Statutory Hastings-Bass and mistake rules enacted

On 16 July 2013, the States of Jersey (the island’s parliament) passed an amendment to the Trusts (Jersey) Law 1984, which will, subject to Privy Council consent, give statutory force to the ‘rule in re Hastings-Bass’ and to the doctrine of mistake in its application to trusts.

The new statutory provisions will be of particular interest to trust practitioners, not least because, by virtue of decisions of the English courts culminating in the judgment of the Supreme Court in Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter on 9 May 2013, the scope of the Hastings-Bass principle had narrowed considerably, and the new provisions will have the effect of reversing that change in so far as Jersey law trusts are concerned. This will be highly desirable for trustees, settlors and beneficiaries in situations where the alternative would be expensive and potentially risky litigation against professional advisers…

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