- National debt fund worth £500m is held on charitable trusts (Attorney General v Zedra Fiduciary Services)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- Purpose of the trust
- Distinction between unconditional gift subject to delayed application and a conditional gift
- Failure for initial impossibility
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: HM Attorney General brought proceedings seeking the court’s approval to secure some of the funds held by the National Fund, a charitable trust set up in 1928 by Mr Gaspard Farrer (GF), a partner in Barings Bank, to help pay down the national debt. The claim was defended by the trustee, who agreed that the funds were charitable, but not that they should be used to reduce the national debt. Members of GF’s family also defended the claim, disputing the validity of the trust. They sought an order that all or part of the funds were held on trust for GF’s estate, from which they would ultimately benefit. The court found that there was a valid charitable trust, and that it has jurisdiction to make a cy-près scheme for the transfer of the funds to reduce the national debt or for other charitable purposes (yet to be determined). Written by Alexandra Rogers, a managing associate at Foot Anstey LLP.
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