Equity and Trusts (LAW211)
Semester 2 Exam Paper 2021
INSTRUCTIONS TO CANDIDATES
- There are FOUR questions in total, students must answer TWO questions, ONE from Section A (choice of TWO Questions); ONE from Section B (choice of TWO questions).
- You should write your answer in the style of an exam answer. For example, you should not use footnotes but should cite authority and secondary materials as you would in an examination.
- You are reminded that the Code of Practice on Assessment applies to this assessment. Penalties for Academic Integrity offences (including collusion and plagiarism etc) will be strictly applied.
- Markers will enforce a word limit of 1,250 words per answer. The marker will stop marking your work after 1,250 words: and
- Your answers will be marked against the assessment criteria as they apply to examinations.
- ‘Judges have been innovative in relation to family homes. Judges will no longer rely on the traditional resulting trust. Instead, contemporary judicial decisions deploy the common intention constructive trust or proprietary estoppel. This innovation has a cost. The law has become uncertain. In striving to do what is fair, judges have created an area of law which is highly discretionary. This is to be regretted.’
Critically analyse the above statement with regard to equity’s role in disputes over the family home.
- Sheridan owned 50 shares in Chadwick Ltd, a registered company. Prior to his unexpected recent death, he had wanted to transfer the Chadwick Ltd shares to Delaney. In front of witnesses, Sheridan signed the necessary share transfer form and sent it to the company secretary at Chadwick Ltd. Unfortunately, the secretary took no further action.
Aware that he was getting old, Sheridan had recently met with his friend
Lauriche and gave her the keys to a safe containing deeds to his house, 21 Legatt Street. Sheridan told Lauriche that 21 Legatt Street would soon be hers. Sheridan did not pass over door keys to 21 Legatt Street to Lauriche. At their meeting, Sheridan also gave Lauriche a cheque for £25,000 by way of a gift.
Following his death, it transpired that Sheridan had written a valid will. In the will, he left Mara, who is the executor of the will, a collection of valuable manuscripts. At the time of Sheridan’s death, the manuscripts were locked in a safe owned by Edwina. Before the date of the will, Sheridan had orally told Edwina: “these manuscripts are yours, although I shall be their trustee.” On his death, Sheridan also owed Mara £30,000.
Advise Delaney, Lauriche and Mara.
- ‘A trust for a named purpose will only be classified as charitable if it promotes a public benefit. All other necessary requirements for charitable validity are conceptually flexible, and so easy for trusts to satisfy. Yet public benefit is difficult both to prove and to conceptualise. In consequence, it is wholly unsatisfactory as a requirement for charitable validity.’
Critically analyse the above statement with reference to appropriate authorities.
- Crowther is the trustee of the Vine Trust Fund. In breach of trust, Crowther donated two paintings to a local children’s charity. The first painting is worth £20,000. The children’s charity sold that painting to an art collector and spent the proceeds on delivering food-aid packages. The second painting was initially valued at £10,000. However, since Crowther’s donation, the artist has become very fashionable and, on its most recent valuation, the second painting is now worth £125,000. The children’s charity has displayed the second painting in its foyer.
Ramjohn is the trustee of the Mulberry Trust Fund. In breach of trust, Ramjohn transferred £100,000 of the Mulberry Fund money into an account with ‘Sparkleys Bank’. Prior to the transfer, the Sparkleys account already contained £10,000 of Ramjohn’s own money. Next, Ramjohn spent £20,000, from the Sparkleys account, on a two-month road trip around the United States. Finally, Ramjohn used £85,000 from the Sparkleys account to pay off a personal debt he owed following the purchase of a luxury shed.
Unfortunately, the shed has suffered very severe damage in a recent storm.
Eloise is the trustee of both the Myrtle Trust Fund and the Grove Trust Fund. In breach of trust, Eloise transferred £30,000 of Myrtle Trust Fund money into an account with ‘Citywide Bank’, which had contained £0 prior to the transfer. She then, again acting in breach of trust, added £10,000 from the Grove Trust Fund to the Citywide account. Next, using money from the same account, Eloise bought a bottle of vintage wine worth £35,000, which she drank. Finally, Eloise spent the remaining Citywide account money on shares, which have increased in value to a current worth of £50,000.
Advise Crowther, Ramjohn and Eloise.