Contentious Trust

With the elevated complexity of family arrangements that often surround high value trust structures, it is not surprising that there continues to be an increase in the volume of contentious trust disputes.

When disputes arise in the context of trusts or estates it is important for clients to know that they are represented by highly responsive and expert trustees. Our team has developed an outstanding breadth of skill and expertise in this area and are supported by an affiliate dynamic restructuring and dispute resolution team and forensic accounting specialists.

Having an experienced specialist trustee working with the legal team in contentious matters ensures the fundamental focus remains on preserving the trust fund and acting in a fiduciary manner.


  • Taking an appointment as replacement trustee in conflicted situations;
  • provision of independent trustee services to new or restructured groups in anticipation of, or following, divorce or separation;
  • Assisting the legal advisors with the preparation and review of applications to court for direction or construction questions;
  • Defending the trust against hostile claims or validity challenges;
  • Pursuing claims of breach of trust, negligence or fraud;
  • Provision of expert witness services to a court or arbitration tribunal;
  • Provision of director services to established private trust companies and/or underlying managed companies; 
  • Working closely with all stakeholders and advisors to ensure the correct and most responsible course of action is taken; 
  • Advising on and reviewing trust documents. Every trust is different and great care is required to ensure that the terms of each trust are adhered to, particularly in contentious cases;
  • Rationalisation of the structure to include the establishment of new trusts or entities as well as the effective termination of obsolete entities;
  • Preparation of trust and company accounts, forensic accounting and asset tracing if necessary; 
  • The ongoing maintenance of trust and company structures following resolution.