Joinder of trustees and treatment of trust assets in English matrimonial proceedings: DR v GR and others

The judgment of Mostyn J concerned divorce proceedings in the Family Division of the English High Court and an application for the variation of a settlement under s24(1)(c) of the Matrimonial Causes Act 1973 (the Act). The settlement in question was a Jersey discretionary trust (the trust) of which a Jersey trust company was trustee.

The judgment was handed down prior to the Supreme Court ruling in Prest v Petrodel Resources Ltd & Ors (Prest), which was confined to the consideration of s24(1)(a) of the Act as to whether the court had power to lift the corporate veil of a company and dispose of assets within the company.

However, the Supreme Court in Prest declined to hear argument on the scope of s24(1)(c) of the Act where matrimonial assets are held by companies. In this case, there were three main areas of discussion: namely the broad definition of settlement, the joinder of trustees, and the disposition of the assets…

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