Your trusted CPD partner

Section 182 - Preston v Preston

Section 182 - Preston v Preston
Add to CPD Planner


Under s 182 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980, the court has the power to vary the terms of a nuptial settlement where the parties’ marriage or civil union comes to an end. A recent decision from the Supreme Court in Preston v Preston concluded six years of litigation on this issue. Two of the opposing counsel in this case will provide their perspectives on the litigation and reflect on the practical implications to be mindful of when advising your clients in this area, in respect of both asset protection and litigation.  

The final word from the Supreme Court on “non-traditional” marriages, and varying trusts after divorce.

The divorce case that “ate its head off” was finally resolved by the Supreme Court in December 2021. This case follows Clayton v Clayton (2016) (a reasonably “traditional” marriage) into new territory, and the exercise of the Court’s discretion to vary trusts after divorce under s 182 of the Family Proceedings Act 1980,  in the case of  “non-traditional” marriages. Both the High Court and Court of Appeal refused Mrs Preston relief under s 182, but the Supreme Court granted it.

This seminar will include:

  • The journey to the Supreme Court, and key aspects of the reasoning of the Courts below
  • The development of the Clayton approach and the factors important to the Supreme Court’s analysis, including non-financial contributions to the relationship, and the relevance of PRA principles
  • Lessons to learn from Preston – resolving trust and divorce cases cost effectively and harmoniously (to the extent possible); structuring arrangements at the outset, to try to avoid a saga like this; and the guiding parameters when advising your clients.

Learning objectives

By attending this seminar you will be better able to:

  • Advise your clients on the parameters to achieve cost-effective settlements in divorce cases involving trusts, in the interests of all the beneficiaries.
  • Litigate these cases, if a trial is necessary.
  • Advise clients on asset planning and prevention, to avoid this type of litigation.

Who Should Attend

All levels of trust litigators, relationship property and trusts and estate planning lawyers.


A short paper, in PDF format, together with a copy of the powerpoint presentation will be emailed out prior to the seminar.


  • 4.00pm - 6.00pm

Fee (incl GST)

In Short

  • $145 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $195 - Non-members
  • Live web stream group pricing available! Click here

Do you want to register more than one person for this course? Use the Multiple Registration button below or Click here
Download PDF Registration Form

Live Web Stream 5 April


BRUTON QC Vanessa Vanessa Bruton QC, TEP
O’Connell Chambers, Auckland

Vanessa is a litigator, practising almost exclusively in trust and estate disputes, including where relationship property is involved. She has been counsel in a number of the leading cases over recent years. Most recently, Vanessa was senior counsel for Mrs Preston in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court (Preston v Preston [2021] NZSC 154). She went to the independent bar in 2014 and took silk in 2016.

MCCLEARY Jake Jake McCleary
Director, Buddle McCleary Kennedy Barristers and Solicitors, Whakatane

Jake is a specialist relationship property and estate litigator. He was senior counsel for the husband in Preston v Preston [2021] NZSC 154, having taken the case through the High Court and the Court of Appeal. Jake also advises from the top of the cliff on asset planning and protection in the context of relationship property, trusts and inheritances.

Cancellation and refund policy

You may cancel your registration eight working days in advance of an event, and you will receive a refund less a 25% administration fee. If you cancel less than eight working days in advance of the event, no refund is payable. If you are unable to attend, you may transfer your registration to another person. If you wish to do so you must advise CLE in writing of the change. NZLS CLE Ltd reserves the right to close registrations and cancel or reschedule an event as necessary. Where an event is cancelled by CLE, a full refund is payable.

freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111

[email protected]

04 472 7837
Level 4, 17-21 Whitmore Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand