Legal advice is given in the following areas of family trusts:
(a) Assisting with applications to the High Court for the removal and/or addition of trustees.
(b) Offering legal representation with respect to the winding up and/or variation of trusts.
(c) Acting on behalf of a spouse or de facto partner regarding Court proceedings in pursuit of relationship property transferred to trusts.
(d) Assisting with applications by trustees to the High Court for directions in the administration of various types of trusts.
(e) Offering assistance with investigations with respect to sham and/or illusory trusts (Apparent trust in which the settlor retains so much control that, in effect, no trust exists) and opinion work.
(f) Assisting with claims for damages for breach of trust or breach of fiduciary duty or with claims under the Trustee Act 1956.
(g) Recovery of assets transferred to a trust and controlled by somebody else. The “trust busting” provisions of the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 are particularly useful when property from a marriage or de facto relationship is transferred to a trust. Provisions in the Property Law Act 2007 are available to assist creditors to recover against debtors who have transferred their assets to a trust. The law with respect to “sham” trusts and “illusory” trusts is a developing area and provides another way of using the Courts to challenge the ownership of assets.
(h) Variations of trust settlements under s182 Family Proceedings Act 1980 which gives the Court powers to vary a trust settlement after a couple have divorced. Where a marriage has ended this provision can be used to force the sale of trust property owned in trust.