Contact: Kirsten Middleton
A landmark decision was handed down by the Court of Appeal (England and Wales) on 16 February 2017 in respect of beneficiaries using subject access requests under data protection law to obtain information from trustees. The consequences of the decision may result in a new route by which beneficiaries could attempt to gain information in relation to their interests in a trust which would otherwise be subject to the trustee’s discretion.
Individuals can agree that they will not in the future revoke or amend their Wills without the other party’s consent. In contrast, mirror Wills, drafted on identical terms to each other, do not prevent one party from amending their Will either before or after the death of the other. Mutual Wills can restrict the freedom of the surviving Will holder to deal with his own property and the property inherited from the first to die, and for that reason professional advisors will often caution against them.
The case of Legg v Burton
In the recent case of Legg v Burton  EWHC 2088 Ch, the High Court held that a married couple had made mutual Wills.
In July 2000, June Clark (“Mrs Clark”) and her husband, Bernard Clark (“Mr Clark”), signed their Wills (the “July 2000 Wills”) each giving their estate to the surviving spouse or, if the spouse did not survive, to their two daughters, Ann and Lynn, in equal shares.
Mr Clark died in May 2001 and Mrs Clark inherited his entire estate. Following Mr Clark’s death, Mrs Clark went on to sign thirteen separate Wills between the period 2004 and 2014. These Wills dramatically reduced the fraction of the estate bequeathed to her daughters. The last Will made by Mrs Clark was signed in December 2014 (the “2014 Will”) and provided for Ann and Lynn to receive legacies of £10,000 and £30,000 with the residue of Mrs Clark’s estate to pass to her grandchildren.
In the recent case of A Limited FURBS  21/2017, the Guernsey Court held that, in the exceptional circumstances arising, it was appropriate for the trustees to submit to the jurisdiction of the English Court in divorce proceedings involving one of the trust’s beneficiaries.
The case, detailed further below, will provide useful guidance for Isle of Man trustees affected by foreign proceedings.
Similar to the position in Guernsey, the Isle of Man’s trust legislation includes firewall provisions, the purpose of which is to exclude the recognition or enforcement of foreign court orders or judgments that are inconsistent with Isle of Man trust law or the terms of an Isle of Man trust unless the Isle of Man High Court orders that such orders or judgments are to be recognised.
In June 2016. The Apex Court confirmed that abuse of Sections 54 and 167 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) 1898, dealing with arrest on suspicion and subsequent remand, were inconsistent with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution. The Appellate Court confirmed the directions issued by the High Court in 2004 and declared that in the full judgment it will issue specific guidelines for the Police for exercising its powers under S. 54 and 167 of the CrPC.
By: Tracy S. Smith
It has been about a month since the Pokémon Go App was launched and it has become hard to ignore the popularity of the game (even if you want to). Groups of players, also known as “trainers”, can be found lingering around in public, quasi-public, and private areas in an effort to catch Pokémon, battle at a “gym”, or reap rewards at a local Pokéstop.