The Earl of Cardigan, who has been in the press recently due to his daughter’s appearance on the TV prpgramme “The Voice”, has lost a case he brought against the trustees of his family estate at Savernake Forest in Wiltshire.
The Earl had sought to prevent the sale by the trustees of some family paintings, which the trustees wished to sell to raise money for the estate. One of the arguments put forward on the Earl’s behalf was that many of the paintings had been leased to him in 1999 together with Savernake Lodge, which he occupies.
The lease to the Earl included the 'furniture, fixtures and fittings' in Savernake Lodge. The court has held that paintings do fall within that definition and that, in any case, the trustees were entitled to have the lease set aside as at the time it was granted the Earl was a trustee of the estate and so was prevented from selling or leasing trust property to himself (the so called 'self-dealing rule' intended to prevent conflicts of interest).