Contentious Trusts

Having acted for trust corporations and trust entities for many years, our dispute resolution team has extensive expertise in trust and trust-related disputes, both onshore and offshore.

Trust disputes often present a very particular set of difficulties and legal issues, many of which derive from a trustee’s special responsibility as fiduciary. These may relate to how costs are dealt with, the protection of trustees from personal liability, breaches of trustees’ obligations and challenges over the administration of the trust.

Our client base comprises international trust companies, wealthy private clients, professional trustees and executors.

In addition to advising on contentious trust or estate matters, we also provide ongoing advice in relation to administrative risk regulation to avoid problems arising in the future.

Areas in which we have particular expertise include:

  • Trustees’ liability for breach of trust
  • Beddoes applications
  • Representation of offshore trustees joined or wishing to intervene in English matrimonial proceedings
  • Claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • Disputed wills – undue influence testamentary capacity
  • Court administration of a trust/settlement or directions as to their proper construction
  • Removal of trustees from office
  • Trustees’ costs in court proceedings
  • Tax hearings before the Special Commissioners

For legal updates and news, please visit The Wealth Lawyer blog.

Fladgate LLP’s team is ‘excellent’ at handling high-net-worth family finances. Sophia Purkis is rated for her ‘very quick and clear responses’ and is recommended alongside the ‘very competent’ Teresa Cullen.

Legal 500 2016
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Fladgate LLP’s team is ‘excellent’ at handling high-net-worth family finances. Sophia Purkis is rated for her ‘very quick and clear responses’ and is recommended alongside the ‘very competent’ Teresa Cullen.

Legal 500

“A highly professional and cohesive firm providing the necessary support from other departments to produce a rounded service at a reasonable price.”

Chambers UK

  • Hoff v Atherton – acting in the Court of Appeal in this lead case in relation to testamentary capacity and in other significant cases.
  • Barclays Wealth and Walbrook Trustees (Jersey) Limited – acting on numerous applications relating to trustees’ duties, procedural law including: entitlements in relation to a Beddoes application and response and permission to serve a Part 20 counterclaim in Part 8 proceedings and the procedural requirements on the appellant before and after permission to appeal in relation to changes in circumstances by the appellant.
  • Dynastic trust – representing the life tenant in connection with a substantial dynastic trust and the rights in connection with divorce proceedings.
  • Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge – acting for RBS in this lead case in the House of Lords in relation to the law of undue influence between husband and wife, and in relation to other significant undue influence cases.
  • A number of wealthy overseas private individuals – acting in relation to trusts established in Jersey and the UK in the context of an enquiry in relation to them by HMRC specifically where they form part of the estate of the deceased UK domiciliary and thereafter in connection with an application for declaratory relief to protect the trusts. Further advice given in relation to complex tax aspects of the trust with HMRC and thereafter the Special Commissioners.
  • Barclays Wealth – acting in one of the most complex cost assessments between trustees and beneficiaries on the conclusion of an extremely lengthy and long running multiparty piece of litigation.
  • Settlor of two trusts – acting in connection with an application for a declaration that the trusts were void for uncertainty as to the terms upon which the trustees were to hold the trust property and therefore setting aside the trusts on the grounds of fundamental mistake (and subsequently acting in proceedings against the lawyers who drafted the trust deeds and the tax adviser who advised upon them).