Scott v The National Trust: CA 1998

Trustees, in the exercise of their fiduciary discretions, are under constraints which do not apply to adult individuals disposing of their own property. Walker LJ said: ‘Certain points are clear beyond argument. Trustees must act in good faith, responsibly and reasonably. They must inform themselves, before making a decision, of matters which are relevant to the decision. These matters may not be limited to simple matters of fact but will, on occasion (indeed, quite often) include taking advice from appropriate experts, whether the experts are lawyers, accountants, actuaries, surveyors, scientists or whomsoever. It is, however for advisers to advise and for trustees to decide: trustees may not (except in so far as they are authorised to do so) delegate the exercise of their discretions, even to experts. This sometimes creates real difficulties, especially when lay trustees have to digest and assess expert advice on a highly technical matter (to take merely one instance, the disposal of actuarial surplus in a superannuation fund).’
Walker LJ
[1998] 2 All ER 705
England and Wales
See AlsoRegina v National Trust for Places of Historic Interest Or Natural Beauty ex parte Scott, Summerskill and others Admn 16-Jul-1997
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Appeal fromScott v The National Trust ChD 12-Nov-1998
The Trust applied to be joined in an application by the plaintiffs. . .

Cited by:
CitedFutter 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 . .

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Updated: 26 January 2021; Ref: scu.509121