Claims against trustees

Our international team has a wealth of experience in advising both trustees and beneficiaries in all kinds of trust disputes.

Typically, the claims center on issues of breach of trust or fiduciary duty. We act in ‘friendly' disputes, where the court simply gives guidance on how best to resolve a particular trust or estate problem; if the matter cannot be sorted out this way or the parties are ‘hostile', we prosecute or defend on behalf of our client as necessary.

We have also co-ordinated or advise on litigation in various jurisdictions where a trust's validity is under attack, for example from divorcing spouses, creditors or tax authorities.

Many of our clients are professional trustees located in offshore trust centres, including the Channel Islands, Cayman Islands and Bermuda, but we also act for trustees in the UK. We represent beneficiaries of both domestic and offshore trusts.

Recent work

  • Acting for the second defendant in the reported case of Barnes & Others v Tomlinson & Others, in which our client was alleged by the settlor and beneficiaries to have been overpaid while acting as a trustee of a family settlement. Having looked in detail at the trust's affairs over a 30-year period, the court dismissed the claim and awarded our client indemnity costs.
  • Acting for the trustees of a settlement that came under attack from the deceased's son who claimed that the trust was a sham. He also launched proceedings in Greece to try to enforce his inheritance rights but to no avail.
  • Acting for the trustees of a Canadian settlement in respect of a claim advanced by the executors of an Australian estate that the trustees did not have legal title to assets transferred to the trust by a beneficiary. Proceedings issued in Australia and England.

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