LLAW6299 Trusts in commerce, finance, and wealth management

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW6299 / JDOC6299
Course name: Trusts in Commerce, Finance, and Wealth Management
Programme offered under: LLM Programme / JD Programme
Semester: January
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: No
Credit point value: 9 credit / 6 credits
Cap on student numbers: 30

1.2 Course description

The course examines cutting edge problems arising from the modern application of the trust and equitable doctrines in modern family succession planning, commerce, and finance.

The 21st century has presented a series of challenges to trust and equitable doctrines.  First, transformation in the form of wealth held by individuals, from real estate to corporate and most recently digital assets, raises interesting issues such as whether data, digital assets and cryptocurrencies may be held upon trust, and how trust law may be used to protect people’s rights in these new forms of wealth.  Second, the aging of the population and inequality in wealth distribution means that inter-generational transfers of wealth are more complicated than in the past. There is increasing sophistication in the use (or abuse) of trust by high net worth individuals to preserve wealth in the family.  This development gives rise to questions such as when is a trust a sham or an illusory trust, how far may settlors protect themselves from creditors, estranged spouses and the tax authorities while maintaining control over the trust property, and what is the minimum core of a trustee’s duties.  Third, the globalised economy has provided a strong impetus to civil law countries to adopt the trust to enhance their capabilities in international finance.  As civil law trust laws interact with common law jurisdictions, there are theoretical and practical uncertainties as to the nature of the rights and proprietary remedies in trust law.  The course will consider these modern challenges to trust law and equitable principles.

1.3 Course teachers

Name E-mail address Office Consultation
Course convenor Peter Turner TBA TBA By email

2.1 Course Learning Outcomes (CLOs) for this course

CLO 1 Describe and explain the core features of the modern family trust as a device for succession and asset protection.

CLO 2 Describe and explain the legal principles pertaining to the reception, application, and challenges of the trust in China.

CLO 3 Critically examine the limitations of the principles of trust and equity in tackling modern phenomena such as new forms of wealth (such as data, digital assets and cryptocurrencies) and abuses of the trust.

CLO 4 Apply the knowledge and understanding to tackle problems in the modern application of trust and equitable principles.

CLO 5 Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of the trust and equitable doctrines within their broader economic and socio-cultural contexts.

2.2 LLM Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

PLO A On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of the body of legal knowledge and the capacity to conduct research on, critically analyse and evaluate legal principles, at a level required to meet the standards and expectations of the legal profession and the community at large.

PLO B On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply their legal knowledge and research skills to practical situations or theoretical challenges, and utilise their comparative understanding of the law and its political, social and cultural contexts to provide original and creative insights to legal problems.

PLO C On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to apply the knowledge, lawyering skills and legal reasoning to real and novel situations in life, with a view to resolving issues, problems and disputes within the legal parameters.

PLO D On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to demonstrate the ability to present effectively legal arguments in the professional context, as well as conveying and explaining the law effectively to lay clients and members of the larger community.

PLO E On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to appreciate the underlying moral values of the law and ethics in the profession and the legal system in the broad social, economic, political and cultural contexts: justice, the Rule of Law, and protection of rights and liberties which form the fabrics of a civilised society, and the importance of upholding these values by the legal community.

PLO F On successful completion of the curriculum, students should be able to develop a strong awareness of social issues and conditions, and utilise analytical abilities and rhetorical advocacy to provide leadership for the betterment of the human community.

CLO 1  ✓  ✓
CLO 2  ✓  ✓
CLO 3  ✓  ✓

3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
Class participation TBC 20% 5 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Research essay TBC 80% 2 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
*Feedback method (to be determined by course teacher)
1 A general course report to be disseminated through Moodle
2 Individual feedback to be disseminated by email / through Moodle
3 Individual review meeting upon appointment
4 Group review meeting
5 In-class verbal feedback

3.2 Assessment Detail

To be advised by course convenor(s).

3.3 Grading Criteria

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/grading-criteria/

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3-hour seminars in an intensive mode in Jan and Feb 2021
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 12 teaching weeks

Remarks: the normative student study load per credit unit is 25 ± 5 hours (ie. 150 ± 30 hours for a 6-credit course), which includes all learning activities and experiences within and outside of classroom, and any assessment task and examinations and associated preparations.

4.2 Details of Learning Activities

To be advised by course convenor(s).

5.1 Resources

Reading materials: Reading materials are posted on Moodle
Core reading list: TBA
Recommended reading list: TBA

5.2 Links

Please refer to the following link: http://www.law.hku.hk/course/learning-resources/

By the publication of the course profile online, the Faculty deems the student as having been notified of the course requirements.