STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes

This qualification will help those involved with the creation and administration of trusts to anticipate, and avoid, the common pitfalls which can lead to trust litigation.

STEP Diploma

This Advanced Certificate can be taken as part of the STEP Diploma. Find out more

What does this qualification cover and how is it delivered?

What does this qualification cover?

The course modules are:

  • Sham trusts
  • Defective trusts
  • Trustee powers
  • Investment disputes
  • Corporate issues
  • The consequences of a breach of trust
  • Trustee defences
  • Construction, rectification and mistake
  • Variation of trusts, public trustee and other such applications
  • Claims in negligence in connection with creation of trusts and their administration.


How is it delivered?

This Advanced Certificate is delivered via an online distance-learning platform and will take around four months to complete.

What are the benefits to me and my employer?

How will this course benefit me?

Completing the Advanced Certificate will enable you to:

  • Understand the recurrent themes and key principles which often arise in trust disputes and anticipate the different causes of trust disputes;
  • Identify the potential risks involved in the creation and administration of trusts and how to manage those risks;
  • Take appropriate measures to protect the interests of relevant parties threatened by a looming trust dispute;
  • Take appropriate action to try to avoid trust litigation from unfolding;
  • Understand the litigation process in outline including the issues to consider in cross-border litigation;
  • Understand how to protect the interests of relevant parties after litigation has commenced.

How will this benefit my employer?

Trustees can end up in the middle of a family fall out. An awareness of the pitfalls that trust practitioners can inadvertently walk into can help ‘future-proof’ trusts against litigation.

If claims for breach of trust or third party claims do occur and result in litigation, then the trust practitioner armed with the requisite knowledge of the litigation process and relevant recent case law is much better placed to manage the situation to their and their client’s advantage.

Entry advice and requirements

Who would find this qualification useful?

This Advanced Certificate will be of particular interest to barristers, trust administrators and managers, family lawyers, commercial litigators other contentious lawyers and advisors to PI insurers. More broadly the course will be of interest to anyone involved in the creation and administration of trusts or to those giving professional advice in relation to trusts. Whilst focusing on private express trusts, the course may well be of interest to anyone involved in pension trusts too. The course is also aimed at contentious lawyers who act for trustees or beneficiaries, or lawyers who advise trustees’ professional indemnity insurers.

Further course details

How much will it cost?

The course fee for this certificate is

  • STEP full members GBP645, EUR800, USD1,010
  • Non-member GBP 695, EUR865, USD1,090

This fee includes:

  • A bespoke course manual
  • Access to an online-learning platform
  • Self-assessment material
  • Distance learning support
  • Examination entry
  • STEP certification.*

For information on the next available course dates and locations, please visit the CLTI website.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is by way of a 3,500 word written assignment.

How do I apply?

Find out more information on enrolment

Help and advice

If you have any queries and would like to speak to someone you can either call CLTI on +44 (0)121 362 7733 or email [email protected]


CPD Policy

Members are required to maintain and develop their knowledge and skills to ensure a high standard of practice.

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We offer a range of member categories to suit your professional requirements, qualifications and experience.

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Our Education Partner: CLTI

The Advanced Certificates that make up the STEP Diploma are delivered by STEP's primary training partner, CLTI. CLTI is a professional training, education and qualifications provider for the financial services industry, and over the past 20 years, CLTI and STEP have worked together to develop more than 25 qualifications and training courses that fit practitioners’ needs, and support STEP’s Exam Route to Full Membership