 January 2017, the claimant instructed Mr Bryn Williams of DTZ Tie Leung Ltd (trading as Cushman & Wakefield) (CW) to prepare a report. A report was ...

Charities: Tainted gifts

What should charity trustees do when they cannot even give money away? Josh Lewison discusses ‘If the point of the charity is to improve the public standing of the Lecter family, and it can no longer achieve that goal, then there may be nothing to be gained by continuing.’ A number of recent news items …
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Charities: Beware the reverter

Michael Fletcher, David Whittington and Clifford Woodroffe outline the implications of the reverter for charity trustees ‘Reverter occurs when the property ceases to be used for such of the purposes of the relevant Act of Parliament as are specified in the trust deed. Once it has occurred, it is irreversible.’ A potential trap for the …
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Charities: Take heed

The Charity Commission is using its power to issue official warnings to trustees. Paul Ridout and Jelena Serbic analyse a high-profile case with tips for best practice ‘In times when public confidence in the sector is already shaken, an official warning is likely to have negative ramifications for any charity.’ In August 2018 the Charity …
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Charities: The limits of discretion

The Court of Appeal has indicated the extent to which it will control the exercise of discretion by fiduciaries. Robert Pearce QC discusses ‘The Chancellor’s decisions that the grant was in the best interests of the charity and his direction to L to vote in favour of it were given simultaneously, giving L no opportunity …
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Vucicevic v Aleksic Neutral citation: [2017] EWHC 2335 (Ch)

Wills & Trusts Law Reports | Winter 2018 #170

The claim was a claim dated 5 September 2016 by the claimants as personal representatives of the late Mr Veliko Aleksic (the deceased), who died on 24 October 2014, for construction of parts of the deceased’s last will. He acquired a house in London in 1960 and a house in Cardiff in 1971. 


He left a holographic will, which was undated save for bearing the year ‘2012’. It was signed but there was no attestation clause. It did not provide for the appointment of an executor. The deceased’s estate was valued at £2,750,753, including three houses, one in Montenegro, one in Cardiff, an...

Charities: Smoothing the way?

Paul Ridout and Jelena Serbic report on the Law Commission’s latest proposals for changes to charity law ‘The changes proposed are technical but important, with real practical consequences for charities, including the removal of some of the inconsistencies and complexity that can make charity law difficult to apply and regulate.’In August 2017 the Law Commission …
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