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MCC RULES AND TRUST LAW 

In the Deed of Conveyance dated 31 August 1937 the 5 MCC Trustees appointed a Custodian Trustee Glyn Mills & Co in accordance with their instructions given by Members at SGM. The Custodian Trustee is instructed by the Trustees in this Deed "TO HOLD unto the Bank in fee simple as custodian Trustee for the Club under Section 4 sub-Sections (2) and (3) of the Public Trustee Act 1906". These Sections are highlighted below  

SECTION 4 OF THE PUBLIC TRUSTEE ACT 1906

4. Custodian Trustees

(1) Subject to rules under this Act the public trustee may, if he consents to act as such, and whether or not the number of trustees has been reduced below the original number, be appointed to be custodian trustee of any trust -

(a) By order of the court made on application of any person on whose application the court may order the appointment of a new trustee; or

(b) By the testator, settlor, or other creator of any trust; or

 (c) By the person having the power to appoint new trustees.

(2) Where the public trustee is appointed to be custodian trustee of any trust -

 (a) The trust property shall be transferred to the custodian trustee as if he were sole trustee, and for that purpose vesting orders may, where necessary, be made under the Trustee Act 1893(1):

 (b) The management of the trust property and the exercise of any power or discretion exerciseable by the trustees under the trust shall remain vested in the trustees other than the custodian trustee (which trustees are hereinafter referred to as the managing trustees):

 (c) As between the custodian trustee and the managing trustees, and subject and without prejudice to the rights of any other persons, the custodian trustee shall have the custody of all securities and documents of title relating to the trust property, but the managing trustee shall have free access thereto and be entitled to take copies thereof or extracts therefrom:

 (d) The custodian trustee shall concur in and perform all acts necessary to enable the managing trustees to exercise their powers of management or any other power or discretion vested in them (including the power to pay money or securities into court), unless the matter in which he is requested to concur is a breach of trust, or involves a personal liability upon him in respect of calls or otherwise, but, unless he so concurs, the custodian trustee shall not be liable for any act or default on the part of the managing trustees or any of them:

(e) All sums payable to or out of the income of the trust property shall be paid to or by the custodian trustee: Provided that the custodian trustee may allow the dividends and other income derived from the trust property to be paid to the managing trustees or to such person as they direct, or into such bank to the credit of such person as they may direct, and in such case shall be exonerated from seeing to the application thereof and shall not be answerable for any loss or misapplication thereof:

(f) The power of appointing new trustees, when exerciseable by the trustees, shall be exerciseable by the managing trustees alone, but the custodian trustee shall have the same power of applying to the court for the appointment of a new trustee as any other trustee:

 (g) In determining the number of trustees for the purposes of the Trustee Act 1893(2), the custodian trustee shall not be reckoned as a trustee:

 (h)The custodian trustee, if he acts in good faith, shall not be liable for accepting as correct and acting upon the faith of any written statement by the managing trustees as to any birth, death, marriage, or other matter of pedigree or relationship, or other matter of fact, upon which the title to the trust property or any part thereof may depend, nor for acting upon any legal advice obtained by the managing trustees independently of the custodian trustee:

 (i) The court may, on the application of either the custodian trustee, or any of the managing trustees, or of any beneficiary, and on proof to their satisfaction that it is the general wish of the beneficiaries, or that on other grounds it is expedient, to terminate the custodian trusteeship, make an order for that purpose, and the court may thereupon make such vesting orders and give such directions as under the circumstances may seem to the court to be necessary or expedient.

 (3) The provisions of this section shall apply in like manner as to the public trustee to any banking or insurance company or other body corporate entitled by rules made under this Act to act as custodian trustees, with power for such company or body corporate to charge and retain or pay out of the trust property fees not exceeding the fees chargeable by the public trustee as custodian trustee.

TRUST LAW AND MCC RULES 

An MCC Memorandum on Proposed Revisions to the Rules of the Club dated 5 February 1990 and sent to all Members confirmed

Rule 15 Custodian Trustee – “The use of a Custodian Trustee rather than the Trustees is primarily a matter for administrative convenience, so that all the real property can be vested in the Custodian Trustee”.

The role of the 3 Club Trustees today is crystal clear – it is exactly the same as it was in 1866 - a management role that has to be exercised within the confines of statutory Trust Law. On appointment an MCC Trustee has a statutory duty of care that has to be exercised in accordance with the Deed of Trust executed for the benefit of the members of MCC. Whatever the MCC Club Rules say at any time they will be void if the role of the trustees conflicts with the primacy of Trust Law.

The MCC Committee has failed to recognise the legal implications where the Club Trustees are concerned for several years now. The nostrum of Committee Members that they can do no wrong is pure fantasy.

The supreme power at Lords lies with the Members themselves who are able to express their wishes at a Special General Meeting and put any case for change to the vote of the membership - even to the extent of a dissolution of the Club being carried out in accordance with Rule 25.However nothing should ever be transacted ar SGM that conflicts with the sovereignty of Statute Law.Trustee powers include the ability to veto the sale of any property at Lord's, including the Ground itself.

The role of the MCC Trustees as the guardians of the Members’ best interests and their administration of the express wishes contained in the Deed of Trust of 1866 needs to be addressed without delay. The Members were informed at the AGM’s of 2003 and 2004 that the matter of “incorporation” was being considered at Lords. This cannot be done until the lawful role of the MCC Trustees is codified and properly entrenched in the Club Rules.

There is a compelling case in support of a return to the status quo ante of 1937 when every Trustee (5) was formally confirmed in office with a Deed of Appointment. Their responsibilities were certain and their relationship with the Committee itself well established by tradition for more than 75 years.

 

Nigel Knott

 

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