Gunson and Watts, ‘Mackay v Wesley: mistaken trusteeships and sufficiently distinct mistakes’

In Mackay v Wesley the High Court, on appeal, ordered that a claimant’s acceptance of her appointment as trustee of an offshore trust should be rescinded and set aside on the ground of undue influence. The claimant (Mrs Mackay), for whom the authors acted at first instance and on appeal, brought a claim on the grounds of undue influence, mistake, non est factum, and lack of capacity. The claim was dismissed at first instance but succeeded on appeal. The first-instance decision, of Deputy Master Henderson, contains a number of significant developments to, and arguably departures from, the doctrine of mistake as set out in Pitt v Holt [2013] 2 AC 108; [2013] UKSC 26, as well as to trusts law and the nature of appointments of trustees. As the appeal was allowed on the ground of undue influence only (without comment on mistake, the other ground advanced on appeal), the first instance decision remains unchallenged and potentially has important implications for mistake claims in the future.

Hugh Gunson and Thomas Watts, Mackay v Wesley: mistaken trusteeships and sufficiently distinct mistakes, Trusts and Trustees, Published: 11 June 2021.

First posted 2021-06-15 09:30:13

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