- Charities; construction of ancient document; invalidity of long-standing trust document (Fafalios & others v Apodiacos & others)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The trustees of the Greek Cathedral Trust Fund (the Cathedral Trust), which holds assets to maintain the Greek Cathedral in London, sought declarations relating to the governing documents of the Greek Cathedral Cemetery Enclosure Trust (the Cemetery Trust), which had (until recently) been a linked charity with a shared charity registration number. The first issue was whether the phrase ‘Greek Community in London’ in the Cemetery Trust’s governing documents referred to what is now the Assembly of the Greek Cathedral. It was held that it did. The second issue was whether a declaration of trust executed in 1935 (the 1935 Declaration) and assumed to have been valid for decades was in fact effective. Finding in favour of the trustees of the Cemetery Trust, the court held that it was invalid for two reasons. First, the doctrine in Mathieson did not allow trustees to declare trusts of the income different from the pre-existing trusts of the capital. Secondly, and in any event, the failure of the 1935 Declaration expressly to limit to charitable purposes the alternative purposes to which the trust assets could be put to. Written by Matthew Smith, barrister, at Maitland Chambers.
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