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...

Todd v Parsons [2020] WTLR 305

Spring 2020 #178

T died in 2009, aged 96 years, leaving two adult children, her son, who was the claimant (C), and her daughter, who was the third defendant (D3). By a will document dated 25 September 2008, T appointed the first defendant (D1) and the second defendant (D2) as her executors. D1 was the daughter of D3 and T’s only grandchild. D2 was the solicitor who drafted the will document. Both remained neutral in the proceedings.

In June 2017, C brought a claim for probate in solemn form of the will document and for an order removing D1 and D2 as executors and appointing an independent personal...

Routier & ors v HMRC [2020] WTLR 281

Spring 2020 #178

C died in 2007 in Jersey, leaving her residuary estate on trust (the trust) for purposes that were agreed to have been exclusively charitable under English law. C directed in her will that the proper law of the trust was the law of Jersey. The appellants, who were domiciled in Jersey, were appointed to be C’s executors and the trustees of the trust. C’s estate included assets in the United Kingdom amounting to £1.7m. In 2010 the appellants retired as trustees (but not as executors) and were replaced by a UK resident trustee. C’s will was then amended so as to make the proper law of the T...

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...

Perry v Neupert [2020] WTLR 199

Spring 2020 #178

The claimants were the widow and the daughter of the deceased who died on 8 March 2015. The deceased executed an English will (“the Will”) dealing with his UK assets and appointing a Swiss lawyer (the 1st defendant) as his executor and trustee. The widow (the 1st claimant) was the sole beneficiary of the English estate. There was a breakdown of relations between the 1st claimant and the 1st defendant. The daughter (the 2nd claimant) supported the widow. The claimants applied for an order under s50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 removing the 1st de...

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...

Hendry v Hendry & Pertiwi [2020] WTLR 175

Spring 2020 #178

The claimant, who was born in the Philippines, married Michael Frederick Hendry (the deceased) on 31 October 2003. He was 20 years older and already had three adult children. They entered into a pre-nuptial agreement which provided that in the event of the marriage failing the claimant would receive a lump sum of £10,000 and a one-way flight to the Philippines. In the event, they separated on 24 June 2016. The deceased made a will on 6 August 2016 dividing his residuary estate equally between the first and second defendants and appointing the third defendant as executor. The claimant pet...

Re H Trust v P and Others [2020] WTLR 167

Spring 2020 #178

Held:

1) On the wording of the trust deed, the protectors of the trust had to act jointly. The unilateral designation of the first successor protector was therefore invalid, as was his purported designation of P as his successor protector.

2) Since the powers of the protector under the trust deed – the power to remove and appoint trustees, power to move the situs of the trust and authority to require and approve accounts – were fiduciary, and since the personal characteristics of the individual originally appointed by the trust deed were not essential to the exercise of t...

Foster v HMRC [2020] WTLR 145

Spring 2020 #178

Susan Elizabeth Foster (“Deceased”) owned 6.39 acres of agricultural land at Wolverhampton Road, Shifnal, Shropshire (“Site”). In March 2004 she entered into a joint venture agreement (“JVA”) with a developer who already owned adjoining land known as the Uplands just outside the defined development boundary of Shifnal. The site, which was located outside the boundary as defined in the local plan proposals map, was shown as “safeguarded land” (i.e. land removed from the green belt and identified as having the potential to meet future development needs beyond the plan period). The Deceased...