It is now more than ten years since the seminal decision of the Privy Council in Schmidt v Rosewood Trust Ltd  established that a beneficiary’s right to seek the disclosure of trust documents was ‘… one aspect of the court’s inherent jurisdiction to supervise, and if necessary to intervene in, the administration of trusts’ (per Lord Walker at para 51). Since the decision in Schmidt , there has been very little case law that examines the working out of this general principle in particular or in difficult circumstances. One such case was Breakspear v Ackland  that concerned the disclosure of a settlor’s letter of wishes. We now have some further learning as a result of a recent decision of the Chief Justice of Bermuda in In the Matter of An Application for Information About A Trust .
This article will look in detail at this decision, together with the decision of the Bermuda Court of Appeal which upheld the first instance ruling.