This article outlines the process and grounds upon which an appeal can be made in respect of a civil judgment by the Royal Court. It also mentions recent developments in appealing judgments of the Court of Appeal to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
This article considers a recent Court of Appeal judgment regarding the interpretation of a trust instrument. This case provides helpful clarification of the principles to be applied when interpreting Guernsey law trust instruments. The Court of Appeal also helpfully confirmed that the trustee was absolutely correct in this instance to seek the court's directions.
In Guernsey, there is a relatively quick and easy process for restoring companies to the Register of Companies when they have been struck off and dissolved. Applications can be made by various parties to the Non-contentious Court, which will deal with the matter 'on the papers'. However, if a party is likely to oppose the application to restore, an application should be made to the Ordinary Court and court attendance will be required.
When considering the penalties imposed on directors of Guernsey companies for misconduct or breaches of the Companies (Guernsey) Law 2008, arguably the most serious penalty which can be imposed is a disqualification order. Such an order can, at its highest, be career ending for a director, with the maximum period of disqualification being 15 years. This article examines a recent decision in which the Royal Court imposed a disqualification period of 12 years.
The terms of a trust deed will usually extend the powers conferred on trustees by the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007. When deciding to exercise these powers, trustees must consider all of their legal and fiduciary obligations. However, it is not always that simple; at some point a trustee will be faced with a decision so important or complex that it wishes to seek the blessing of the Royal Court. In Guernsey, such applications are known as 'momentous decision' or 'blessing' applications.
Civil litigation procedure in Guernsey is governed by the Royal Court Civil Rules 2007. All commercial disputes with a value over £10,000 are heard in the Royal Court; disputes with a lower value are dealt with in the Magistrate's Court. This article outlines the procedure for civil proceedings in Guernsey, which differs depending on whether the defendant is in or outside Guernsey.
The long-running Carlyle case recently came to an end when the parties reached a non-confidential settlement. The case arose from the March 2008 collapse of Carlyle Capital Corporation Ltd, a Guernsey fund which invested mainly in residential mortgage-backed securities issued by US government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The case is of particular relevance now during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will likely lead to more fund collapses.
Unlike in England, pre-trial disclosure against a third party is generally not available in Guernsey. However, there are exceptions to this rule. This article sets out the main exceptions – namely, claims for personal injury or in respect of a person's death, ancillary orders to freezing injunctions, Anton Piller orders, Norwich Pharmacal orders and Bankers Trust orders.
The Royal Court recently brought an end to an important chapter in a long-running dispute regarding control of the exploration and exploitation of the oil and gas reserves of Georgia. This judgment makes it clear that liquidators can approach the court to approve a significant decision that they have taken to enter into a transaction and that such decision is akin to a Public Trustee v Cooper blessing of a momentous decision in a trusts context.
There are two routes for the enforcement of foreign judgments in Guernsey. The statutory method is available only for judgments from certain jurisdictions which can be registered in Guernsey following a specified statutory process. For all other countries, a judgment creditor must rely on common law principles to have a judgment recognised and thereafter enforced in Guernsey.
Where a potential judgment debtor in onshore proceedings threatens to dissipate its assets, the plaintiff may face a pyrrhic victory with no assets against which to enforce its judgment. Where the defendant is a Guernsey company or has assets in Guernsey, the Royal Court has statutory jurisdiction to grant an injunction in aid of those foreign proceedings, including freezing injunctions to prevent defendants dealing with the relevant assets in Guernsey.
In a recent case, the Guernsey Court of Appeal upheld the deputy bailiff's interpretation of Section 53(3) of the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007 that a sole beneficiary can use that section of the law to terminate a discretionary trust even if the trust instrument contains a power to add further beneficiaries.