Trust disputes

Morris acts for trustees, beneficiaries, charities and third parties bringing or defending claims relating to trusts.

With the highest number of trusts per capita in the world, trust disputes in New Zealand are increasingly common. Trustees and beneficiaries need advice from specialist lawyers who understand the family dynamics and challenges involved in these matters.  

We are experts in resolving disputes relating to trusts and trustees. We are recognised as one of New Zealand’s leading litigation firms and are one of the only firms in New Zealand that specialises in issues relating to trusts. 

We have a broad range of experience and act on all matters relating to trusts and trustees. We represent clients bringing and defending claims for breach of trust, claims for removal of trustees and applications to review a trustee’s decision under s 126 of the Trusts Act 2019.

We advise trustees on their obligations under the Trusts Act when dealing with requests by beneficiaries for trust information. We have considerable experience advising on requests by beneficiaries for legal advice obtained by trustees and issues of privilege.

We act for trustees on applications for directions where the construction of the trust deed is unclear, trustees are deadlocked or the decision is momentous and the trustees seek the blessing of the Court. Where the Court’s approval is required to vary or resettle the trust, we prepare the necessary court documents for trustees and appear in Court on their behalf if a hearing is required.

If claims are brought against trusts by third parties, we act for trustees defending those claims. We advise trustees on how to comply with their obligations in these circumstances to minimise the risk of subsequent claims by beneficiaries. 

Issues relating to trustees’ costs and expenses are common in trust litigation. We advise trustees on these matters and act for trustees applying for Beddoe orders.  

We have experience dealing with New Zealand foreign trusts as well as contentious trust issues in numerous offshore jurisdictions including The Bahamas, BVI, Cayman Islands and Jersey.

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If you require legal advice or would like further information about how we work, please complete the form below and someone from our team will get in touch with you.

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