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bare trust, Charitable Trusts, Settlor; settlors, sham, trust, Trusts

Slow burn

The Estate of the Late J.D. Hanson also referred to as Cohen v Kerr relates to long-term asset and estate planning intended by the deceased to ensure that he died “neatly.” His commitment to this was such that a Neatly Board was established. However, as demonstrated in the Estate of the Late J.D. Hanson, the ultimate state of affairs was not at all neat. The decision set out in 330 paragraphs traverses allegations of sham and invalidity and revisits the decision in MezhProm Bank v Pugachev (see The curious story of the Angora cat). The Royal Jersey Court traverses the facts of the trust in question and finds it is not a sham for the reasons summarised as follows at [132]:

However, as with MezhProm Bank v Pugachev that was not the end of the matter. The trust in question failed as there was nothing to evidence an intention to benefit charity. The relevant authorities were considered in some detail. However, the decision of the Court speaks for itself. While there are aspects of this that are Jersey specific, the reasoning set out as follows has wider relevance:


  • Cohen v Kerr [2021] JRC 319
  • Estate of the Late J.D. Hanson [2021] JRC 319
  • MezhProm Bank v Pugachev [2017] EWHC 2426 Ch
  • Clayton v Clayton [2016] NZSC 29
  • Kea Trust Company Limited v Pugachev[2015] NZHC 2412
  • Kea Trust Company Limited v Pugachev[2015] NZHC 2218
  • Kea Trust Company Limited v Pugachev [2015] NZHC 1960
  • Matthew Conaglen and Elizabeth Weaver, Protectors as Fiduciaries: theory and practice (2012) 18(1) Trusts and Trustees 1 at 19
  • Re Bird Charitable Trust [2008] JLR 1 (Deputy Bailiff Birt and Jurats Bullen and Liddiard) at paras 82–92.
  • Kain v Hutton [2008] 3 NZLR 589 (SC) at paras [18]–[20] (per Blanchard J for himself, Elias CJ, McGrath and Anderson JJ).
  • Mark Hubbard, Protectors of Trusts (Oxford University Press 2013) at 85–86
  • Vatcher v Paull [1915] AC 372 (PC) at 378C
  • Clayton v Clayton [2015] 3 NZLR 293 (CA). Leave to appeal to the Supreme Court has been granted (Clayton v Clayton [2015] NZSC 84) and judgments were issued on 23 March 20.  See The Supreme Court Writes Back


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