This is the first article to undertake a sustained analysis of normative justifications for the Quistclose trust. Whilst much of the existing writing on this topic has focused on the better classification of such trusts – for instance, whether they are express, resulting, constructive or sui generis – this article asks why the law should recognise a trust in addition to any underlying legal relationship. Four key justifications are addressed, based on respecting party intention, unconscionability, fairness, and the incentivisation of desirable transactions. It will be argued that: (i) there are difficulties with each of these justifications, although an intention-focused explanation is probably the most convincing; and (ii) the existing law and commentary lacks coherence and consistency, as seen in the mismatch between normative and doctrinal analysis, and the failure to properly address the ramifications of the Quistclose trust during insolvency.
Emily Hudson, A Normative Approach to the Quistclose Trust, Modern Law Review, Volume 80, Issue 5, September 2017. First published: 6 September 2017. DOI: 10.1111/1468-2230.12288.