Cains acted for Aston International Limited, a corporate/trust service provider assisting in the administration of the affairs of the trust, in relation to legal proceedings concerning a request by a beneficiary to be provided with trust documents and information.
Trustees of private trusts are used to receiving requests from the beneficiaries of the trust for disclosure of trust documents and information and the case of Vadim Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Limited remains the most important legal case in this area. However, in this case, the request was made not to the trustee but to the corporate/trust service provider assisting in the administration of the affairs of the trust.
The Isle of Man Court decided that it did have theoretical jurisdiction to order a third party to disclose trust documents and information in an appropriate case. In view of a number of factors, and perhaps inevitably in light of the evidence of Aston International that they had none of the documents sought in their possession, the Court declined to make any disclosure order.
This case provides some encouragement to beneficiaries of trusts that, faced with any refusal by a corporate/trust service provider to provide the information or documents sought in an appropriate case, the Isle of Man Court may provide the beneficiaries with an effective remedy. Corporate and trust service providers who are in possession of documents relating to the affairs of a trust, and who find themselves the subject of a request from beneficiaries to provide copies of trust documents, will therefore have to consider a number of legal and factual matters upon receipt of such a request.
Robert Colquitt acted for the successful Defendants in this case and also acted for Vadim Schmidt in the Vadim Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Limited case.