Trust Series 2019 – Trustee Liability


Trustees act personally. As noted in the Supreme Court judgment in Macalister Todd Phillips Bodkins v AMP:

“Liabilities incurred by a trustee in relation to a trust are always the personal liabilities of the trustee … A creditor has a personal right to sue a trustee and to get judgment and make the trustee bankrupt.”

A myth that continues to be perpetrated is that an independent trustee has no personal liability unless the trustee commits a breach of trust.

This popular webinar, which will include a case book will consider recent case law developments, canvasses how and why trustee liability arises, common breaches of trust, what trustees can do to protect themselves and the extent to which trustees can limit their liability and seek indemnity from the trust fund.

This webinar, which will conclude with a question and answer section, will consider the outcome of recent cases to demonstrate how trustee liability arises and the practical steps that can be taken to manage the risks of trusteeship.
Topics covered will include:

  • The risks of trusteeship
  • Sources of trustee liability
  • Common breaches of trust
  • Contracting out of trustee liability
  • Rights of indemnity – how to lose them – how to enforce them
  • Corporate trustees
  • Retirement to avoid liability
  • Scraps between trustees
  • Resisting removal
  • Discharge under s 43 of the Trustee Act 1956
  • Court costs
  • Seeking directions or the Blessing of the Court
  • Beddoe orders – fashionable or essential?
  • Insolvency
  • Case law up-date
  • Traps for trustees

Cases covered will include: Pratley v Courteney [2018] NZCA 436 Clement v Lucas [2017] NZHC 3278; Re PV Trust Services Limited [2017] 2957; Davis and McNiece v White [2017] NZCA 585 and Triezenberg v Mason [2019] NZHC 14; Jasmine Trustees Limited v Wells [2007] EWHC 38; O’Keeffe v Jones [2018] NZHC 2482; Guest v Warner [2018] NZHC 666; In the Matter of the Stingray Trust FSD 85 of 2017 and 248 of 2017 Grand Court of Cayman Islands 2018.09.17; Meritus Trust Company Limited v Butterfield Trust Trust [207] SC (Bda) 82 Civ (13 October 2017); Lemery Holdings Pty Ltd v Reliance Financial Services Pty Ltd [2008] NSWSC

Although it is common for a deed of trust to limit a trustee’s liability to the assets of the trust, many circumstances can arise where a trustee is personally liable for losses. Accordingly, it is essential that trustees (and their advisers) understand and manage the risks inherent in the appointment as a trustee.


Attendees will learn:

  • How to practically assess the risks of trusteeship
  • How past and present trustees incur liability
  • How to identify and address breaches of trust
  • How liability is shared between co-trustees
  • The steps trustees can take to avoid personal risk
  • The extent to which trustees can be indemnified from the deed of trust
  • Security for outgoing trustees
  • How rights of indemnity can be compromised


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

  • Apr 03
    Wed, 10:30 AM NZDT - 11:45 AM NZDT Online
    • $190.00 excl. GST

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Our webinars operate on a 'one-connection-one-fee' basis so you can have your whole team participate for one cost effective price and claim CPD points.


All registrants that do not log into the live webinar are automatically sent a recording either later the same day or early the next business day.

If you did log in and wish to view again simply drop us a line at NZ‑ and we’ll be happy to send it to you via email.

Sole practitioners

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