Considering community property regimes when transferring property into trust

In the English case of Slutsker v Haron Investments Ltd [2013] EWCA Civ 430, the Court of Appeal considered the way in which the matrimonial property regime in Russia would be recognised in respect of English property held in a Cayman law trust.

Mr and Mrs Slutsker were two Russian individuals who had been married in Moscow. Mrs Slutsker wanted their son to go to school in England and as such looked into buying a house in which she and her son could live. The intention was for the house to be held in a trust for the ultimate benefit of the son and any other children of the marriage. A suitable house was found and transferred into the name of a nominee, who held on bare trust initially for Mrs Slutsker and subsequently for the trustee of a Cayman law trust, of which Mr and Mrs Slutsker, her present and future children, Mrs Slutsker’s mother and father, Mr Slutsker’s mother and father and a charity were beneficiaries.

The purchase price for the property had been paid into the solicitor’s client account from a bank account belonging to Mrs Slutsker but constituted matrimonial property under Russian law (meaning it belonged to Mr and Mrs Slutsker in equal shares)…

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