Principal forms of commercial trusts in the UK and the rethinking of traditional approaches

Ruiqiao Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trusts, which originated in common law and are used to protect family landholdings over generations, have developed into a vehicle that is more often used for commercial purposes. This shift has occurred without any systematic understanding of in what form and to what extent trusts can be adopted in a commercial context. Furthermore, few have considered whether existing trust law can adequately govern commercial trusts; that is, whether or not the commercial use of trusts requires a redeveloped trust law regime, distinguished from traditional approaches. This article offers a critical analysis of these issues, identifying and categorising the principal forms of commercial trusts that are currently employed in the UK. It argues that, given the different settings and contexts in which commercial trusts are found, trust law should be developed to serve the way in which trusts are now used in a commercial context.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberttac081
Pages (from-to)787-800
JournalTrusts & Trustees
Issue number8
Early online date3 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • trust law
  • commercial trust
  • UK trust law
  • UK commercial trust
  • rule of law


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