Que sera, sera… or perhaps not

A recent Jersey case, Titris SA and another v A and others [2018]JRC059, concerned a Jersey law trust where the trust instrument was in Italian. 

The proceedings were brought by the former trustee seeking directions as to how the trust fund should be distributed, the trust having come to an end.  At the heart of the dispute, was the meaning of an Italian phrase used in the beneficial class.

KEY TAKEAWAY: 

This case illustrates the dangers of Jersey law governed trusts being established otherwise than in English.  An expression which has a perfectly natural meaning to overseas advisers and their clients, may be ambiguous when translated into English or not be a recognised concept, term or phrase under Jersey law.  Clients wishing to establish Jersey law trusts should be advised to seek either that a Jersey lawyer prepare the trust from the outset or, failing that, seek the assistance of a Jersey lawyer in order that they may review the draft in its entirety.  The review would then highlight any potential issues (such as the one that has arisen in this matter) and proposed solutions in order to ensure that there is no ambiguity or uncertainty.

For details of this case, please click here.