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Damage limitation: farm trust structures

Do farms held in trust structures protect against a divorce in the family? John Darnton considers RK v RK

1 September 2012

The reality is that every case will be decided on its individual facts, but a recently reported case sheds light on how the courts view these things.

In RK v RK [2011] EWHC 3910 (Fam) there was a family company (‘FC’) which owned a large estate. When the parties met, the husband was working in FC as an assistant estate manager, but he rose to become a director of FC. However, he did not own any shares in FC. The principal activity of FC was farming, but it also owned a number of other assets, principally properties.

The estate had been founded by the husband’s great grandfather about 100 years previously and had been passed down the generations.

Sharing out

At the time of the hearing, the shares in FC were owned as to 29 per cent by the husband’s father, 42 per cent by his uncl...

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