Peter Steen, Partner, and Emily Bueno, Associate, in the Private Wealth Disputes team, wrote an article "Stewards enquiry: challenging a professional trustee’s remuneration" for the Trusts & Trustees journal.
"It is not uncommon for professional trustees to charge high fees for administering trusts. Such fees are often justified: the work involved in administering trusts can be complex, onerous and specialised, and the risks of trusteeship … are often considerable, particularly where the value of the trust assets is significant. Occasionally, however, one encounters fees that seem unjustifiably high and out of proportion to the work being undertaken and the assets in the trust."
The article examines how a professional trustee charging remuneration to the trust is approached in respect of non-charitable trusts. It covers the legal basis on which a professional trustee is able to charge for its fees, features of a professional trustee’s remuneration and the court's approach in assessing a professional trustee’s charges.
It also looks at the relative advantages and disadvantages of investigating a professional trustee’s charges before or after the resignation of a trustee and the winding up of the trust, as well as the position to adopt if there are outstanding charges in dispute.
Click here to read the full article.