Good reasons

Before putting the trust estate and the beneficiaries of a trust to the expense of an application for directions, a trustee needs to be sure of their reasons and that the legal or factual difficulties for consideration and resolution will warrant the time and cost.

Such applications are usually supported by evidence from the trustee and advice from specialist counsel. Should the application prove unnecessary, the trustee may find themselves personally liable for the costs of the application. Provided the trustee is seen to have acted with reasonable cause and to the benefit of the trust, they will be indemnified not only for the cost of the application but also in respect of the actions they take.

The Court’s Position

In relation to matters where there may be a conflict or deadlock, it may be appropriate to ask the Court to intervene and use its own discretion.


Should a trustee face a claim by a third-party creditor, the trustee may have to cover its own as well as the claimant’s costs of litigation. Ordinarily but not always the trustee has recourse to the trust assets. The trustee may also face hostility or worse from all or some of the beneficiaries. In cases of that nature, the trustee should make an application to the Court to protect its position. Sinels, from a wide base of experience in trust litigation can advise on any questions from our clients related to the correct course of conduct in order to avoid liability.

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Beneficiary Claims Services

Enforcing Beneficiary Rights

Trustees may at times through inefficiency or avoidance for more sinister reasons, fail to perform their duties towards the beneficiaries of a trust. Misapplication of funds and investment failures are at the top of the list. Beneficiaries who have regularly requested and been denied proper accounting reports find in Sinels an experienced team determined to enforce their rights. We have successfully recovered tens of millions of pounds for disaffected beneficiaries.

Trust Disputes

Sinels are specialists in trust law and litigation, meeting the needs of our private and corporate clients from simple maladministration to breaches of trust and fraud.

Supporting Legitimate Actions by bona fide Trustees

Trustees faced with complex trusts and fractious families can face a perilous task with the potential for personal liability for making the wrong decision. Sinels provides advice at an early stage on how to avoid being sued. Sinels is able to support through the mechanism of an application for the advice or direction of the court. Should an application for directions be accepted by the court, it can insulate the trustees from liability.

Removal and Retirement of Trustees

In extraordinary circumstances, it is necessary and appropriate to remove a trustee from its position. Most trust deeds have some written provisions to guide the process for both retiring and replacing trustees, however, there are other circumstances where the trustee needs to be removed by legal action or the threat of legal action. Sinels has decades of experience in removing and replacing trustees, often against their wishes.