Cristiana Crociani and 3 others (Respondents) v Maria Carolina de Bourbon des Deux Siciles (by her Guardian Ad Litem. Maitre Maxime Gorra) and another (Appellants) (Jersey))
Case ID: JCPC 2018/0088
Jurisdiction: Court of Appeal of Jersey
This appeal concerns the nature of the remedy of equitable compensation and whether it can be fashioned in the circumstances in the way that the Court of Appeal ordered. In particular, whether the Court of Appeal’s decision that Camilla’s trust is to be treated as having come to an end cannot stand because her children (the appellants), who have an interest in her trust, were neither joined as parties nor represented in the proceedings.
In 1987 Madame Crociani settled a family trust known as the Grand Trust. The trust deed stipulated that the trust property was to be held in two separate trusts for each of her daughters, Camilla and Cristiana, with a residuary beneficial interest to their respective children. At the relevant times, the trust was governed by Jersey law and its trustees included Madame Crociani and BNP Paribas Jersey ("BNP"). The trust deed empowered the trustees to transfer the trust assets to other trusts for the benefit of all or any of the beneficiaries other than Madame Crociani. Nevertheless, in 2010, the trustees appointed all of the assets of Camilla and Cristiana’s trusts except one to the Fortunate Trust, of which Madame Crociani was the sole discretionary beneficiary. In late 2010-11, Cristiana became estranged from Madame Crociani and Camilla. In June 2011, Madame Crociani revoked the Fortunate Trust, took possession of all of its assets and dispersed them around the globe. She has not complied with the Court’s order to disclose where and how those assets are held. In 2013, Cristiana and her children issued proceedings alleging that the appointment to the Fortunate Trust was a breach of trust and seeking relief. Camilla opposed the claim and pleaded that she had acquiesced in the alleged breaches of trust. Camilla did not participate in the trial and her children were not parties to it.
The Jersey Royal Court held that BNP was jointly and severally liable with Madame Crociani for a breach of trust and ordered it to pay equitable compensation calculated by reference to the value required to fully reconstitute the trusts of both daughters. BNP appealed the order to reconstitute Camilla’s trust. The Court of Appeal allowed BNP’s appeal, holding that Camilla had participated dishonestly in her mother’s breach of trust. The Court of Appeal held that Camilla’s trust was therefore to be treated as having been fully paid out and having come to an end.
Camilla’s children now appeal to the Privy Council against the Court of Appeal’s decision in respect of Camilla’s trust.
Maria Carolina de Bourbon des Deux Siciles (by her Guardian ad litem, Maitre Maxime Gorra), Maria Chiara de Bourbon des Deux Siciles (by her Guardian ad Litem, Maitre Maxime Gorra)
Cristiana Crociani and others