Removal of ‘trust’ manager

March 6, 2023

The Daily Mail reports on the case Leonard Cohen after his son and daughter seek to remove manager from $48 million trust, after manager Robert’s Kory’s lawyer admits to forgery.

Cara Hough comments.

This is an interesting case by its facts alone, and although based in the US raises a number of issues that can arise in any jurisdiction.

The dispute involves matters surrounding the appointment of a Trustee, breach of Trust and fiduciary duties, wrongful inclusion of assets within a Trust, capacity over certain documents signed prior to death, self-dealing and unjust enrichment, as well as quantifying loss.  These are all principles of importance in the UK when it comes to setting up a Trust. However, uncovering a purposeful fraud (such as it appears to be in this case), all comes down to the evidence in hand.

This case is made more worrying as it involves a US Attorney who (for reasons not yet known) appears to have swapped the page of a Trust in which the Trustees were appointed, to enable his client (Cohen’s Manager) to be appointed sole Trustee. It is understood that a defence has been filed and that arguments have been put forward that it was a mistake. However, we will have to wait until the Trial (29 March 2023) to find out what really happened.