Q&As

Is there a definition of ‘beneficiary’ as applied in Brussels I (recast) ie does this cover companies/individuals?

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Published on LexisPSL on 19/01/2018

The following Dispute Resolution Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Is there a definition of ‘beneficiary’ as applied in Brussels I (recast) ie does this cover companies/individuals?
  • Trusts
  • Insurance contracts

The term ‘beneficiary’ in relation to jurisdiction is referred to in Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast) in:

  1. Articles 7(6) and 25(3) of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast) when dealing with trusts, and

  2. section 3 of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast) (starting at Article 10 of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast)) and Articles 26 and 31(4) of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast) in relation to Insurance contracts

However, there is no definition of beneficiary within the regulation. It may be that the term is not defined within the regulation as the term beneficiary would be a defined term within either the trust instrument or the insurance contract. The definition would, therefore, be taken from the underlying trust instrument or insurance contract and so a definition is not required within the regulation.

Trusts

When dealing with a trust, the court with jurisdiction will generally be that where the trust, rather than the beneficiaries, is domiciled (Article 7(6) of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012), Brussels I (recast) or the jurisdiction stipulated in the trust instrument (Article 25(3) of Regulation (EU) 1215/2012, Brussels I (recast)).

We refer you to the Court of Appeal judgment in Gomez v Encarnacion Gomez-Monche Vives which concerned a trust dispute and discussed the meaning of ‘sued as a beneficiary’ (see paras [72] to [90]):

  1. ‘the claimants are suing the first defendant as beneficiary because

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