BERMUDA TRUST – INFORMATION CONTROL CAUSE – RIGHTS OF BENEFICIARIES – CORE OBLIGATIONS OF VALID TRUST – TRUSTEE’S DUTY TO ACCOUNT – DISCLOSURE
This matter raised a novel question of the impact of an information control clause or mechanism on the Court’s supervisory jurisdiction over a Bermudian trust. The Plaintiff sought disclosure of what he characterised as basic information about the Trust of which he is a beneficiary. The trust deed prohibited the Trustees from disclosing any information without the consent of the Protector, the principal beneficiary of the trust. Two broad questions were considered. Firstly, whether the information control mechanism in the trust deed is valid on its face or whether its terms were incompatible with the irreducible core obligations inherent in a valid trust. Secondly, assuming that the relevant clause is valid on its face, what principles delineate the scope of the Court’s jurisdiction to grant relief in circumstances which entail a departure from the strict terms of the governing instrument?