The case is an interesting example of the dangers of holding foreign assets in a trust governed by the law of England & Wales. In relation to a form of trust not governed by the Hague trusts convention, such as a declaration of trust or an implied trust, the cases of Webb v Webb and Lightning v Lightning Electrical Contractors Ltd have been used as authority for the validity of an Anglo-Welsh trust governing foreign immovables.
Although the case of Martin is particular to its facts, it does demonstrate a limit to such authority. Lord Justice Mummery held that the whole focus of the common intention of the parties was on the provisions of French succession law and as such the applicable law was that of France.
French law did not give any proprietary rights in the property but only a personal claim and accordingly the immovable property held by the trustee was his personal property and capital for the purposes of the Income Support Regulations.