A solicitors’ firm with offices in Dorset and Somerset has made legal history by winning a case which changed the law relating to trusts and subsequently saved a retired couple tens of thousands of pounds.
Clients Mr and Mrs Wright sought advice from a high street bank which they had been using for a number of years, on how they could set up a tax efficient account which their grandchildren could access after the couple’s deaths, and for Mrs Wright to use to supplement her income. A private banking manager at the branch recommended they create a trust fund and it was subsequently set up with their grandchildren listed as beneficiaries.
Soon after Mr and Mrs Wright realised that they couldn’t freely access the money as originally hoped and there was no way of changing the accessibility of the trust.
Mr Wright turned to Church House Investments in Yeovil for advice and they recommended they contact Humphries Kirk for advice.
Mr Wright appointed Humphries Kirk to investigate the case, and they advised that the bank had not been clear on the limitations associated with trusts. The bank admitted they made a mistake and the case was sent to court with Mr and Mrs Wright having to hire a barrister.
Mr and Mrs Wright won the case due to extenuating circumstances. The bank agreed to pay for half of the legal costs and Mr and Mrs Wright also had some of the unnecessary charges returned to them.
James Selby Bennett, senior partner at Humphries Kirk, said: “Humphries Kirk is very pleased to have been able to bring before the courts this case which effectively moves forward the law relating to trusts and has already modified courts’ approach to trusts. The clients’ interests were paramount and the result has not only made new law but it has also saved the client and his family serious hardship. This is not the first time that Humphries Kirk has been at the cutting edge of the law, but it is very satisfactory for a lawyer to achieve justice for his client.”
Mr Wright commented: “It was a very lengthy and stressful process for us and our loved ones but finally we can move on with our lives. We were in expert hands with Mr Selby Bennett and he communicated every step of the process with us in a clear way that we understood and felt comfortable with. Three and a half years later we are pleased to say that with the help from Humphries Kirk, we have now put this all behind us and have money set aside for our grandchildren which was our original wish years ago. Humphries Kirk were fantastic every step of the way.”