Hughes and Others v Bourne and Others: ChD 27 Jul 2012

A trust owned a majority shareholding in a family firm. A purchaser wished to buy a substantial interest. Differing sections of the beneficiaries wanted either to sell or not. The trustees sought advance approval for a planned use of their powers to sel.
Held: For their part, the Trustees have made it clear . . that they do not wish to surrender their discretion to the court, but are instead asking the court to give its blessing to their proposed course of action. The application therefore falls within the second category identified by Robert Walker J (as he then was) in a judgment given in chambers in 1995 and cited by Hart J in The Public Trustee v Cooper [2001] WTLR 922 at 923:
The second category is where the issue is whether the proposed course of action is a proper exercise of the trustees’ powers where there is no real doubt as to the nature of the trustees’ powers and the trustees have decided how they want to exercise them but, because the decision is particularly momentous, the trustees wish to obtain the blessing of the court for the action on which they have resolved and which is within their powers. Obvious examples of that, which are very familiar in the Chancery Division, are a decision by trustees to sell a family estate or to sell a controlling holding in a family company. In such circumstances there is no doubt at all as to the extent of the trustees’ powers nor is there any doubt as to what the trustees want to do but they think it prudent and the court will give them their costs of doing so to obtain the court’s blessing on a momentous decision. . . ‘
Henderson J
[2012] EWHC 2232 (Ch)
Bailii
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedRe JS (Disposal of Body) FD 10-Nov-2016
Child’s Wish for post-mortem cryonic Preservation
JS, a child of 14, anticipating her death from cancer expressed the desire that her body should receive cryonic preservation in the hope that one day a treatment might be available to allow her to be revived, and proceedings were issued. Her parents . .

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Updated: 19 April 2021; Ref: scu.463320