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(Family Division, Moylan J, 20 June 2012)
The husband and wife were engaged in heavily contested financial remedy proceedings. They were married for 7 years and had a 10-year-old child together while the husband had three adult children from a previous marriage.
The wife put forward her case on the basis of the sharing principle in respect of matrimonial assets including the proceeds of a company acquisition and later sale, which were held in a trust structure. The beneficiaries under these trusts were the husband's parents, all four children and the one grandchild. The assets held by the discretionary trusts now totalled £130m. The wife applied for a variation of the trusts on the basis that they were post-nuptial settlements.
The trustees, supported by the beneficiaries, applied and were granted approval to not take part in those proceedings by the Royal Court of Jersey and the East Caribbean Supreme Court. The husband's adult children now sought to be joined as parties to the financial proceedings in order to contest the wife's application.
For the purposes of FPR 9.26B it was desirable for the adult beneficiaries to be joined as parties to the proceedings. It would clearly assist with the investigation and resolution of matters and it would be consistent with the overriding objective. From the court's perspective it would have been preferable for the trustees to be joined but as they had declined to participate, to join the beneficiaries was the second best course.
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