Berger v Berger [2013] EWCA Civ 1305

January/February 2014 #136

The appellant, who was in her mid-80s and in poor health, was the widow of the deceased who had died on 26 June 2005. Both parties had children by previous marriages, and were together for 36 years. The deceased’s estate totalled approximately £7.5m and consisted of a large matrimonial home in Surrey, a half share in a property in Arizona, three properties in London and a controlling holding of shares in a property development company. By his last will (the will) the deceased, after appointing the appellant and his two sons to be executors and trustees, gave his share in the proper...

Re English & American Insurance Co Ltd; Re the Trustee Act 1925 HC13C02801

January/February 2014 #136

This was an application by the trustees of a trust arrangement forming part of Schemes of Arrangement following the insolvency of English & American Insurance Company Ltd (EAIC). The trustees were unable to make distributions to the vast majority of beneficiaries under the trust owing to the existence of a small subset of beneficiaries who potentially had rights under the fund. Accordingly the trustees made an application under s57 of the Trustee Act 1925 for power to apportion the trust fund or alternatively for power to make interim distributions either under the court’s...

Re Frost; Kloosman v Aylen & ors [2013] EWHC 435 (Ch)

January/February 2014 #136

Richard Frost (the deceased) died on 4 March 2008. He left a will, dated 26 September 2007, which distributed his estate as to one-third to each of his daughters, Linda Aylen and Susan Frost, one-sixth to his estranged son Andrew Frost and one-twelfth to each of Andrew’s children. At the time of making his will the deceased had no concept of how much his house was worth and he had no intention of selling it, although he had been living with Linda and her family since April 2007.

In November 2007 the deceased’s house was sold and he received net proceeds of £353,480. T...

Pearce v Beverley [2013] EWHC 2627 (Ch)

January/February 2014 #136

John Pearce (Mr Pearce) died on 23 July 2008. His daughter, the claimant, challenged the validity of a will purportedly made by Mr Pearce on 20 June 2007 (the will) on grounds of lack of capacity and want of knowledge and approval, and also challenged a number of lifetime transactions said to be procured by the defendant’s undue influence.

Mr Pearce’s second marriage broke down in 2004 and he consequently became lonely and depressed. His health was generally deteriorating. He suffered from partial kidney failure, which was first noted in March 2005, and by 2006 from s...

Sharma v Sharma & ors [2013] EWCA Civ 1287

January/February 2014 #136

In April 2003 qualified dentist Anushika Sharma acquired her first dental practice. In January 2007 she acquired a second practice and in July 2007 she was provided with an opportunity to purchase a third. This opportunity prompted a family meeting to discuss Anushika’s expanding empire. Jagesh Sharma (Sunny), Keshbala Sharma and Rajesh Sharma (Anushika’s then husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law respectively) and Anushika were in attendance. During this meeting it was determined that a company (ADC Ltd) would be set up to purchase the third practice rather than Anushika...

Sylvester v Sylvester HC11C00458

January/February 2014 #136

The deceased was born in Carriacou on 20 July 1925. She married her husband in 1953. He moved to London for work in the 1950s. She joined him in 1957. She died in London on 18 February 2008 aged 82, leaving a will dated 7 October 2007. The court had to decide whether she was domiciled in Carriacou or London at the date of her death in order to establish if it had jurisdiction to entertain a claim by the claimant pursuant to the Inheritance Act 1975 for reasonable financial provision out of the estate. The issue of domicile was ordered to be tried as a preliminary issue by an ord...

Tchenguiz-Imerman v Imerman [2013] EWHC 3627

January/February 2014 #136

Beneficiaries of a number of offshore discretionary trusts were joined as parties on their application to contested financial remedy proceedings. The court had made an order that these beneficiaries should disclose copies of documents provided to them for the purposes of an application that had been made to the Royal Court of Jersey (RCtJ) by the trustee of some of those trusts. The RCtJ had given the beneficiaries permission to make such disclosure if they were ordered to do so but expressed concerns about and invited the court not to require such disclosure [2012] (2) JLR 51.

T...

Wise v Jimenez & anr HC12CO0367

January/February 2014 #136

In 2007 the defendant Mr Jimenez (J) became involved in the development of a golf course in France and gathered together a number of investors including the claimant Mr Wise (W), then a close friend of his, who provided £500,000 to invest in the project. The money was procured by means of a loan from Coutts and Co of £350,000 together with funds from two other accounts held by W. It was transferred to the account of a dormant company, the second defendant, CD Investments Ltd (CDI) set up by W and now in liquidation, and hence to an account with HiFX in J’s name in the form of €...

Ben Nevis (Holdings) Ltd & anr v HMRC [2013] EWCA Civ 578

January/February 2014 #136

David King, a South African businessman, is the owner of Ben Nevis, a company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. Following various hearings and appeals, Ben Nevis was found liable to the Commissioner for the South Africa Revenue Service (SARS) for taxes of Rand 2.6bn (approximately £222m) for the 1998, 1999 and 2000 tax years. In March 2011 judgment was entered against Ben Nevis in South Africa for this sum.

SARS alleged that Mr King transferred Ben Nevis’ assets to Metlinka Trading Ltd when he learned of the tax investigations and £7.8m was credited to a London ba...