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Trowers & Hamlins acts for successful claimant in High Court breach of trust claim

Trowers & Hamlins acts for successful claimant in High Court breach of trust claim

Trowers & Hamlins has advised on a successful breach of trust claim for a private client, following a seven-day High Court trial which concluded in December 2013.

Sheffield v Sheffield [2013] EWHC 3927 (Ch) centred on the claimant's claim to a share of 30 years of income from a family estate held under a trust of land. The client's rights arose under a declaration of trust made by his grandfather in the 1980s as part of a tax planning exercise. The claim was for an account of his one-quarter share of income under the trust, to which he was entitled under the declaration of trust but which was not paid. Numerous defences were raised, including defences of estoppel, limitation, laches (delay) and acquiescence, but these were rejected by the Court. His Honour Judge Pelling QC found that the true effect of the declaration of trust had been deliberately concealed from the claimant until 2004, when it came to light during separate proceedings, following which the claimant had pursued his claim. In those circumstances it could not be unfair to allow the claimant to pursue his strict legal rights.

Trowers & Hamlins' Property Litigation team has advised on numerous property-related disputes in the High Court and County Court and in the leasehold valuation tribunal.  The team has significant experience advising public and private sector clients in all forms of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation, working to ensure the best solution and avoiding litigation, where possible.

Associate Douglas Rhodes and partner Nick Levy acted for the claimant in this case.