Trusts are most commonly used by individuals as a method of preserving or generating wealth. However, trusts are increasingly being used by businesses in commercial transactions, including financial transactions, trusts of company shares, and employee benefits trusts.
Where trusts are established, there are commonly issues relating to the appointment and removal of trustees. Trustees, including professional trustees, have a duty of care to the beneficiaries of a trust, and have various statutory duties. Trustees:-
- Must not put themselves in a position where their fiduciary duties and their personal interests may conflict
- They are further forbidden from making a personal profit from their trusteeship, unless they are authorised to do so
- Must not limit their discretion to act in the future
- Must not delegate their powers, unless they are authorised to do so
Where a trustee has breached their duties, disputes often arise. The beneficiaries or fellow trustees may have the power to remove the trustee who is in breach.
Issues also arise regarding the interpretation and management of the trust, often requiring a determination from the court as to the proper course of action.
Whatever the issue, disputes relating to trusts are often highly complex, and require specialised, expert advice. Our litigation team have a wealth of experience dealing with trust litigation in the High Court. Our team recognise that these disputes are highly sensitive and disruptive, particularly when they involve commercial transactions. We strive to deal with disputes effectively and efficiently. We can advise in respect of negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. However, where court action cannot be avoided, our litigation team are tenacious in achieving the best possible result for our clients.