Jersey: An Introduction To Jersey Foundations

Last Updated: 3 February 2009
Article by Naomi Rive

In 2009 Jersey will unveil its draft Foundations (Jersey) Law 200[ ] (the "Draft Law") and, although the introduction of the civil law concept of private foundations into a jurisdiction that has built its name and reputation around the common law trust will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows, there is no doubt that Jersey's finance industry relishes the prospect of adding the private foundation to its repertoire.

Key Features

A foundation incorporated under Jersey law will have some of the features of a body corporate and some of the features of a trust. Like a Jersey company, Article 30 of the Draft Law provides that a Jersey foundation will be a body corporate capable of exercising all the functions of a body corporate. In contrast to a company however it will have no directors, shareholders or shares but will instead act through a foundation council which will administer the assets of the foundation and carry out its objects. Once assets are settled by a founder into a foundation the assets will belong to the foundation and are to be applied for the benefit of the beneficiaries and/or identified purposes.

Striking The Balance Between Transparency And Privacy

When considering the provisions of the Draft Law, the attractions for high net worth individuals are immediately apparent. For some individuals attracted to Jersey by its expertise in matters of asset management, a perception of 'secrecy' associated with trusts has proved a deterrent. In relation to foundations, the Draft Law seeks to achieve a balance between transparency and privacy which will undoubtedly be attractive to many potential founders.

Foundations under Jersey law will be required to have both a charter and a set of regulations. Article 2 of the Draft Law provides that at the time of incorporation a copy of the foundation's charter will need to be filed with the registrar and will be available to the public for inspection. The charter of a foundation must, inter alia, specify the name of the foundation, the objects for which the foundation was established, the names and addresses of the first council members and details of the initial endowment, if any. In contrast to the charter the regulations of a foundation will be entirely private. The matters that need to be contained within the regulations are set out at Articles 11 to 17 of the Draft Law and include the establishment of a council to administer the foundation's assets and to carry out its objects, provision for the appointment and retirement of the council members and the mechanism for how the decisions of the council are to be made.

Role Of The Guardian

The appointment of a guardian is compulsory under the Draft Law. The nature of the guardian's role is set out in Article 15 of the Draft and is extremely important in ensuring that the foundation council is held to account given the absence of shareholders and the fact that a beneficiary under a foundation has no interest in the foundation's assets and is not owed any fiduciary duties. Amongst other functions the guardian must take such steps as are reasonable in all the circumstances to ensure that the council of the foundation carries out its functions.

Safeguarding Jersey's Reputation

One question that has arisen in the process of debating foundations is what steps Jersey can take to safeguard its reputation from a regulatory perspective. This is an issue that was considered carefully and in order to the overcome the concerns raised Article 21 of the Draft Law now provides that the foundation council must include at least one qualified person and that certain prescribed functions in respect of foundations will only be allowed to be carried out by qualified persons. A qualified person is defined as a person registered under the Financial Services (Jersey) Law 1998 to carry out trust company business.

Role Of The Royal Court

One concern commonly raised in relation to the introduction of a foundations law is how the Royal Court will set about interpreting the Draft Law when called upon to do so. This is an important consideration given the broad powers that it has under the Draft Law. The answer lies, at least in part, in the fact that the private foundation is essentially comprised of a hybrid of commercial and trust law principles. Viewed like this there can be no doubt that the Royal Court already has before it the essential tools to enable to it to decide the complex and varied questions that it may from time to time be asked to consider.


The Draft Law has been carefully developed to ensure both simplicity and flexibility. It has a number of appealing characteristics which when combined with the strength of Jersey's reputation for excellence in the private client arena will without doubt allow Jersey to develop into a leading jurisdiction for the incorporation and administration of foundations.

This article first appeared in the winter 2008/09 issue of Appleby Jersey's Finance newsletter.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.