Anker-Petersen v Christensen: ChD 2002

Where a mistake is made as to the effect of an appointment under a trust it may be possible to invoke the court’s jurisdiction to rescind the appointment. Davis J considered Millett J’s distinction between ‘effect’ and ‘consequences’: ‘An example in this context might be tax. If a party enters into a deed (with a view to saving tax) on terms which are fully understood and where the effect of such terms is fully appreciated and if for whatever reason the anticipated desirable tax consequences thereafter do not flow, it would really not be open, in the ordinary way at least, to such a person to seek to set aside that deed on the ground that he had not understood its nature or effect. I say this appreciating that possibly the position may be different in the case of the exercise of a power or of a discretion by a fiduciary: it may be – and I say no more than that it may be – that the adverse and unintended tax consequences of the exercise of the power or discretion may be invoked to set aside the exercise of that particular power or discretion. But I think the position is entirely different where what is sought to be set aside is a deed entered into by way of voluntary transaction.’


Davis J


[2002] WTLR 313, [2001] EWHC B3 (Ch)




England and Wales


CitedGibbon v Mitchell ChD 1990
G executed a deed surrendering his life interest in a trust fund in order to vest the property in his two children: the deed did not have that effect because of two errors (one of which was ignoring the fact that his life interest was subject to . .

Cited by:

CitedAbacus Trust Company (Isle of Man) Colyb Limited v Barr, Barr, and Barr ChD 6-Feb-2003
The court considered the Rule in Hastings-Bass, and specifically (1) whether the trustee’s decision is open to challenge when the failure to take a consideration into account is not attributable to a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of the . .
CitedPitt and Another v Holt and Others ChD 18-Jan-2010
The deceased had created a settlement in favour of his wife. He suffered serious injury and placed the damages in trust, but in a form which created an unnecessary liability to Inheritance Tax on his death. The wife’s mental health act receiver now . .
CitedPitt and Another v Holt and Another ChD 18-Jan-2010
The claimant sought to unravel a settlement she had made as receiver for her late husband, saying that it had been made without consideration of its Inheritance Tax implications. The Revenue said that there was no operative mistake so as to allow . .
CitedFutter and Another v Futter and Others ChD 11-Mar-2010
Various family settlements had been created. The trustees wished to use the rule in Hastings-Bass to re-open decisions they had made after receiving incorrect advice.
Held: The deeds were set aside as void. The Rule in Hastings-Bass derives . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 06 July 2022; Ref: scu.181635