No presumption of anonymity in trusts cases


Re: MN v OP & Ors [2019] EWCA Civ 679

There was no presumption of anonymity in applications made under the Variation of Trusts Act 1958, as it is for approval hearings in personal injury claims.

The Court held that there were material differences. Areas of judicial activity were not excluded per se from the general principle of open justice because the court is acting on behalf of the crown as parens patriae rather than exercising its ordinary judicial function of deciding disputes. Information about the individual shares of the minor beneficiaries in a settlement were of a different order of sensitivity to the sort of highly personal medical and other information which parties to approval hearings are required to put before the court.

Reporting restrictions were made in favour of the two children until they reached maturity.

Guy Vassall-Adams QC was involved in this case.