Professional Trustee acting ‘personally’

I just wondered if anyone had any direct experience of a rogue Solicitor Trustee, acting somewhat negligently, who is no longer involved with the firm. Where does the firm stand?

The trustee acts spell out the requirements for agency and delegation, but in guidelines for SRA professional indemnity insurance is recommended to cover professional trustees personal actions when administering trusts.

So does one follow the other? If a beneficiary has an issue with the trust management, can they choose to raise a claim with the firms insurer rather than taking issue with the trustee?

Kirsty Claridge
The Deans Legal Services

If the trustee is no longer with the firm (and the firm is no longer involved in any capacity such as advisers) then it would be very difficult to claim against the firm for his acts and omissions that took place following his departure.

Even when he was at the firm, there is still a theoretical distinction between his acts as trustee and as a partner of the firm (administration/advice) but this is easily blurred if something goes wrong.

I don’t believe anybody can claim directly against the insurers but in any case should think that the firm’s insurance would only be at risk for the trustee’s post departure negligence if he continued to be covered by the policy in some way.

Andrew Goodman
Osborne Clarke LLP