Brown v New Quadrant Corporation (2021) EWHC 1731 (Ch)
Date: 28th June 2021
Court: High Court
Facts: Counting one’s “blessings” – Brown v New Quadrant Trust Corporation  EWHC 1731 (Ch). An application for an interim injunction to prevent a trustee disposing of a particular trust asset was met by the trustee’s cross-application for a blessing under Public Trustee v Cooper.
Practice Area: Trusts, Wills & Estates
Alexander Learmonth KC (instructed by Seddons LLP) successfully represented a corporate trustee in a case where the principal beneficiary under a discretionary trust applied for an injunction to restrain the trustee from disposing of its 100% shareholding in a company, which the trustee regarded as too risky and inconvenient an investment.
Prior to the return date of the beneficiary’s injunction application, the trustee put in a counterclaim for the Court’s blessing of its decision to sell, and cross-applied for judgment on it. Despite the beneficiary’s objections, the Court found that this was an entirely legitimate approach given the connection between the counterclaim and the injunction application, and moreover that the test in relation to the injunction, as to whether there was a serious issue to be tried, was likely in practice to determine the trustee’s application for approval.
The Court found that the Trustee had taken into account relevant considerations about the risks and rewards inherent in the shareholding, and had adopted a sensible and proportionate approach to valuation and marketing (using online averages to estimate the value of the company’s property portfolio). The Court therefore ‘blessed’ the Trustee’s decision to sell at the best price reasonably obtainable, and dismissed the beneficiary’s application for an injunction.
To view the judgement click here.