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Tuesday, 27 February 2024

On 23 February Professor Lusina Ho (University of Hong Kong) delivered the 2024 Cambridge Freshfields Lecture entitled 'Re-imagining the Express Trust'.

In recent years, there has been growing concern about the use of express trusts to perpetuate wealth inequality and the need to transform trust law to accommodate ESG. To address these challenges, this lecture presents a theory of express trusts that articulates their distinct ability to protect the stewardship of assets for long-term goals while shielding those goals from erosion by settlors, managers, and beneficiaries. In particular, the lecture challenges the notion that only beneficiaries with the right to hold trustees accountable for benefits due to them can enforce the trust. This theory can help to define the legitimate limits of express trusts, including ‘massively discretionary trusts’, and to devise innovative trust structures that surpass the corporate form in organising businesses for impact investing.

Lusina Ho is Harold Hsiao-Wo Lee Professor in Trust and Equity at the Faculty of Law, the University of Hong Kong. While pursuing her teaching and research in Trust, Restitution, and Comparative Trust Law (in particular Chinese Trust Law), she has been consulted by the Government of the People’s Republic of China on the enactment of the Chinese Trust Law and the Government of the Hong Kong SAR on the reform of the Trustee Ordinance. In 2019, she has successfully convinced the Hong Kong SAR Government to launch a trust service for special needs individuals in the territory.

She has published widely and her work has been cited in highest appellate courts in common law jurisdictions, and has been translated and published in Japanese. She received from HKU the Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 2006, the Faculty Outstanding Teaching Award in 2017, the Faculty Knowledge Exchange Award in 2018, and the University Knowledge Award in 2018.

The Cambridge Freshfields Lecture is an annual address delivered by a guest of the Cambridge Private Law Centre, and the event is sponsored by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

More information about this lecture, including other recorded formats, the slides, and photographs from the event, is available from the Private Law Centre website.


Freshfields Lecture 2024