- Court of Appeal rejects presumption of anonymity in trusts cases (MN v OP)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Dispute Resolution analysis: The Court of Appeal has held that the open justice principle applies to variation of trusts hearings, rejecting the argument that there should be a presumption in favour of granting anonymity to the beneficiaries of family trusts. Such applications are normally heard in open court, with the parties identified. However, the beneficiaries, members of one of Britain’s wealthiest aristocratic families, sought to argue that these cases are analogous to approval hearings for patients who lack capacity and therefore that the court should follow the Court of Appeal’s approach in X v Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust  EWCA Civ 96 and hold that ordinarily the starting point should be a presumption in favour of anonymity. The Court of Appeal rejected the argument that there was any true analogy between the two types of case and emphasised that the courts should not create new exceptions to open justice. Written by Guy Vassall-Adams QC, barrister, Matrix Chambers, London.
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