Fiduciary Duties
Produced in partnership with Keith Bruce-Smith and Oliver Bishop of Sinclair Gibson LLP

The following Commercial practice note produced in partnership with Keith Bruce-Smith and Oliver Bishop of Sinclair Gibson LLP provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Fiduciary Duties
  • Who is a fiduciary?
  • The duties of a fiduciary
  • No conflict
  • No profit
  • Duty of confidentiality
  • Remedies for breach of fiduciary duty

Fiduciary Duties

Who is a fiduciary?

There is no comprehensive list of the relationships which give rise to the existence of fiduciary duties under common law. Some relationships are automatically fiduciary, eg those between trustee and beneficiary, solicitor and client, principal and agent, business partner and co-partners, mortgagor and mortgagee.

The duties of some fiduciaries have been codified, for example, the statutory duty of skill and care which is imposed upon trustees by section 1 of the Trustee Act 2000 (TrA 2000) and the relationship between company directors and the company under the Companies Act 2006. For information in relation to the fiduciary duties of directors, see Practice Note: Fiduciary duties of directors.

In Bristol and West Building Society v Mothew, Millet LJ described a fiduciary as

‘A fiduciary is someone who has undertaken to act for and on behalf of another in a particular matter in circumstances which give rise to a relationship of trust and confidence. The distinguishing obligation of a fiduciary is the obligation of loyalty. The principal is entitled to the single-minded loyalty of his fiduciary. This core liability has several facets. A fiduciary must act in good faith; he must not make a profit out of his trust; he must not place himself in a position where his duty and his interest may conflict; he may not act for his own benefit or the

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