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Trusts, Tax, Probate & Estates

John has appeared in several important trust cases including:

  • Re Hay’s Settlement Trusts (dealing with the duties of trustees in exercising powers of appointment, the delegation of trustees’ powers and the tests for uncertainty for both trusts and powers).
  • Re Hampden’s Settlement Trusts (whether a power of advancement could validly be exercised to declare new trusts under which the object of the power does not take any benefit).
  • Re Leigh’s Settlement Trusts (whether a trustees’ power of appropriation can permit appropriations at a percentage rather than at cash value).
  • Johnstone v Rhodes (whether a discretionary settlement expressed to benefit issue of the Settlor born during the trust period, commencing at the date of the settlement, could be given a purposive construction to include as beneficiaries children of the settlor already living at that date).
  • John has also been concerned with court applications relating to the decision in Re Benham’s Will Trusts, and has recently dealt with a major case relating to the effect on existing trusts of the Human Rights Act 1998.
  • In addition John appeared in the major House of Lords litigation concerning Lloyd’s commercial premiums trust deeds, under the names of Napier v Kershaw and Lloyd’s v Robinson (whether Lloyd’s premiums trust deeds capture the litigation recoveries made by Names at Lloyd’s in respect of the negligence of their members and managing agents).
  • He was part of Legal Business magazine’s Litigation Team of the Year for 1996, an award made in respect of this litigation when it was in the Court of Appeal. He also took part in Wilde Sapte & Deeny v Society of Lloyd’s (whether Lloyd’s litigation recoveries in solicitors’ escrow accounts could be validly distributed to the Names concerned).
  • Currently and recently he has undertaken many cases under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958 for the insertion into existing settlements of new 125-year perpetuity and accumulation periods.