King's hosts conference on the future of Trusts
Posted on 04/05/2012
On Thursday 12 and Friday 13 April the College hosted a two-day conference, organised jointly by the Trust Law Committee and the Law School, on the Future of Trusts. The Trust Law Committee is an independent group of judges, academic and practising lawyers and accountants who actively work to promote the trust institution, in particular working with the Law Commission on trust-related projects.
The conference was held to remind policy-makers and practitioners alike of the critical role that the trust institution plays in our modern legal system, and in the legal systems of others, notwithstanding the ill-informed attacks frequently made on it by the OECD and other international organisations, and the failure by the UK government to defend it.
Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe
The conference, held in the Edmond J Safra Lecture Theatre, was presided over by Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, a Justice of the Supreme Court, and the most senior chancery judge currently in post. Other chairmen of separate sessions included Lord Justice Etherton, Lord Justice Munby (both former chairmen of the Law Commission), and Mr Justice David Hayton, formerly a professor in the Law School, but now a judge of the Caribbean Court of Justice. The speakers included distinguished foreign scholars of trust law Prof Maurizio Lupoi from the University of Genoa and Prof Luc Thévenoz from the University of Geneva, as well as English judges and practitioners such as Mr Justice Moylan, Christopher McCall QC, Francis Barlow QC, James Kessler QC, Philip Wood QC, Robert Hunter, Claire Maurice and Wilson Cotton.
The event was divided into four sessions: (i) the need for and benefits of the trust as a legal institution; (ii) the use of trusts abroad, particularly in civil law jurisdictions such as Italy and Switzerland, where they fulfil functions not easily carried out by the local law; (iii) the problem of the “dark side” of the trust, and its use for criminal purposes and to hide assets from creditors and others; (iv) the quest for a fair system of taxation of trusts.
Lord Justice Munby, Jean-Marc Tirard and Mr Justice David Hayton
The large and appreciative audience included judges, lawyers, accountants and other trust professionals, and even some trust law students, not only from the UK but also many from the Channel Islands and continental Europe, and indeed further afield, such as Bermuda. One professor even came from Japan, and another trust law expert, Tony Molloy QC, came all the way from New Zealand just to attend this event.
The conference speakers and chairmen