Last updateTue, 24 Feb 2015 5pm

Geoffrey Shindler considers recent criticisms and concerns affecting the judiciary

When discussing his job prospects the immortal Peter Cook said ‘I didn’t have the Latin for the judgin’’. In fact judges and their job prospects have been very much in the minds of various people recently, not least the, though soon to be ex, Lord Chief Justice and also the Secretary of State for Justice together with the Lord Chancellor. The latter two are in fact the same person, which only goes to show that WS Gilbert got it right 130 years ago when writing The Mikado because Ko-Ko was the Lord High Executioner leaving Pooh-Bah as Lord High Everything Else.

Jo Summers reviews Arbitration of Trust Disputes: Issues in National and International Law

Oxford University Press has produced a new book as part of its international arbitration series.

Using standard wording for survivorship clauses in mirror wills can lead to errors. Tim Adams and Scott Taylor examine the High Court’s current approach to will-drafting mistakes

The recent case of Jump and Jones v Lister [2016] has highlighted the unexpected issues which may arise from the construction of ‘survivorship clauses’ in mirror wills and provides the latest update on the court’s approach to dealing with construction issues and will-drafting mistakes.

Natasha Dzameh clarifies the circumstances in which Beddoe orders and protective cost orders can be used

The role of a trustee can be an arduous and financially precarious one. Trustees are fiduciaries who are subject to a wide range of duties concerning issues such as investment and distribution of the trust property, not profiting from the trust and the keeping of accounts. Breach of trust can occur where a trustee acts without the requisite standard of care, fails to carry out a duty or acts outside the scope of their powers.

Sarah Clune summarises new fundraising laws and the Charity Commission’s enhanced powers under the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016

The Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 introduces a statutory power for charities to make social investments, provisions on fundraising and also contains a range of new powers for the Charity Commission, including:

Can beneficiaries demand the disclosure of trust accounts? Mathew Roper explains

The right of a beneficiary to monitor and protect its interest by obtaining accounts from its trustee is central to the existence of a trust. Accordingly, prior to the Privy Council’s decision in Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd [2003] a beneficiary was thought to have a proprietary right to disclosure of trust accounts or, more accurately the right to obtain inspection and/or the production of copies on demand (see Re Cowin [1886]; O’Rourke v Darbishire [1886]; and Re Londonderry’s Settlement [1965]). If the trustee failed to give effect to that right, the court would order disclosure and normally make the defaulting trustee personally liable for the costs of the proceedings. Indeed, in contrast to the similar proprietary right of a beneficiary to disclosure of trust documents (which was subject to various exceptions formulated in Re Londonderry’s Settlement and later cases), the court spoke of a beneficiary’s right to disclosure of trust accounts in unqualified terms: ‘Every beneficiary is entitled to see the trust accounts, whether his interest is in possession or not’ (per Millett LJ in Armitage v Nurse [1997]).

David Rees QC, Eliza Eagling, Bryony Cove and Adam Carvalho discuss a key pensions case which resulted in a taxpayer victory

The case of HMRC v Parry [2017] related to two decisions made by Mrs Rachel Staveley in relation to her pension fund shortly before her death in December 2006. In November 2006 Mrs Staveley transferred her funds from one registered pension scheme (the s32 scheme) into another (the AXA PPP). At the time of the transfer, Mrs Staveley wrongly believed that if she left her pension in the s32 scheme, there was a risk any surplus on the fund would revert to her ex-husband on her death. The second decision made by Mrs Staveley was that she omitted to take any lifetime benefits from the AXA PPP.

Despite the lack of news for private client practitioners in the Budget, Geoffrey Shindler advises caution

Last month we had a Budget that did not bite at a headline level, but we do have to watch the small print very carefully.