Baker & anr v Dunne & ors [2016] EWHC 2318 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

This case involved an application made by the claimants, as trustees of the will trust of the late Jean Montgomery, for Beddoe relief (‘the deceased’). The trustees seek Beddoe relief in respect of implementing an order for possession.

The defendants are the deceased’s three children who are equal beneficiaries under her will trust. The application was opposed by the first defendant, ‘Jonathan’, but supported by the second and third defendants.

The trustees had previously applied for an order for possession against Jonathan an...

Barnsley & ors v Noble [2016] EWCA Civ 799

November 2016 #164

Michael and Philip Noble were brothers who built up a substantial property empire known as the Noble Organisation. It had a complex ownership and management structure involving a number of companies and partnerships and certain trusts for the benefit of their respective families. Michael died in 2006. The executors were Philip, his widow Gillian, and John Barnsley (an accountant associated with PricewaterhouseCoopers). There was a demerger of the business side and property side of the Noble Organisation with Philip taking the business assets and Gill taking the property assets. This was ...

Butler & anr v Butler & anr [2016] EWHC 1793 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

The parties were siblings who jointly owned 502 items of 17th century Chinese porcelain gifted to them by their father between 1987 and 1993 (the Butler Family Collection (the BFC)).

In 2012 the defendants and their father formed a partnership to own and merchandise another 208 such items (formerly owned by their father).

After their father’s death disagreement arose as to what should become of the BFC. The claimants sought to have it distributed. The defendants wished to keep it in tact and made available for scholarly study and exhibition and to exploit certain items comm...

Davies & anr v Davies [2013] EWHC 2623 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

Tegwyn and Mary Davies purchased a dairy farm known as Henllan in West Wales in 1972. It comprised a farmhouse, an attached cottage, outbuildings, and 182 acres of land. It was farmed with a nearby farm also owned by them known as Caeremlyn which they had purchased in 1961 (together ‘the farm’). The respondent, Eirian was one of their three daughters. By 1989, she was the only child left at the farm. She had a passionate interest in pedigree milking cows which was the main business of the farm, and it was by this stage clear that she was the only possible candidate to take it...

Davis v Wiggett [2016] UKUT 358 (TCC)

November 2016 #164

Mr Davis employed Mr Wiggett in his building business from 2007 to 2011. According to Mr Wiggett, they had a common intention to purchase a flat, do it up and let it out. As he already had a mortgage, 68b Queen’s Road, Cheltenham (the flat) was bought in Mr Davis’ sole name for £137,500 in 2008 and, by virtue of their express agreement, on which he relied to his detriment by contributing to the purchase price and working on the property, Mr Wiggett claimed to be a beneficial co-owner under a common intention constructive trust and entitled to half of the equity. Mr Davis, on ...

Erceg v Erceg & ors [2016] NZCA 7

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...

Gorbunova v Estate of Boris Berezovsky & ors [2016] EWHC 1829 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

B had been involved in litigation against A and the AP family (the litigation) from which he potentially stood to recover large sums of money. The claimant, G, was B’s long-term partner. In March 2012 the litigation deed was drawn up to reflect agreement between B and G regarding G’s entitlement to B’s assets (including the litigation). B subsequently lost his case against A and entered into settlement discussions with the AP family. The litigation agreement was a further document signed in September 2012 to reflect an agreement between B and G concerning her entitlement to any sums from...

Poole & anr v Everall & anr [2016] EWHC 2126 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

This was a challenge to the formal and substantial validity of the last will of David Poole (the testator) dated 26 December 2012 (the December will) on the grounds of want of due execution, want of knowledge and approval, lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence.

The testator (who died on 19 March 2013) had suffered severe physical and psychiatric injuries following a motorcycle accident in 1985. The December will had been prepared by Mr Everall, the first respondent, who had been the testator’s paid carer/’supporting landlord’ since 1994. The December ...

Routier & anr v HMRC [2014] EWHC 3010 (Ch)

November 2016 #164

This appeal concerned whether a disposition in the will of the late Mrs Beryl Coulter (the deceased) is exempt from inheritance tax because it comprises property which is given to charities within the meaning of s23 of the Inheritance Tax Act 1984 (the IHTA). The appellants are the executors of the deceased’s estate.

The deceased died on 9 October 2007. In her will dated 1 October 2007 she left a number of pecuniary legacies. Her residuary estate was held on trust by the executors (the Coulter Trust) for ‘such incorporated body as may be set ...