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Key decisions

  • Schreuders v Grandiflora Nominees Pty Ltd [2016] VSCA 93
  • Teo v Buckeridge [2016] WASC 164
  • Re a Patient Fay [2016] NSWSC 624
  • Smith v Whittaker [2016] VSC 287
  • Benjamin (dec’d) [2016] SASC 84
  • Great Investments Ltd v Warner [2016] FCAFC 85
  • ALYK (H.K.) Limited v Caprock Commodities Trading Pty Limited and China Construction Bank Corporation [2016] NSWSC 764
  • Ponikvar (dec’d) [2016] SASC 95
  • Porker v Richards [2016] SASC 98
  • C v W (No 2) [2016] NSWSC 945
  • Rogers v Rogers Young [2016] WASC 208
  • AEW v BW [2016] NSWSC 905

Construing a trust instrument

The Victorian Court of Appeal in Schreuders v Grandiflora Nominees Pty Ltd [2016] VSCA 93 has set out a comprehensive list of the principles of construction which apply to a trust instrument.

Exceptions to co-trustees acting jointly

Whilst the Trustee Act 1925 (NSW), s 49(1) allows limited exceptions to the rule, the co-trustees of a private trust are generally required to act unanimously. They must therefore defend proceedings jointly. The Western Australian Supreme Court in Teo v Buckeridge [2016] WASC 164 has identified three common law exceptions to that rule. Firstly, when one of the trustees has a personal interest which conflicts with his or her duty as a trustee. Secondly, when one trustee can admit facts which the other trustees believe not to be true. Thirdly, when allegations of fraud or improper conduct are made against one trustee but not others.

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