Beddoe applications
Produced in partnership with Kate Davenport QC of Outer Temple Chambers and Jovana Nedeljkov of Bankside Chambers
Beddoe applications

The following Private Client guidance note Produced in partnership with Kate Davenport QC of Outer Temple Chambers and Jovana Nedeljkov of Bankside Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Beddoe applications
  • What types of trust litigation can give rise to a Beddoe application
  • The history of Beddoe applications
  • General nature of a Beddoe application
  • Other applications for costs in trust litigation
  • How to make a Beddoe application
  • Steps to take prior to making a Beddoe application
  • Form of the application
  • Evidence given
  • Parties to the application
  • more

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 [557]:

‘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.

What types of trust litigation can give rise to a Beddoe application

In Alsop Wilkinson (a firm) v Neary, Lightman J detailed three categories of proceedings involving trustees:

  1. trust disputes

    Trust disputes are disputes as to the (terms of the) trusts on which the trustees hold the subject matter of the trusts. Such disputes can be friendly or hostile. In