The remedial constructive trust: a new proprietary remedy?

In the Guernsey case of IKEA Ltd and IKEA Wholesale Ltd v Hauxwell-Smith and others (10/2012), IKEA was found to have been the victim of serious procurement irregularities involving Mr and Mrs Hauxwell-Smith between 1998 and 2000. Judge Finch did not explain the precise facts relating to these serious procedural irregularities in his judgment. However, large sums were paid over as a result of these activities through a web of entities and IKEA subsequently traced and recovered the bulk of these sums, namely £12.7m, in Liechtenstein.

In Guernsey, IKEA sought inter alia to recover sums of £56,000 and £90,000, which were held in Guernsey by a local bank and Guernsey Advocates respectively in accordance with freezing orders made in earlier proceedings. IKEA applied for repayment of the Funds and alleged that they were the proceeds of the procedural irregularities and subject to a constructive trust entitling IKEA to a proprietary claim to the Funds.

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