Peters & Peters

Secret trust claim struck out after decades long legal battle

Jonathan Tickner
Holly Buick

Peters & Peters has succeeded in having a claim against our client struck out.

In a judgment handed down yesterday, the Chancellor of the High Court, Sir Julian Flaux struck out the claim in which the claimant alleged that the defendant, his brother, had hidden the existence of a trust allegedly created by their late father over funds in a Swiss bank account.

The primary basis for strike-out was that the claimant had previously brought the same claim in proceedings struck out in the late 1990s, and that the claim was therefore barred by res judicata (the doctrine which prevents a party from re-litigating any claim, defence or issue already litigated) or as an abuse of process.

The claimant argued that the current claim was different to the one litigated in the 1990s, but the Chancellor held that the new claim was entirely subsumed within the earlier claim, and the issue of whether the parties’ father had an intention to create a trust had already been decided against the claimant in the earlier proceedings.

The Chancellor also held that the new claim had no real prospect of success and if it had not been struck out, the defendant would be entitled to summary judgment.

Jonathan Tickner and Holly Buick acted for the defendant and had instructed Conall Patton KC of One Essex Court and James Gardner of Twenty Essex.