The following Private Client practice note produced in partnership with Kate Davenport QC of Outer Temple Chambers and Adele Isaacs of Bankside Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
When trustees are engaged in trust litigation, issues often arise as to how their litigation costs are to be funded. A Beddoe application is the best way of ensuring that costs will be met from the trust fund in appropriate cases. A trustee enjoys a right of indemnity at law but where appropriate, prudent trustees should consider making a Beddoe application to the court seeking permission to bring or defend their litigation. These applications are named after the case Re Beddoe where Lindley LJ held at p :
‘a trustee who, without the sanction of the Court, commences an action or defends an action, unsuccessfully, does so at his own risk as regards the costs, even if he acts on counsel’s opinion’
This Practice Note details when trustees should make a Beddoe application, how such applications are made in practice, how they differ from related alternative costs applications and the risks involved in continuing litigation without the protection of a Beddoe order.
The High Court has jurisdiction to provide trustees with directions. The position was put succinctly by Ardern J in MCP Pension Trustees Ltd v Aon Pension Trustees Ltd stating that ‘it is always open to a trustee who is in doubt as to his position to apply to the court for directions’.
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