Who is Paicolex? Paicolex Trust Management AG is the corporate trustee of the trust from which I derive my sole income. It is run by trust officers and advisors, In my case, Clare Edwards is the trust officer and Ron Downhill is the tax and legal advisor, who has to approve everything that the trust officer does, in this case, Clare Edwards.
Following my letter to Clare Edwards et all that is published in my post https://davidhender.life/2022/04/14/a-letter-to-the-family-trust-regarding-inequalities/, I have now written to the Solicitors Regulation Authority that controls and monitors the behaviour of the solicitors of England and Wales. They have the power to strike them off, which means that they are not legally allowed to work as solicitors anymore.
This is the letter in full
The Solicitors’ Regulation Authority
199 Wharfside Street
Dear Complaints Department,
Clare Edwards, trust officer to The Hender Family Settlement c/o Paicolex Trust Management AG, Kaspar Fennerstrasse 6, 8700 Küsnacht, Switzerland
Ron Downhill, legal and tax advisor to the Hender Family Settlement c/o Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner – Governor’s House, 5 Laurence Pountney Hill, London, EC4R 0BR UK
I wish to make a formal and official complaint against Miss Clare Edwards, who is a trust officer of Paicolex Trust Management AG. She is a UK citizen and a UK qualified Solicitor although she lives and works in Switzerland. I also wish to issue a formal complaint against Ron Downhill, who is the tax and legal advisor to the Hender Family Settlement
Miss Edwards is the primary trust officer of The Hender Family Settlement of which I am one of the two beneficiaries.
I have suspected for many years that she has been in league with the settlor of the trust, William Thomas Hender, my father.
Despite her protestations and her refusal to release the accounts and bank statements of the trust’s investment subsidiary, I have finally pieced together the following:
That she agreed for my father to add monies purportedly owed to him in the loan due to ASC that was signed and executed in 2015 by the trust officers of Paicolex Trust Management by me as a result of my divorce. That spurious loan amounted to £23,633.68 and was deducted immediately from my April 2019 dividend.
In the loan agreement, dated October 2015, which is governed by the laws of England and Wales, there was no provision whatsoever for any repayments or interest. However, since the 2019 dividend, I have been charged interest at 2.5% and 2.9% on the loan currently outstanding and, without my agreement, they have been deducting from my gross dividend, what Clare Edwards calls “instalments”.
Previous to Ms Edwards’ tenure, the trust officer was Thomas Meier, whom I had known for many years. As a Chartered Accountant myself, I diligently tracked all payments and changes of interest, calculating interest on a daily basis. The total amount of capital and interest was then paid shortly after the end of the month, with all calculations being sent to Thomas Meier. This ran for two years, until Clare Edwards’s tenure, when the atmosphere between myself and the trust officers deteriorated to the extent that given, they were not being compliant with the executed loan agreement, I ceased to pay any capital and interest, as I was doing before. It was not long after this that the trust officers unilaterally applied the new “instalment policy”.
I became aware that the trust officers had granted an interest free loan to my brother, the other beneficiary. This amounted to approximately £1.4m. It was secured by a charge on the assets of HFP Investments, my brother’s company. The accounts of that company show an interest free long term liability that is still outstanding in the 2021 accounts of that company. However, the charge was registered as satisfied at Companies House on 29th October 2020.
It is absolutely clear that this loan was merely written off. This is a very serious matter as it breaches the fundamental provisions of the trust deed of The Hender Family Settlement, in that all capital should be maintained.
As a result of this write off, Clare Edwards has breached her fiduciary and legal duties of care to both the settlement itself and to the beneficiaries. On this extremely serious matter alone, Clare Edwards should be struck off as a solicitor. What Paicolex Trust Management AG do with Clare Edwards, is up to them but I will be demanding her immediate dismissal for gross misconduct.
I was given copies of the trust accounts every year. I reviewed the accounts for the years ended 31st March 2018 and 2019 and was convinced that the other beneficiary, my brother, had been paid his dividend twice but Ms Edwards denied this.
It was not until I married up the accounts for those two years with the letter that she and her Chairman jointly sent on 30th July 2019, did I suddenly realise that despite her protestations, my brother had been paid two lots of dividend of £200,000, on 11th April and 14th May 2018.
The trust deed includes provisions that both beneficiaries must be treated pari passu and by approving the additional dividend, Ms Edwards has breached the trust deed, her fiduciary and legal duties to the settlement and her fiduciary and legal duties to me as the other beneficiary. This is the second major breach that Clare Edwards has committed and, unquestionably, she is not a fit and proper person to be a solicitor of England and Wales. There has been a major breach of trust.
I remind the reader that the ONLY beneficiaries of the Hender Family Settlement are
- David John Hender
- Martin William Hender
Since Ms Edwards’ tenure, payments have been made to both of my brother’s daughters, for school and university fees and to my daughter, from whom I am estranged, for school and university fees, as well as costs relating to the purchase or rental of a house for herself and her boyfriend. All of these accumulated costs have been included in the accounts of the Hender Family Settlement as “negative creditors” or debtors.
I do not have to remind you that these payments represent a reduction in capital, as they are not entitled to income as they are not beneficiaries.
Despite the trust deed setting down the principals of the maintenance of capital, Ms Edwards, as trust officer to the Hender Family Settlement, has ignored this and has again breached her fundamental duty of care, both of a fiduciary and legal nature, to the settlement itself and to the beneficiaries themselves.
At the settlor’s request (William Thomas Hender), Ms Edwards has basically torn up the trust deed of the settlement and applied whatever is required by the settlor, who should have no input to the trust officers, who are supposed to be completely independent.
This also brings into question the actions of Ron Downhill, a consultant and previous partner to the Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner partnership. He is and always has been the legal and tax advisor to the trust and trust officers and, without his advice, the trust officers cannot do anything.
There is only one conclusion that can be made. That is that Mr Downhill has been complicit with the trust officers of Paicolex Trust Management AG and, in particular, Miss Clare Edwards and the settlor, William Thomas Hender on this occasion. As a qualified solicitor of England and Wales, the SRA should also give serious consideration to determining that Mr Downhill should be struck off as well.
The matters raised above are very serious and cannot be swept under the carpet. In most litigation matters, there are “grey areas” that will be disputed but in these matters, it is a clear black and white issue; there is no doubt of the demeanours that have been committed by Miss Edwards. Her actions speak far louder than any words can be said or any evidence that can be produced.
Miss Edwards should be recalled to appear before the Complaints Council of the SRA and, if she cannot defend her actions, should be summarily be struck off from being a solicitor of England and Wales and, given that the fundamental attribute of a trust officer is one of TRUST, she should be immediately removed as a trust officer of Paicolex Trust Management AG
David John Hender
Beneficiary to the Hender Family Settlement
Andrew Lugg is a Swiss national and therefore falls outside the influence of the SRA, as he is not a solicitor.. So, he is not referred to in the letter to the SRA. However, he has been joint signatory to all of the letters sent to me and is therefore legally responsible for what he and the other trust officers do.
He has been complicit in all actions taken against me and is therefore as responsible as Clare Edwards is. He must resign as chairman and Paicolex Trust Management AG must be broken up