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Guidance on Hastings-Bass Relief Given by Guernsey Court of Appeal


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The Court of Appeal of Guernsey has handed down judgment overturning the controversial decision of the Royal Court of Guernsey in M v St Anne’s Trustees Limited. Nicolas Stallworthy QC and Saaman Pourghadiri have been advising the Appellant in relation to the case. The judgment can be found here.

The Guernsey Court of Appeal’s judgment offers guidance on the application of the so called rule in Hastings-Bass following the Supreme Court’s judgment in Pitt v Holt [2013] 2 AC 108. This includes:

  1. a discussion of whether the duty of adequate deliberation can properly be described as a fiduciary duty;
  2. finding that there is no requirement for the breach of fiduciary duty to have caused loss to the trust fund or beneficiary qua beneficiary before the Hastings Bass jurisdiction is engaged;
  3. finding that once the Hastings Bass jurisdiction is engaged there is no further requirement of unconscionability before a court will exercise its discretion to grant relief;
  4. guidance on the matters the court should and should not take into account when exercising its discretion.

Jennifer Seaman‘s analysis of the first instance decision, published in Trusts and Trustees, can be found here.

If you would like to discuss the matters arising in this case or mistakes in trustee decision making more generally, with Nicolas, Jennifer or Saaman please do not hesitate to contact their clerks Dave Scothern and Matt Sale.


Barristers: Nicolas Stallworthy QC | Jennifer Seaman | Saaman Pourghadiri
Categories: News