Anyone for tennis?
Trusts, construction of deed – Hardy v Hoade, re North Harrow Tennis Club  EWHC 2476
North Harrow Tennis Club had operated between 1927 and 2012. It had been a modest club, having neither floodlights nor parking facilities, and in recent years membership had dwindled, until in 2013 it ceased operating. The claimants – the last two trustees of the club – sought the court’s directions as to the proper winding up of the club’s affairs. Specifically, they sought an order to sell the club’s land and directions as to the distribution of the net proceeds of sale. The question of sale had been dealt with earlier, the land had been sold by auction, and the sale was due to complete shortly. How should the net proceeds be divided up?
North Harrow Tennis Club had decreased in popularity over recent years, its membership dwindled, and eventually in 2013 it ceased to operate. The two claimants had been longstanding members and officers of the club. They were now its sole trustees, and held the title to the club’s freehold property. As the membership fell to almost nothing in 2012, and no members came forward to renew their membership in 2013, the claimants concluded the club could no longer continue to operate. They did not call an AGM in the spring of 2013 — they explained during the hearing that there were no members to convene a meeting!
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