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28 June 2018
The 13 March 2018 Grand Court decision in T Co v AA, BB, CC, DD, EE (a minor) is a good reminder of the court's approach to service out of the jurisdiction and provides insight on the scope of jurisdiction clauses contained in trust instruments.
The US-resident defendants brought claims in Florida against the Cayman trust company's (T Co) sister company (FL Co) and an employee of that company for damages relating to alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and misrepresentation. As a result, T Co issued an originating summons under Section 48 of the Trusts Law seeking certain declarations in the form of relief that were to a large extent the mirror image of the allegations made in the Florida action.
Following service, each of the defendants commenced US proceedings contesting the validity of service of the originating summons (the foreign service applications). T Co also applied for an anti-suit injunction restraining the defendants from prosecuting the foreign service applications.
The Cayman court held as follows:
It is true that the language of section 48 of the Trusts Law is broad in that it allows a trustee to request advice or direction on any question relating to the management or administration of the trust, but it does not follow that this court should arrogate to itself exclusive jurisdiction over those matters to restrain the defendants from continuing their foreign service applications in the local state courts with a view to resisting having the substantive matters determined in Cayman, which they had chosen to commence earlier in the Florida Court.
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