Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker & Confiance

Memery Crystal’s dispute resolution team have achieved another victory following judgment on Monday 19 June 2017 for the Settlor of a Guernsey EBT Trust in Twin Benefits Ltd v Barker & Confiance. The claim was issued in January 2016. Memery Crystal contested jurisdiction on various grounds. Following a two day hearing on 22 and 23 March 2017 Mr Justice Marcus Smith set aside the claim on the basis that the Claimant had no cause of action and the Court had no jurisdiction.

The reasoning can be split up into two broad headings (1) legal and (2) procedural.

Legal reasons

1. There was no serious issue to be tried.

2. Even though documents might state that a sub trust is such, that does not mean that it is. A sub trust proper can only be declared by a beneficiary and not trustees (which was the case here). If declared by a trustee, it is simply another trust.

3. Just because Mr Barker was Protector of the main trust did not mean that he owed duties to beneficiaries of the “sub trust”. A protector of one trust is not a protector of another trust created by the trustees of the first trust, unless explicitly stated. Mr Barker did not owe the alleged fiduciary duties pleaded.

Procedural reasons

The Claimant was prevented from bringing the claim as the changes to the trust, to which the Claimant objected, had been approved by the Court in settlement of separate proceedings. Any application to challenge those changes would have to be made in those proceedings. A separate claim could not be brought for breach of fiduciary duty and/or unjust enrichment.

The Memery Crystal team included partner Harvey Rands (Picture), senior associate Nikola Lowry-Lee, associate Eleanor Hassani and trainee Suresh Patel.

Involved fees earner: Harvey Rands – Memery Crystal; Nikola Lowry-Lee – Memery Crystal; Eleanor Hassani – Memery Crystal; Suresh Patel – Memery Crystal;

Law Firms: Memery Crystal;

Clients: Iain Paul Barker;