Gross negligence after Spread Trustee v Hutcheson

7 January 2012

The transition from vituperative epithet to meaningful standard
(2011) 26 JIBFL 671

Daniel Warents and Owen Curry provided this article in the Journal of International Banking and Financial Law.

The article examines the case of Spread Trustees v Hutcheson, a case in which John Stephens of XXIV Old Buildings appeared. The case reaffirmed the position in English law that a trustee may exclude liability for gross negligence.

Gross negligence is a concept which is of increasing relevance to trusts and commercial transactions as a result of statutory reforms and express incorporation of gross negligence standards in trust deeds and contracts.

The article looks at how the English courts have now begun to develop guidelines to determine whether a defendant’s conduct amounts to gross negligence.