Vadim Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Limited: PC 27 Mar 2003

PC (Isle of Man) The petitioner sought disclosure of trust documents, as a beneficiary. Disclosure had been refused as he had not been a named beneficiary.
Held: Times had moved on, and trust documents had taken more and more indirect ways of conferring benefits. The settlements were badly drafted, but that should not be used to excuse a court fulfilling its duties. The right to seek disclosure did not depend upon a fixed and transmissible beneficial interest. The object of a discretion may have similar rights, and the right was not dependant upon establishing a proprietary interest, but the remedy would be in equity and subject to the court’s discretion. A beneficiary of a discretionary trust has a non-assignable and non-transmissible interest in the trust, and has no entitlement as of right to any trust documents or other information relating to the trust in the possession or control of the trustees.

Lord Nicholls of Birkenhead, Lord Hope of Craighead, Lord Hutton, Lord Hobhouse of Woodborough, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
Times 29-Mar-2003, [2003] UKPC 26, Gazette 05-Jun-2003, [2003] 2 AC 709, (2002-03) 5 ITELR 715, [2003] 3 All ER 76, [2003] 2 WLR 1442, [2003] Pens LR 145, [2003] WTLR 565
PC, Bailii, PC
CitedMcPhail v Doulton (on appeal from In re Baden’s Deed Trusts) HL 6-May-1970
The settlor asked whether the test for validity, in point of certainty of objects, is the same for trusts and powers, or whether the test for trusts is more demanding.
Held: The test is the same. The context was a provision, held to be a . .
CitedIn re Manisty’s Settlement ChD 1974
The court contrasted the exercise by trustees of an intermediate power with the exercise of a wide special power.
Held: A wide power, whether special or intermediate, does not negative or prohibit a sensible approach by trustees to the . .
CitedO’Rourke v Darbishire HL 1920
Sir Joseph Whitworth had died in 1887. In 1884 he had made a will appointing three executors and leaving his residuary estate to charity. By a codicil made in 1885 he altered his will to leave his ultimate residue to his executors for their own . .
CitedIn re Londonderry’s Settlement; Peat v Lady Walsh CA 3-Nov-1964
The Court considered limitations on the right to disclosure of trust documents, and in particuar the need to protect confidentiality in communications between trustees as to the exercise of their dispositive discretions, and in communications made . .

Cited by:
CitedFranses v Al Assad and others ChD 26-Oct-2007
The claimant had obtained a freezing order over the proceeds of sale of a property held by solicitors. The claimant was liquidator of a company, and an allegation of wrongful trading had been made against the sole director and defendant. The . .
CitedBreakspear and others v Ackland and Another ChD 19-Feb-2008
Beneficiaries sought disclosure of a wishes letter provided by the settlor to the trustees in a family discretionary trust.
Held: The confidentiality in the letter was, in the absence of some express term by the settlor, in the trustees, and . .
CitedDawson-Damer and Others v Taylor Wessing Llp and Others ChD 6-Aug-2015
The clamants sought orders under the 1998 Act for disclosure of documents about them by the defendant solicitors and others. The defendants said that the request would require the consideration of a very large number of documents, considering in . .
CitedTN, MA and AA (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 24-Jun-2015
The appellants, children from Afghanistan whose asylum claims had been rejected, challenged the sufficiency of the appellate process, and the respondents obligations for family tracing.
Held: The appeals failed. An applicant could not claim, . .
CitedRoyal National Lifeboat Institution and Others v Headley and Another ChD 28-Jul-2016
Beneficiaries’ right to information from estate
The claimant charities sought payment of interests under the will following the dropping of two life interests. They now requested various documents forming accounts of the estate.
Held: The charities were entitled to some but not to all of . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Commonwealth, Trusts, Equity

Leading Case

Updated: 11 November 2021; Ref: scu.180352