Futter 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 from trust law, not the law of mistake. The principle does not exist to relieve advisors from the consequences of their mistakes. It exists to ensure that beneficiaries do not suffer by an invalid exercise of a power by trustees (no distinction being drawn between the objects in whose favour the power is exercised and those entitled in default). The relevant failure is a failure to take into account a particular factor and its impact upon the true effect of the exercise of the power. The actions here fell within the rule. In relation to private family trusts the consequence of invoking ‘the Rule in Hastings Bass’ is to make the deed or transaction void. The rigours of this analysis may be mitigated in particular cases.
Norris J pointed out: ‘This is another application by trustees who wish to assert that they have acted in an un-trustee-like fashion and so have failed properly to exercise a power vested in them. The trustees wish to take advantage of this failure to perform their duties in order to enable the beneficiaries to avoid paying the tax liability consequent upon the trustees’ decision. Put like that (and I am conscious that that is not the only way in which the situation may be described) the possibility is raised that the development of the rule may have been diverted from its true course.’

Norris J
[2010] EWHC 449 (Ch), [2010] Pens LR 145, [2010] STC 982, [2010] STI 1442, [2010] BTC 455, [2010] WTLR 609
Taxation of Capital Gains Act 1992 87(2)
England and Wales
CitedBurrell and Sharman v Burrell, Shore, Tyrrell, etc ChD 23-Feb-2005
Shares were appointed by trustees in the mistaken belief that they attracted business property relief from Inheritance tax. They sought to set aside the appointment.
Held: Mann J applied the rule in Stannard v Fisons Pensions Trust and . .
CitedGreen v Cobham ChD 19-Jan-2000
cw The Trustees had overlooked the fact that a Will Trust and two sub-settlements together constituted a single composite settlement for the purposes of CGT with a single body of trustees. As a result of his . .
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 . .
CitedBreadner v Granville-Grossman ChD 2000
‘it cannot be right, whenever trustees do something which they later regret and think they ought not to have done, they can say they never did it in the first place’
It was not correct to suggest that whenever trustees do something which they . .
CitedSmithson and others v Hamilton CA 23-Jul-2008
. .
CitedSieff v Fox ChD 23-Jun-2005
The advisers to trustees wrongly advised the trustees about the tax consequences of exercising a power of appointment in a certain way. As a result a large unforeseen Capital Gains Tax liability arose. The trustees sought to set aside the . .
CitedColchester Estates (Cardiff) v Carlton Industries plc ChD 30-Mar-1984
If a decision of a court has been reached after full consideration of an earlier decision which went the other way, it should not be open to review on a third occasion when the same point arose for decision.
Nourse J said: ‘There must come a . .
CitedRe Hastings-Bass; Hastings v Inland Revenue CA 14-Mar-1974
Trustees of a settlement had exercised their power of advancement under the section, in order to save estate duty by transferring investments to be held on the trusts of a later settlement. However the actual effect of the advancement was that 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 . .
CitedStannard v Fisons Pension Trust Limited CA 1991
Fisons had sold their fertiliser division to Norsk Hydro. Acting on advice of actuaries and thinking that the fund was in deficit, the trustees made a transfer to a new fund to provide for pensions of transferring employees in accordance with a . .
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 . .
CitedAnker-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 . .
CitedAbacus Trust Company (Isle of Man) Ltd and Another v National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children ChD 17-Jul-2001
The claimants were beneficiaries, trustee and protector of a trust fund. In order to mitigate Capital Gains Tax liability they sought advice, and, following that advice, entered into a deed of gift in favour of the respondent charity. The deed . .
CitedIn Re Marsden’s Trust 4-Jun-1859
Where the donee exercises a power of appointment in favour of one of several objects of the power, with a view to the benefit of a stranger, the appointment is fraudulent and void, even although the appointee is ignorant of the fraud, and the motive . .
CitedCloutte v Storey 1911
A trust power was exercised in favour of one of the objects, but under a private arrangement whereby he passed the benefit back to his parents, who had made the appointment.
Held: Farwell LJ spoke of a compromise of proceedings sanctioned by a . .
CitedOgden and Another v Trustees of the RHS Griffiths 2003 Settlement and others; In Re Griffiths deceased ChD 25-Jan-2008
A life-time transfer which had been made under a mistake as to the donor’s chances of surviving long enough for the transfer to be exempt from Inheritance Tax was set aside. Unbeknown to the donor, he had lung cancer at the time.
Held: Lewison . .
CitedVatcher v Pault PC 17-Dec-2014
(Jersey) A fraudulent exercise of a trust power is constituted if it is exercised for a purpose or with an intention beyond the scope of the power. It was said that ‘it is not enough that an appointor or some person not an object of power may . .
CitedSmithson and others v Hamilton ChD 10-Dec-2007
It is settled law that ‘the Hastings-Bass principle’ was not restricted to cases where the trustees failed to achieve the direct legal effect which they intended. The usual situation is that the action which the trustees have taken achieves exactly . .
CitedTurner v Turner ChD 1983
The trustees for many years signed every document placed before them by their solicitors (including appointments) without understanding that they had any discretion in the exercise.
Held: What might first appear to have been a decision of . .
CitedThe Duke Of Portland And Others v Lady Mary E Topham And Others HL 6-Apr-1864
A power, to be validly executed, must be executed without any indirect object. The donee of the power must give the property which is the subject of it, as property, to the person to whom he affects to give it.
A created a power to appoint a . .
CitedMettoy Pension Trustees v Evans ChD 1990
Where a trustee acts under a discretion given to him by the terms of the trust the court will interfere with his action if it is clear that he would not have so acted as he did had he not failed to take into account considerations which he ought to . .
CitedAMP (UK) Plc and Another v Barker and Others ChD 8-Dec-2000
The claimants were interested under a pension scheme. Alterations had been made, which the said had been in error, and they sought rectification to remove a link between early leaver benefits and incapacity benefits. The defendant trustees agreed . .

Cited by:
At First InstanceFutter and Another v Revenue and Customs; Pitt v Same SC 9-May-2013
Application of Hastings-Bass Rule
F had created two settlements. Distributions were made, but overlooking the effect of section 2(4) of the 2002 Act, creating a large tax liability. P had taken advice on the investment of the proceeds of a damages claim and created a discretionary . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Trusts, Capital Gains Tax

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.402600