Trustee investment policy: Butler-Sloss & Ors

Not specifically “law and religion” – but the powers and duties of charity trustees apply equally to trusts for the advancement of religion as to trusts for other purposes.

In Butler-Sloss & Ors v The Charity Commission for England and Wales & Anor [2022] EWHC 974 (Ch), the trustees of two charities – the Ashden Trust and the Mark Leonard Trust, whose principal purposes were environmental protection and improvement and the relief of poverty ­– sought clarification on whether they could adopt an investment policy that excluded many profitable potential investments which they considered would conflict with their charitable purposes. The effect of the only leading case in that area – Harries v Church Commissioners for England [1992] 1 WLR 1241, aka the Bishop of Oxford case, which concerned the Church of England’s investment policy in relation to South Africa – was unclear [1]: there is a helpful note on Harries here.

The trustees sought the Court’s approval for the adoption of their proposed new investment policies to ensure that they were acting lawfully. Continue reading