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Legal Update

When is a trust not a trust?

20 October 2017
Mayer Brown Legal Update
This latest judgment in the long-running Pugachev litigation highlights that a settlor cannot avail themselves of the benefits of putting assets in trust whilst at the same time in reality maintaining control over the assets through extensive non-fiduciary personal powers.

The High Court has ruled that Sergei Pugachev, the Russian oligarch who was a settlor, "protector" and discretionary beneficiary of five discretionary trusts worth approximately US$95 million, was the true owner of the trust assets in question and the Court should not give effect to the trust instruments.
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