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Community Of Property And Trusts – Expect A Slew Of New Cases

Michael Wells-Greco


13 June 2013

Michael Wells-Greco, partner with Maitland in Geneva, explains why a recent UK Court of Appeal judgement is likely to drive an uptick in the number of cases relating to community of property and trusts.

The Court of Appeal of England and Wales handed down judgement on 1 May 2013 in the matter of Slutsker v Haron Investments Ltd & Anor I therefore agree with the judge that the validity and effect of Mrs Slutsker’s dealings with anything that was joint family property under the Russian regime must be determined by reference to Russian law, without adding requirements which apply as a matter of English domestic law”, Lloyd LJ added.

This case:

·         Shows how the English courts will approach civil law concepts such as “community property” where there is no exact equivalent in English law. This is probably not going to be the only dispute of this nature (particularly as here the husband was found to have acquiesced). Such cases are likely to become increasingly common given the number of trusts settled by people from civil law jurisdictions.

·         Acts as a reminder of the importance of identifying what property falls in or outside of a property regime before trusts (or other vehicles) are settled and ensuring the consent of those interested in the property is recorded before assets are settled.