Court of Appeal guidance on treatment of trusts

The Court of Appeal has today handed down its judgment in Li Quan v Bray [2017] EWCA Civ 405,  as to the wife's appeal to overturn findings of fact by way of a 'reasons challenge' directed at the judgment of Coleridge J ([2014] EWHC 3340 (Fam)). The issues were whether the judgment failed adequately to give reasons for the findings of fact made by Coleridge J, his evaluation of those facts and the conclusions he reached so as to render that judgment unsustainable. In particular, the question arose as to whether, had certain specific issues been dealt with by the judge in his judgment, his findings would have been such that the Court of Appeal would set aside his order and remit the case for a fresh trial.

In a detailed 42-page judgment, the Court of Appeal dismissed the wife's appeal and concluded that, having heard the submissions and been taken to the documents, the findings of Coleridge J in respect of the critical issue in relation to the purpose of the trust in dispute between the parties would have been the same even had he dealt specifically with those issues raised by counsel for the wife. The case turned on the credibility of the parties and the judge at first instance was entitled to reach the conclusions he did. Nothing within the areas of criticism entitled the appeal court to regard it as appropriate to undermine the judge’s essential conclusions.

The judgment can be accessed here:

Li Quan v Bray [2017] EWCA Civ 405

A full analysis of the judgment will be published  in LexisPSL Family. Click here for a free one week trial.

Geraldine Morris is a solicitor and Head of LexisPSL Family.

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