John Melville-Smith discusses the limits of solicitors’ liability regarding a discretionary trust in the case of Joseph v Farrer & Co

It is said that there’s no fool like an old fool and Mr Peter Cundill, an award-winning Canadian investment guru who died in 2011 of a rare and untreatable neurological condition, appears by his own admission to have been one.

In his final years, he became very close to a former model, some 30 years his junior, Chantal Joseph, on whom he conferred considerable largesse: a flat in central London and a monthly income of £10,000. Subsequently, Cundill and Joseph made a joint request to the trustees of Cundill’s $300m Bermuda-based discretionary trust, of which he was the sole discretionary beneficiary during his lifetime, for a $10m payment to “secu...

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