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Beddoe Order, Charitable Trusts, Charities, litigation, Trusts, Trusts Act, Trusts Act 2019

Integrity of Trust Administration

Singh v Attorney General is an application under part 5 of the Trusts Act 2019 and pursuant to the High Court rules to defend the applicants’ removal as trustees of the Sikh Sangat NZ Trust (the Trust) and for a Beddoe Order. The applicants separately seek the removal of the Trust’s founding trustee and an account or enquiry or the appointment of the receiver (the main proceedings). The case in hand is a separate proceeding to confirm that the applicant’s costs in the main proceedings will be met by the Trust.

The terms of the Trust are not entirely conventional and as noted at [11]:

Whether these terms are restrained by the Trusts Act will be a question for the main proceedings, which will address the following causes of action:

The court referred to McCallum v McCallum regarding Beddoe applications. A primary issue in the current proceedings was whether trustees who had been removed had standing to bring such an application. The first question to consider was the differentiation between removal pursuant to a power of removal and pursuant to the Trusts Act. The issue for consideration being the ability (under the Trusts Act) to defend an application for removal by filing proceedings within the 20 working day time limit.

This was addressed as follows:

However, this was not dispositive of the matter regarding standing. As noted at [94]:
The former trustees were found to have standing to bring the application. After consideration of the criteria to satisfy a Beddoe Order the court noted at [111]:
Importantly, the court went on at [112] to note the lower threshold for court intervention for a charitable trust in the following terms:

References:

  • Singh v Attorney General [2022] NZHC 666
  • Trusts Act 2019, part 5
  • McCallum v McCallum [2021] NZCA 237

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