The stated object of the Trusts (Amendment) Law 2019 is “to enhance the inherent jurisdiction of the Court in relation to the administration of trusts”. The amendments to the Cayman Islands Trusts Law (2018 Revision) achieve this object in a number of ways and affirm the reputation of the Cayman Islands as a leading trusts jurisdiction.
The Amendment Law enables the Court to approve the settlement of “trust litigation” on behalf of any beneficiary if the Court is satisfied that the settlement is not to the detriment of any such beneficiary, even where the Court cannot be satisfied that the settlement is for their benefit. “Trust litigation” means litigation invoking the inherent jurisdiction of the Court in relation to the administration of trusts (including for example, a blessing application).
In short, in relation to the Court’s power to approve a settlement, the “benefit test” has been replaced with the “no detriment test”.
This amendment will make it easier to compromise trust litigation where, for example, all adult beneficiaries agree that litigation should be compromised but the Court approval’s on behalf of, for example, minor or unborn beneficiaries is required. This amendment also means that the costs of trust litigation will be lower, for the benefit of all beneficiaries.
Additionally, the Amendment Law has placed the Rule in Hastings Bass on a statutory framework, which, although applications invoking the rule have previously been approved by the Court, will nevertheless be welcome news to all trustees of Cayman law trusts.
For more information on the amendments to the Trusts Law, see our Legal Guide.