Our contentious private client team acted on behalf of Pamela Carvel, niece of Thomas Carvel, in a claim regarding the court's jurisdiction to remove trustees and personal representatives from office. The claim involved technical arguments relating to the interpretation of statutory authority for the court's jurisdiction in this area.
Thomas Carvel and his wife, Agnes, had executed mutual wills and the beneficiary was 'The Thomas and Agnes Carvel Foundation'. Before her death, Agnes had made a further will which did not benefit the foundation. Our client was the personal representative of Agnes' estate.
The foundation made an application to the court, asking for our client to be replaced as personal representative by a neutral party. The relevant statutory authorities are section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985, which allows a beneficiary of an estate to make such an application to the court, and section 1 of the Judicial Trustees Act 1986, which allows a trustee or beneficiary to make such an application to the court.
The High Court agreed with our arguments that the foundation was not entitled to make an application under section 50 of the Administration of Justice Act 1985 because it was not a beneficiary of Agnes' will. However, an application was allowed under section 1 of the Judicial Trustees Act 1986 because the foundation was a beneficiary of the trusts that arose out of the mutual wills, which were to be enforced in law.