A further $33m Crociani success for Bedell Cristin

15 Jun 2018

After a further trial in the Crociani matter, the Royal Court has ordered the defaulting trustees to pay a further $33m into the Grand Trust, in addition to the $100m already ordered.

After the main judgment was handed down in September 2017, the defaulting trustees, including BNP Paribas Jersey Trust Corporation Limited, were ordered to pay $100m to reconstitute the Grand Trust, but various inquiries were also set in train to establish the further losses caused by the breaches of trust. Two inquiries were heard before the Royal Court just before Easter 2018, which involved the cross-examination of factual and expert witnesses. In a judgment handed down on 18 May 2018, the inquiries were determined in favour of the Plaintiffs. The hypothetical increase in value of a $100m portfolio achieved by a prudent trustee over 6 years if it had not been paid away in breach of trust was assessed at $31m in line with the Plaintiffs' expert; the trustees' expert's suggestion that the return would have been either $7m, or even as low as $2m, being rejected. A second inquiry into the recoverability of $2m of loans also found in the Plaintiffs' favour; the trustees' case that they would in fact have written off the loans (which would arguably have been another breach of trust) was rejected.

Further inquiries are pending in relation to the value of certain artwork, including a Van Gogh painting (due to be heard in July 2018), and a €52m Promissory Note, which were lost to the trust as a result of breaches of trust.

The team at Bedell Cristin was led by partner Edward Drummond (as the trial advocate) with assistance from Sonia Shah, and supported by Eason Rajah QC and James Poole of Ten Old Square.

Please click here to read the judgment.

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