Trust Series 2018 – Equitable Liens - 15 November 2018 (On Demand)


Retirement and removal of trustees can often give rise to disputes, especially where there are fees owing or proceedings contemplated.

Typically, the deeds of retirement or removal will include clauses indemnifying departing trustees so that, provided the trust is solvent and they have not acted in a manner so as to void rights of indemnity, the process can be seemly, and risks managed. However, if a trustee opposes removal or liability arises following removal or retirement it is important to consider what protections are available.

A trustee’s equitable lien is a “device of equity granted to trustees by the Court to give them rights of indemnity and priority over the interest of beneficiaries.”

However, how and when a trustee’s lien can be exercised is not well understood.

Trustees and trust advisers alike need to understand equitable liens.

This webinar, which will conclude with a question and answer section, will consider the outcome of recent cases to demonstrate how equitable liens have come to be recognised and the practical issues they can present.

Topics covered will include:

  • History of equitable liens 
  • The nature of the equitable lien 
  • Rights of realisation, retention, exoneration and reimbursement 
  • A lien over what? 
  • Risks when asserting equitable liens 
  • Enforcement 
  • Equitable liens asserted by professionals 
  • Insolvent trusts 

Cases covered will include: Meritus Trust Company Limited v Butterfield Trust [207] SC (Bda) 82 Civ (13 October 2017); S and S Limited v XYZ Limited [2016] NZHC 26; Lemery Holdings Pty Ltd v Reliance Financial Services Pty Ltd [2008] NSWSC; Representation of Rawlinson & Hunter SA re Z Trusts 10-Sep-2018; Representation of Rawlinson & Hunter Trustees SA re Z Trusts [2018] JRC 119; Emmott v Michael Wilson & Partners Limited [2016] NZHC 3155; Intext Coatings Limited (in liq) v Deo [2016] NZHC 2754; and Commissioner of Inland Revenue v Robertson [2017] NZHC 31.

Acting as a trustee carries significant risks for professionals. Equitable liens, like other rights open to trustees when things become contentious, are an important component of the modern trustee’s toolkit


Attendees will learn:

  • How equitable liens came to be recognised
  • What protections equitable liens afford
  • Equitable lien myths and misunderstandings
  • Equitable liens and indemnification
  • How to assert and enforce equitable liens
  • Equitable liens and trustee companies
  • Limitations of equitable liens


15 November 2018


This webinar is targeted at practitioners at all levels but will be of particular benefit to practitioners who advise trustees or who are trustees or directors of trustee companies.


Vicki Ammundsen, Director, Vicki Ammundsen Trust Law Limited

1.25 CPD Hours

  • On Demand Event
    Complete online in your own time (Self-paced)
    • $190.00 excl. GST

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Sole practitioners

A discount on webinars is available for sole practitioners. Please contact us at NZ‑ to confirm eligibility.