Re A Trust

[2012] Bda LR 79 (Bermuda)

12th December 2012

Supreme Court, Bermuda


In late 2011 the Bermuda court approved an elaborate scheme to compromise a dispute concerning a family trust holding assets worth some U.S.$1 billion. The trust deed contained a provision making Bermuda the administrative forum of the trust. One of the main beneficiaries threatened proceedings in a different jurisdiction to compel the trustee to disclose information about the underlying operating company. Another member of the family sought to restrain the threatened proceedings and more generally to prevent any challenge to the scheme of compromise. The trustee, represented by Nicholas, joined in seeking an injunction against the threatened proceedings. Held: The clause that the courts of Bermuda should be the "forum for the administration" of the trust conferred exclusive jurisdiction on the courts of Bermuda, the threatened proceedings fell within it and an injunction to restrain them should be granted.

The scope and effect of clauses identifying the forum of or for the administration of the trust have been controversial.  The judgment is a clear decision that such clauses are exclusive jurisdiction clauses and will be enforced by injunction.

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