The Royal Court recently considered for the first time the blessing of a momentous decision of a court-appointed representative of minor and unborn beneficiaries of a trust to enter into a settlement agreement in respect of claims against the trust. While the decision to bless the decision of the representative of the minor and unborn beneficiaries was confined to the unusual facts of this case, this decision nonetheless establishes the circumstances (albeit limited) in which the court will bless such a decision.
The Royal Court recently imposed a hefty £550,000 fine on a firm for failing to ensure that, in practice, its anti-money laundering (AML) policies and procedures were being applied effectively and consistently. Notably, the Royal Court was not deterred from imposing a fine by the fact that the failings related to only one client structure. Firms must therefore ensure that their AML controls are being applied effectively across their entire business – for, as this judgment shows, the cost of failing to do so can be high.
In a recent case, the Royal Court intervened to set aside a decision of the trustee not to make the spouse of the settlor a beneficiary in her own right. The court's decision has implications for trustees and their obligation to act reasonably despite the trustee setting out reasons for its original decision.
In a recent decision, the Royal Court considered – for the first time – whether it can exercise a foreign statutory power on the application of a trustee of a foreign trust. The court concluded that it can do so as a matter of principle and went on to exercise an English statutory power so as to permit the trustees of a trust governed by English law to self-deal. The judgment is a welcome one for trustees in two particular respects.
A long-running Jersey fraud case illustrates the difficult task that the Channel Island courts sometimes have in comparing and distinguishing between developed principles of English law and foundational elements of the islands' customary law. The case tackles two Jersey law 'hot potatoes': the question of the rights between wrongdoers to claim an indemnity or contribution outside the scope of the limited statutory scheme between joint tortfeasors and the extent and nature of the doctrine of unjust enrichment under Jersey law.
The Jersey Court of Appeal recently handed down a long-awaited judgment in the Z Trusts case. The decision considers important questions regarding the equitable rights of former trustees and whether those rights have priority over the rights of other claimants to the assets of a trust (including successor trustees) whose liabilities exceed its assets. As such, trustees must consider the practical implications of this judgment and whether and how they should be mitigated.
The Jersey Royal Court recently ruled on the extent of its powers to restrict a party that withdraws proceedings to start afresh in a judgment that considered, for the first time, the implications of a 2014 English Court of Appeal decision on the public interest in there being finality in litigation. This is an important decision for maintaining the public interest in the finality of litigation and the efficient administration of justice.
In Summer 2017 Jersey's Royal Court Rules were amended and 11 new practice directions came into force. These aim to improve access to justice, streamline the civil justice process and, where possible, reduce the risks and costs associated with litigation by encouraging the early resolution of cases to avoid court proceedings.
Following the English Supreme Court decisions in Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter, the Jersey Royal Court has recently reconsidered the application of the Hastings-Bass principle. The principle concerns decisions of trustees where they have failed to take into account relevant considerations or have taken into account considerations that they should not have.
The Royal Court recently considered the issues stemming from the provision of information by a trustee to a beneficiary. The representor sought representation before the court in order to obtain information on the assets contained in certain trusts – not only as a beneficiary seeking to hold her trustee to account, but also in order to make her Australian tax returns and avoid being in breach of Australian law.
In a recent case an application for Beddoe relief was made to the Royal Court of Jersey by beneficiaries of a trust. The court concluded there was no reason why its inherent supervisory jurisdiction should not extend to making a Beddoe order in favour of discretionary beneficiaries, provided that certain conditions were met. The case could increase the ability of beneficiaries to hold trustees to account for wrongdoing.
The Royal Court recently delivered a judgment concerning the principles to be applied where a body of executors is deadlocked. In reaching its decision, it had to determine the role of the court, the circumstances in which the court could intervene and the basis on which it could do so. The decision clarifies the court's jurisdiction to intervene where there is disagreement between a body of executors or trustees.
A recent case considered the issue of the situs of a debt. The court accepted that what may or may not constitute 'residence' for tax purposes is irrelevant for present purposes, and that what matters is where a corporation carries on business. This case is useful for international companies that retain their registered office in one jurisdiction and carry out their business activities in alternative jurisdictions.
A recent judgment of Commissioner Clyde-Smith with Jurats Liddiard and Nicolle set aside a service of proceedings on respondents outside of Jersey and stayed the proceedings. The importance of the judgment is the court's consideration of the 'forum for administration' and 'exclusive jurisdiction' clauses in the context of trusts.