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Equity in an Age of Uncertainty: Big Data, Confidentiality & Fiduciary Liability

David Russell QC Deputy Chair of STEP Worldwide, was invited to present The QUT (Queensland University of Technology) Faculty of Law 18th Annual W A Lee Equity Lecture last week in Queensland, Australia. The W A Lee Equity Lecture is held yearly in honour of foremost equity and trusts academic and author Honorary Professor W A ‘Tony’ Lee.


As trusts are increasingly used as commercial and wealth management vehicles, they are becoming subject to regulation which is drafted without consideration of the specific needs of trusts and those connected with them. At the same time, there is an increasing disconnect between fiduciary principles and public behaviour in the political and corporate realms.

During his lecture, David highlighted a number of important issues, namely:

  • The longer term consequences of Data Protection Legislation, and specifically the decision of Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing LLC [2017] EWCA Civ 74, for trust administration
  • Disclosure of beneficial interests under the Common Reporting Standard and European Anti-Money Laundering Directives and their implications for confidentiality in trust relationships and
  • The linkage between the decline in public trust in institutions and the seeming failure of fiduciary obligations to be applied and enforced.

The lecture transcript is available to read here.

David Russell QC currently practises in Dubai, London, New York and Abu Dhabi (Outer Temple Chambers), and is Deputy Chair and a director of STEP and a member of its World Wide Council and Committees. David forms part of the award-winning Outer Temple Private Client team whose work includes: family asset and governance structure planning, estate planning, probate, inheritance disputes, the administration of estates and trust disputes.

To find out more about our work in this area, contact Matt Sale.

News 28 Nov, 2018


David Russell KC

Call: 1977 (Australia) Silk: 1986

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