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Trust trusts

William Barr from Mills & Reeve discusses trust law, in particular regarding tenancies and partnerships.

Just when you have developed a clear understanding of the legal complexities which affect your clients’ farm businesses, some wretched judge comes along and digs deep into his satchel of dusty old law books and turns your certainties upside down with an application of some rare principle of trust law.

Equity or the law of trusts is the superhero of the legal system. It can triumph over private contracts and property rights and can even trump those stubborn areas, such as the law of agricultural holdings, where the wishes of the parties are overridden by public policy considerations. The arguments are often strange and dry but the impact on the basic questions of what your client owns and what he owes can be immediate and practical.