Important Bermuda Decision Concerning Confirmation Of Actions Of Invalidly Appointed Trustees

In the Matter of the C Trust [2019] SC (Bda) 44 Civ (22 July 2019)

The Chief Justice of Bermuda has handed down an important decision dealing with the power of the court to intervene in the administration of a trust to approve actions of improperly appointed trustees. The case is important since it confirms the inherent jurisdiction of the court, upon the appointment of trustees, to grant them leave to administer the trust on the basis that they had been properly appointed on a prior date.

The facts of the C Trust case were straightforward. The Trust made provision for a Protector but the corporate entity that had been acting as Protector for some years (and purported to appoint the Plaintiff as trustee in 2015) was not in fact the Protector. The Plaintiff, having been advised that it had not been properly appointed, sought an order under section 31(1) of the Trustee Act 1975 that it be appointed and an order confirming that it was at liberty to continue to manage the assets of the Trust on the basis that it had been validly appointed in 2015.

The Chief Justice granted the orders sought and in doing so accepted that the court had an inherent jurisdiction to intervene in the administration of a trust to approve...

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