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The paper consists of FOUR questions in TWO sections. You must answer THREE questions in total:
SECTION A – You MUST answer QUESTION 1 AND QUESTION 2
SECTION B – You MUST answer ONE question
All questions carry equal weight. Please write the answers to the THREE questions on the answer sheets at the end of this paper.
You may write up to 2400 words for this paper. We advise that you divide this equally between the questions. This word count includes any footnotes, annotations, or end notes. Penalties will be applied if you exceed the total word count.
These questions have been set so that you can answer them within the normal 3 hour exam timeframe. You are not expected to spend 24 hours on this assessment.
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Referencing and plagiarism
This is an open-book online exam. You may consult any resources for this online exam. You are NOT expected to provide a bibliography.
You do not need to reference your work in the same way you reference your coursework. However, you must NOT copy text from books, articles, or any online sources, without acknowledgement. If you do quote, you MUST make clear that this is what you are doing by the use of quotation marks and cite the source of your quotation (e.g.: (Jones, 2019) or ‘Jones says in Cases of English Contract Law that…’). Footnotes and bibliography are not expected. Please note that any citations or footnotes, if you use them, will be included in the word count. This means that if your answers exceed the word limit as a result of your use of footnotes, penalties will be imposed.
Copying without acknowledgement from textbooks, articles, any online or offline sources, or your OWN previously written essays is an academic offence. The use of Artificial Intelligence bots (AI) is strictly prohibited and is an academic offence. Collaborating with other students is strictly prohibited. This is collusion, which is an academic offence. Penalties will apply.
Please allow at least 30 minutes at the end of your exam time to upload your work. Once you have completed the assessment do not leave it to the last minute to upload.
Please save your work throughout the examination to avoid losing your work.
You may only submit Microsoft Word documents (.doc or .docx), no other file types. Files submitted as PDF, Pages or other formats will be considered non-submissions and will not be marked. You will receive a mark of 0 if you submit in any format other than Word.
You must submit your answers to FASER by the time and date stated on FASER. The times shown on your timetable are in UK time. Please check online for a conversion to your local time if you will be undertaking your assessment outside the United Kingdom.
QUESTIONS START ON THE NEXT PAGE
The paper consists of FOUR questions in TWO sections.
SECTION A: candidates must answer QUESTION 1 AND QUESTION 2
SECTION B: candidates must answer ONE question.
All questions carry equal weight.
All candidates must answer QUESTION 1 AND QUESTION 2
In February 2023, Ross Geller was asked to supervise a palaeontological dig in Oklahoma, USA. Although he was excited (the dig was to excavate a very rare dinosaur skeleton), he was concerned about tornadoes and decided to write a will. His will contained the following provisions:
(i) £50,000 to Phoebe Buffay, in full confidence that she will use most of the money for good causes;
(ii) £10,000 on trust for Charlie Wheeler;
(iii) £50,000 to Janice Litman-Goralnik for her own use and benefit; anything remaining at her death must be held on trust for her children;
(iv) One third of my fossil collection is to be held on trust for Ben Geller, one third on trust for Emma Geller-Green, and one third on trust for Joey Tribiani;
(v) My telescope and my dinosaur egg are to go to Monica Bing and Chandler Bing; Chandler is to have whichever item Monica does not want.
The day before he left for Oklahoma, Ross had dinner with his friends. He was excited about the dig, but sad to be leaving his friends for so long. At the end of the meal, he turned to his friends and said:
(vi) I’m holding all my Microsoft shares on trust for Rachel Green;
(vii) I’m holding my apartment on trust for Joey Tribiani;
(viii) I’m transferring my interest in the Dinosaurs-Are-Great Trust (an existing trust) to Phoebe Buffay.
Ross wrote on a napkin ‘I am holding my apartment on trust for Joey’ and handed the napkin to Joey, who promised to keep it safe.
Unfortunately, just as the friends were leaving the restaurant, an escaped rhinoceros ran down the street and squashed Ross and Monica. Both died instantly.
Advise the executors of Ross’ will.
QUESTIONS CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE
In 2018, Andie Alsop created a valid trust in favour of four beneficiaries: Ben, Charlie, Dan, and Ellie. Fred (an experienced solicitor), Greg (a wine merchant) and Hector (an actor) were appointed as trustees. The value of the trust was £400,000. On appointment, the trustees made the following investments:
- The trustees decided to invest £100,000 in a travel company (‘Travel-great’) because Ben and Charlie liked holidays. The investment initially performed well, but Covid lockdowns in 2020-21 adversely affected bookings and the company has not yet recovered. The investment is currently worth £50,000.
- The trustees invested £100,000 in a Michelin-starred restaurant (‘Xo-Yo’), giving them a 53% share in the business. Greg had heard from his friends that the restaurant would be the ‘next big thing’. Fred and Hector were nervous about the investment, but decided to trust Greg. The restaurant lost its Michelin star in 2021 and, over the past two years, the restaurant managers have made increasingly bizarre menu choices that do not attract customers. The value of the investment is falling.
- The trustees invested £120,000 in a custom motorcycle company (‘Harvey Davison’) because it was mentioned in a biker magazine. The investment is performing exceptionally well. Dan (an environmental activist) was angry with the investment and demanded that the trustees sell the shares and invest in an electric scooter company instead. The trustees refused.
- The trustees decided to leave the remaining money (£80,000) in a high-interest bank account.
- Charlie liked to bet on football matches and, as a Liverpool FC fan, he was sure that Everton were going to be relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2022-23 football season. In March 2023, he told the trustees to take £25,000 from the bank account and place a bet on Everton being relegated. The trustees placed the bet, but the money was lost - Everton survived the relegation battle and remained in the Premier League (and went on to win the league in the 2023-24 season).
Discuss the actions and potential liabilities of the trustees for breach of trust.
END OF SECTION A
SECTION B STARTS ON THE NEXT PAGE
All candidates must answer ONE question from SECTION B.
Frank Reynolds was a bar owner. He had two children: Dee and Dennis. Since 2007, Frank, Dee and Dennis have worked in the bar, together with Charlie and Mac. For years, Frank lived in the same apartment as Charlie. He treated Charlie like a son and paid Charlie’s bills.
In 2019, Frank moved in with Bonnie Kelly, Charlie’s mother. Frank and Bonnie lived together as man and wife, but they did not marry or enter into a civil partnership. Frank continued to pay Charlie’s bills and expenses.
In 2022, Frank executed a will. His will stipulated that, on his death, the bar was to pass to Dennis. The will was silent as to all other assets.
In early 2023, Frank entered a marathon. Unfortunately, he collapsed five minutes into the race while eating a doughnut. He died.
At the time of his death, the bar was valued at £3million and there was £2million in Frank’s bank accounts.
Advise Bonnie, Charlie, Dee, Dennis and Mac.
QUESTIONS CONTINUE ON THE NEXT PAGE
June, July, Kez and Larry were appointed trustees of a valid trust for the benefit of three beneficiaries: Maya, Noelle and Posie.
The trust assets comprised £30,000, a waterfront apartment in Wivenhoe (worth £380,000), a £90,000 investment in a sticker company, a £100,000 investment in an art gallery, and a £50,000 investment in a local print magazine (‘Essex Weekly’).
June wanted to buy the apartment in Wivenhoe – being close to the water, the views were incredible. She knew that she couldn’t buy the apartment herself, so she asked her cousin to buy it on her behalf (she intended to move into the apartment then buy it from her cousin). June did not see any problem with this as her cousin paid just over market value (£381,000). The house is currently worth £383,000.
Kez was convinced that the sticker company would go from strength to strength. She approached Noelle and offered to purchase Noelle’s interest in the investment. Noelle was extremely busy at work so agreed to the purchase without asking any questions.
In his role as trustee, Larry learnt about the publishing industry. Frustrated by lack of payment as a trustee, he decided to start his own digital magazine. The magazine would cover similar stories to Essex Weekly, but with more photos and in digital format. He thinks it will have more appeal than the print magazine. He has set up a website and intends to launch his digital magazine in a few months.
From late 2019 to early 2023, July took bribes from artists who wanted to exhibit in the gallery. She used the bribe money to buy a property in Norfolk. By April 2023, she was fed up catching the train from London to Norfolk so decided to take £20,000 from the trust to buy a car. Unfortunately, she reversed into a bollard and damaged the car. The car is currently worth £12,000.
Advise the beneficiaries of any breaches of fiduciary duties, along with possible remedies.
END OF SECTION B
END OF QUESTIONS