Christopher Jones was instructed by Tim Watson of Brewer Harding Rowe LLP in a complex property and trust dispute to represent the claimant, Sharon Barnard in her claim for declarations and consequential orders in connection with a farmhouse and associated cottages and land.

The 5-day trial was heard by Mr Justice Richards at the High Court in Bristol, who accepted Mrs Barnard’s claim for a declaration that the farmhouse was held on trust for her and her former partner.  The judge also accepted Mrs Barnard’s claim that associated land had been sold at an undervalue and that the trustees were required to reconstitute the trust, and that the trustees had acted in breach of their duties by selling associated cottages effectively to themselves.

Mr Justice Richards addresses several issues, including:

  1. The correct test for interpreting court orders;
  2. Whether, in these particular circumstances, a sale of property by a mortgagees was a sale to themselves and therefore void;
  3. The extent to which trustees and/or mortgagees can recover money spent on trust/mortgaged property.