- A deceased paedophile—what are the personal representative’s duties towards potential victims? (Re the estate of Studdert)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The deceased, who was a convicted paedophile, died leaving an estate worth in excess of £4.5m. It was apparent to the executors that he may have committed sexual abuse against minors in the UK and Europe, and that the victims might have personal injury claims that survived against the estate and would, if made out, categorise them as creditors of the estate. However, the executors did not know the identities or locations of any of the victims. In these circumstances, the question facing the executors was: what should they do? They applied to the court for directions. Chief Master Marsh ruled that that was ‘the only safe course of action’ and made a number of directions with a view to trying to identify and locate unascertained victims and potential creditors. Written by Mark Cunningham QC of Maitland Chambers, who acted for the executors in this case, as well as in National Westminster Bank plc v Lucas (Savile).
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