Re Butlin’s Settlement Trusts: 1976

Sir Billy Butlin had executed a voluntary settlement to allow a majority of trustees to exercise a power under the settlement. By a drafting error the settlement did not give effect to this intention.
Held: The court could rectify the settlement even though only one of the original trustees knew of the intention.
Brightman J said: ‘There is, in my judgment, no doubt that the court has power to rectify a settlement notwithstanding that it is a voluntary settlement and not the result of a bargain, such as an ante-nuptial marriage settlement. Lackersteen v. Lactersteen (1860) 30 L.J. Ch 5, a decision of Page-Wood V.C. and Behrens v. Heilbut (1956) 222 L.J. Jo.290, a decision of Harman J., are cases in which voluntary settlements were actually rectified. There are also obiter dicta to the like effect in cases where rectification was in fact refused; see Bonhote v. Henderson [1895] 1 Ch. 642; [1895] 1 Ch. 202.’ and ‘rectification is available not only in a case where particular words have been added, omitted or wrongly written as a result of careless copying or the like. It is also available where the words of the document are purposely used but it was mistakenly considered that they bore a different meaning as a matter of true construction. In such a case . . the court will rectify the wording so that it expresses the true intention . .’
Brightman J
[1976] Ch 251
England and Wales
Cited by:
CitedLansing Linder Ltd v Alber ChD 2000
Pension scheme rules were amended varying the ages etc for retirement. The rules gave the company power to amend the rules with the consent of the Trustees. The original rules permitted early retirement on an immediate, but actuarially reduced, . .
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 . .
CitedChartbrook Ltd v Persimmon Homes Ltd and Another ChD 2-Mar-2007
The claimants had entered into an agreement with the defendant house-builder for the development of a site which the claimants had recently acquired. The structure of the agreement was that the developer would obtain planning permission and, under . .
CitedOun v Ahmad ChD 19-Mar-2008
The parties agreed in writing for the sale of leasehold property to the claimant. One document had been signed, but later one said that it had not included an aportionment. Another document then set out the apportionment. When the defendant refused . .
CitedMarley v Rawlings and Another SC 22-Jan-2014
A husband and wife had each executed the will which had been prepared for the other, owing to an oversight on the part of their solicitor; the question which arose was whether the will of the husband, who died after his wife, was valid. The parties . .
CitedFSHC Group Holdings Ltd v Glas Trust Corporation Ltd CA 31-Jul-2019
Rectification – Chartbrook not followed
Opportunity for an appellate court to clarify the correct test to apply in deciding whether the written terms of a contract may be rectified because of a common mistake.
Held: The appeal failed. The judge was right to conclude that an . .

These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 08 February 2021; Ref: scu.184579