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Inghilterra e Galles: Court of Appeal, 3 ottobre 2008, [Gomez v. Gomez - Monche Vives]

This was an application by a defendant, resident in Spain, challenging the court’s jurisdiction under Council Regulation (EC) 44/2001. The Regulation governs the jurisdiction of the English court when a defendant is resident in the E.U. She was being sued by a beneficiary of a trust who alleged that the trustees, in breach of trust, had made distributions to her (also a beneficiary) to which she was not entitled. Art. 5(6) of the Regulation confers a special jurisdiction in trust matters. Morgan J. ruled that the court had no jurisdiction. On appeal –

Held:

(i) the fact that the proper law of the trust was English made the trust “domiciled” in England for the purpose of art. 5(6)

and

(ii) the court had jurisdiction, because the defendant was being sued “as … beneficiary” within art. 5(6), the claim being that she had received distributions in excess of her entitlement (in this case the beneficiaries were Spanish, the trustees were based in Liechtenstein and the B.V.I. and the trust property was shares in a Cayman company).

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