Podcast Location:
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Private Client: Wills, Trusts & Lifetime Planning
Tax Law
CPD Points:
Up to 1 point. details »

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Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

Regulated by the Bar Standards Board:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 accredited CPD point (60 minutes)

Regulated by ILEX:
Listen and pass the quiz: Gain 1 CPD point (60 minutes)
Listen only, gain ½ a CPD point (30 minutes)

  • FREE
30 minutes of audio
(+ optional 5 minute online quiz)
Plays on Computer:
Yes Downloadable as MP3:    Yes
Course Aims:

This podcast aims to set out the current scope of the rule established in Re Hastings Bass and its relationship to the very similar doctrine of equitable mistake for trustees and private client advisors. While superficially similar, the doctrines have two different origins and have traditionally lead to very different consequences. In this podcast, two leading practitioners will debate the merits of continuing to have a parallel set of rules and in what circumstances it is appropriate to plead one over the other or both concurrently.

After completing the course you will:
  • Understand the rule established in Re Hastings Bass;
  • Understand the relationship between Re Hastings Bass and the doctrine of equitable mistake;
  • Be aware of the recent case law on the right of HMRC to intervene in such cases;
  • Understand the arguments in favour of synergising the two rules into a single rule of mistake;
  • Be aware of the arguments in favour of letting loss to the trust lie where it falls;
  • Understand the implications of the 'void'/'voidable' consequences when applying either doctrine for tracing remedies and what defences may be available.
Complex Difficulty: 4 of 5
Case Update
Legal Principles
Panel Discussion
Sources and References:
  • Re Hastings-Bass deceased [1975] Ch 25;
  • Gibbon v Mitchell [1990] 1 WLR 1304;
  • Ogden & Anor v Trustees of the RHS Griffiths 2003 Settlement & Ors [2008] EWHC 118 (Ch);
  • Sieff v Fox [2005] EWHC 1312 (Ch);
  • Lady Hood of Avalon v Mackinnon [1909] 1 Ch 476;
  • Pitt and another v Holt and another [2010] 2 Ch D;
  • Futter v Futter [2010] EWHC 449;
  • Gresh v RBC Trust Company (Guernsey) Limited (Unreported) 29 May 2009);
  • Virgo, G. The Principles of the Law of Restitution (2nd ed 2006).

In this podcast, Elspeth Talbot Rice QC and Adam Cloherty of XXIV Old Buildings engage in a candid discussion about the doctrine of equitable mistake and the rules in Re Hasting's Bass. This is a complex and difficult area of law for private client practitioners with a myriad of contradictory case law, made more complex by the recent interventions of HMRC when reversing a transaction puts the Revenue out of pocket.

Podcast added: 01/06/10

N.B. CURRENCY WARNING: This podcast is currently being revised to account for the recent Court of Appeal Decision in Pitt & Anor v Holt & Anor [2011] EWCA Civ 197

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