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So long, Billy Bass

03 May 2011 / Mike Truman
Issue: 4302 / Categories: Comment & Analysis , Trusts
MIKE TRUMAN surveys the wreckage after the judgment in Pitt v Holt


  • Rule in Hastings-Bass significantly altered.
  • If trustees act outside their powers e.g. by not benefitting the beneficiaries their actions are void.
  • In other cases where a duty of care is breached they may be voidable.
  • Taking professional advice will normally mean they are not voidable.
  • Still some limited scope for applying the rule.

Well it was good while it lasted. That unique ‘get out of jail free card’ the rule in Hastings-Bass has been overturned by the Court of Appeal in the combined cases of Pitt v Holt and Futter v Futter.

Is that the end of the line for trustees trying to remedy the disastrous consequences of their mistakes? Perhaps not entirely but the scope of the...

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