Court refuses to approve tainted fiduciary decision making (Schumacher v Clarke)
Private Client analysis: The court was faced with a category 2 and 3 Public Trustee v Cooper application principally for the approval of a momentous decision. The court was initially asked to approve the entirety of a settlement reached between four trustees split into two camps but later asked to approve only the dispositive elements of the settlement. The settlement unusually resolved disputes between the trustees rather than between trustees and beneficiaries or third parties. The court was concerned with mutual allegations of inappropriate action as fiduciaries and the failure of both sides to manage conflicts of interest in arriving at a settlement. After stressing that such factors could impair the decision reached and which the court was asked to approve, the court refused its approval of part of the settlement.
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