Confidential: Re the X Trust
James Gleeson and Bobby Christie are instructed for the Defendant Trustees, in a breach of trust claim brought by the Plaintiff Beneficiaries for c. £19 million. The case may in due course produce significant authority concerning the extent to which trustees must take control of companies held in trust structures where family members who are in dispute are involved at company level. The case also raises issues concerning advice as a defence and the ambit of Lord Walker’s assessment in Pitt v Holt. The claim is extremely document-heavy and factually complicated, and if it goes to trial will include evidence of many tens of thousands of documents and a trial of up to a month. Giles Richardson of Serle Court is also advising.
Re Z Trust  JRC 031, 196C and 214
Craig Swart continues to advise the incoming trustee (Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees SA) in the long running saga involving the Z Trusts, two Jersey trusts that have suffered substantial losses leading to deficiencies in assets. The trustees (Volaw and Barclays respectively) sought directions in early 2015 as to the ongoing administration of the trusts. The case is ground breaking in that it defines (1) the duties of trustees dealing with “insolvent” trusts; (2) the competing rights of creditors and beneficiaries; and (3) the fetters on fiduciaries’ (including protectors’) powers that arise. It also confirms that the court’s supervisory jurisdiction is wide ranging permitting it to impose a “winding up” type regime in certain limited circumstances. The firm is advising in conjunction with Tom Smith QC.
J v Tully  JRC 110
James Gleeson was instructed to act for the wife in these proceedings. Our client sought disclosure from a Jersey Trustee about a Trust through a Letter of Request issued under the Hague Convention on Taking of Evidence Abroad, a little-used method for obtaining such disclosure. The trustees refused to give any disclosure, challenging the request. The Court gave judgment confirming that the method was valid and made a broad pronouncement about showing comity to foreign courts. The trustees’ were ordered to give disclosure and pay our client’s costs. The decision has been seen as an important development by both Family and Trust lawyers, not only in Jersey but also in England in particular. It is now the leading Jersey case on the correct approach to this method of obtaining disclosure against a trustee. We acted in conjunction with Italian and US law firms.
Re the Z Trust  JRC 048
James Dickinson and Guillaume Staal acted on behalf of the principal beneficiary and James Dickinson as guardian of minor beneficiaries of his family line in administrative proceedings brought by a purported trustee, which were heard in private. The proceedings involved members of a Royal Family and involved allegations of invalid appointments of trustees, invalid addition and exclusion of beneficiaries, allegations of forgery of documents and claims of mental incapacity. The firm successfully applied for one of Jersey’s first statutory Hastings Bass and mistake orders pursuant to which the principal beneficiary the Court set aside the appointments of two purported trustees in order to avoid horrendous UK tax consequences. Guillaume Staal appeared at the hearing of the application which was granted by a judgment ( JRC 48) which also clarified, in detail, the Court’s powers to ratify actions of invalidly appointed trustees. Richard Wilson QC of Serle Court and Lynton Tucker of New Square Chambers were engaged to act on behalf of the principal beneficiary and Jonathan Riley of Michelmores provided an expert tax opinion.
In the matter of the X Trust
James Dickinson and Robert Christie act in proceedings brought against a professional trustee. The Plaintiff, who was an economic co-settlor of the trust, claims that the trust is a partial sham on the grounds that it does not take account of either his status as an economic co-settlor or his status as a beneficiary of the trust. Claims are also brought against the trustee for breach of trust for failing to take account of the Plaintiff’s interest in the trust, when paying away trust assets.
Confidential: In the matter of the X Trust
James Gleeson is instructed to advise two beneficiaries of a very substantial family trust, which had been the subject of a dispute between branches of the family. The trust fund is valued at approximately US$100 million. There is a related Cayman family trust which holds substantial properties in Spain and France also valued at approximately US$100 million. The dispute had been mediated, apparently successfully, but the implementation of the agreement had been left incomplete. The contentious issues included the board composition of the corporate trustee of a Jersey trust, whether the Jersey trust and a Cayman trust (which was a beneficiary of the Jersey trust, and reliant on distributions) should be consolidated and, if so, which of those two trusts should be collapsed into the other. The Swiss firm Lenz & Staehelin are advising, in conjunction with Tom Lowe QC.
In the matter of the X Trust
James Dickinson and Guillaume Staal represent beneficiaries of a trust, in circumstances where a a land-owning company, which was a trust asset, was struck off and later dissolved, with the consequence that it is now alleged that the land is held bona vacantia by the Crown. Dickinson Gleeson are instructed by Michelmores LLP.
In the matter of the Estate of X
James Dickinson and James Gleeson continue to act for different executors in relation to issues arising in the long running administration of the estate of an ultra HNWI.