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Court grants extra trustee powers for 'expediency' reasons for the first time - Cotterell v Allendale, 2020 EWHC 2234 Ch

The High Court has for the first time granted additional trustee powers under section 57(1) of the Trustee Act 1925. The provision allows courts to grant additional powers of management or administration if it considers it 'expedient' to do so. 

The judgment confirms that there does not need to be a specific transaction in mind for which the additional powers are required in order for an application under section 57(1) to succeed. 

In this case, the trustees had applied for additional powers to re-appropriate assets in order for them to be more easily moved between various family sub-trusts. The main trust was created more than 70 years ago and lacked some of the standard, more modern provisions, which the trustees also sought to have included.

Notwithstanding that the trustees were open about not having a specific transaction in mind, the High Court found that section 57(1) is no so restricted, and it did have the remit to grant general powers for expediency reasons.  

The England and Wales High Court (EWHC) has agreed to grant trustees additional powers under the expediency provisions in s.57(1) of the Trustee Act 1925 (the Act), the first time such an order has been made.