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Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA v IDF & Anr (Re Stingray Trust) (judgment 21/12/20)

Date of Judgment: 21.12.20 | Court: Overseas | Area of Law: Private Client Trusts and Probate

Dakis Hagen QC appeared for the first defendant in Geneva Trust Company (GTC) SA v IDF & Anr (21/12/2020) FSD 248 OF 2017 (IKJ) in her successful application for a stay of a claim in the Cayman Islands seeking declarations as to the validity of a Cayman Islands trust which trust was already being impugned by her in ongoing litigation in Italy.  The application was met in part by the argument that the Cayman court had an exclusive statutory jurisdiction to determine such matters under s. 90 of the Cayman Trusts Law (which, it was said, in that context abrogated the power to stay on grounds of forum non conveniens);  the court noted that such had been the orthodox view historically based on authorities stretching back 20 years. 

However, having conducted a full survey of the case law, Kawaley J found that on analysis no authority was binding or persuasive as to the presence of such a statutory exclusive jurisdiction, nor was such the proper reading of the statute, and on the facts ordered a stay of the Cayman claim.  The case is also important more widely for its commentary on the scope of jurisdiction clauses in trust instruments in the wake of Crociani

Dakis Hagen QC appearing with Rachael Reynolds and Deborah Barker Roye (both of Ogier) represented the successful applicant.

The full judgment is accessible here.