General Course Information

1.1 Course details

Course code: LLAW3265
Course name: Advanced Seminars in Trust and Equity
Programme offered under: LLB Programme
Semester: Second
Designated research course: to be confirmed
Specialization: Commercial, corporate and financial law
Prerequisites / Co-requisites: Contract Law
Course offered to non-law students: No
Credit point value: 6 credits

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 Lusina Ho lusinaho@hku.hk CCT 614 By email

Learning Outcomes

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 LLB Programme Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Please refer to the following link: https://course.law.hku.hk/llb-plo/

2.3 Programme Learning Outcomes to be achieved in this course



3.1 Assessment Summary

Assessment task Due date Weighting Feedback method* Course learning outcomes
To be confirmed TBC 100% 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: https://www.law.hku.hk/_files/law_programme_grade_descriptors.pdf

Learning Activities

4.1 Learning Activity Plan

Seminar: 3 hours / week for 11 teaching weeks
Private study time: 9.5 hours / week for 11 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).

Learning Resources

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/