Mar 11
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
The Dark Side of Codifying U.S. Trust Law

The Dark Side of Codifying U.S. Trust Law


11 March 2024 (Monday)
6:00 – 7:00 PM
Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower, The University of Hong Kong




For most of Anglo-American history, trust law was case law. This is no longer true in the United States. Thirty-five U.S. states and the District of Columbia have enacted the Uniform Trust Code. Many U.S. jurisdictions also have enacted other statutes in or allied to trust law, such as the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act and the Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities. This lecture explores the consequences of this shift in the U.S. law of trusts from case law to statute law. Perversely, the codification has opened the door to outcomes diametrically opposed to the goals of the Uniform Law Commission and the American Law Institute. The perverse outcomes were not intended but should have been foreseen. The lecture analyzes the dark side of the codification of U.S. trust law and offers a path for future law reform.


Professor Thomas P. Gallanis is Allison and Dorothy Rouse Chair in Law and the Executive Director of the Global Wealth Management Project at the Antonin Scalia Law School of George Mason University. He also is Visiting Professor and Charles J. Merriam Scholar (through 2027) at the University of Chicago Law School and Chair Visiting Professor at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. He is an expert on trust, succession, property, and fiduciary law and is particularly interested in their comparative and cross-border aspects. He also is a prize-winning legal historian with expertise in English and European legal history. Professor Gallanis has held fellowships at All Souls College in Oxford and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He is an elected member of the International Academy of Estate and Trust Law, the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and the American Law Institute. He served on the Law panel for the Hong Kong RAE 2020.


Chair: Justice Anselmo Reyes SC, International Judge of the Singapore International Commercial Court and former Professor of Legal Practice of The University of Hong Kong


All are Welcome! Please register at to attend this in-person event.
For inquiries: Flora Leung at

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