Prescription/limitation in Guernsey

Jefcoate v. Spread Trust Company Ltd, unreported, Judgment 11/2013, 17 April 2013 is a useful decision in Guernsey (available on the Guernsey Legal Resources website).

Most of it is about leave to amend but it decides the scope of the time-limit in section 76 of the Trusts (Guernsey) Law 2007 for claims for breach of trust. Broadly speaking, the period is three years from knowledge of the breach, except in cases of fraud or retention of trust property. Jefcoate decides that accessory liability - claims for dishonest assistance and knowing receipt - are outside section 76 because the accessory, though a constructive trustee, is not a ‘trustee’ within the section. The Royal Court expressed itself as following the distinction drawn in England in Paragon Finance, though that distinction has been complicated by Central Bank of Nigeria v. Williams [2013] Q.B. 499 (C.A.).

Nicholas Le Poidevin, Q.C.
New Square Chambers