STEP - Advanced Certificate

STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes

STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes
Credits Awarding Body STEP
Credits Awarded 30
Credits Awarded Level Diploma-Level

This course will enhance your understanding of how disputes occur and how they can be avoided. It will give you an extensive overview of the various permutations involved in trust disputes.

Course purpose

This course will provide you with a practical overview of themes that are commonly encountered, in order for professionals to anticipate and head off problems, thus hopefully reducing the risk of litigation, as well as providing guidance if and when proceedings are necessary.

You will be able to

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

Course audience

The course is designed for all professionals involved in the creation and administration of trusts.

Students of this course typically include:

  • Trust Officers/Administrators
  • Trust Managers
  • Trustees/Fiduciaries
  • Corporate Administrators
  • Lawyers/Solicitors/Attorneys
  • Wealth Managers
  • Financial/Estate Planners
  • Accountants
  • Tax Advisors
  • Compliance Officers/Managers
  • Bankers
  • Secretarial/Administration professionals
  • Client Relations/Marketing/Sales professionals


  • The course has been designed and written by a leading trusts litigator, Toby Graham – Farrer & Co, Toby has extensive experience of trust and estates disputes in both England and Wales and offshore jurisdictions.
  • The course focuses on English law but also draws on case law from other leading trust jurisdictions.
  • Provides students with the ability to grow their own professional network, interact with students online from a range of professions, build relationships and share study tips/support as a cohort.
  • Provides 30 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership.

Format, Delivery and Assessment

This course is available for study twice annually, with intakes beginning in January and July (and assessments taking place in May and November). The programme is delivered online and will take four months to complete. We recommend that you spend four to six hours per week on private study for the four months prior to the assessment.

Enrolment onto this course will include the following:

  • access to the online learning platform containing:
    • bespoke course reading
    • podcast support
    • self-assessment material
    • distance learning support
  • assessment fees.

The course is assessed by way of an end of course written assignment based on a published case study. The case study will be published on the course start date. Candidates will produce a written assignment of between 3,500 and 4,000 words to address the questions contained within the case study. Candidates must achieve 50% in order to pass the Advanced Certificate.  

Once you have successfully completed this course, you will gain 30 Diploma-Level credits towards STEP membership and be awarded the STEP Advanced Certificate in Trust Disputes.

Course Schedules

Course Timetable - 2020/2021

Please note all courses until end December 2020 and throughout 2021 are being delivered fully online. Please visit 2021 Delivery’ for further information.


There are no formal exemptions available for this course.

Fees and Booking

The STEP discounted fee applies only to students with Full STEP Membership.

Course Start Date Book Course
July 2021 695.00 645.00

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Awarded By



Online Only


4 Months

Entry Criteria

60 Entry-Level Credits

Note: Applicants must have obtained 60 STEP Entry-Level credits to enrol onto this course or be a member of STEP. Visit STEP's Qualifications and Membership Framework to understand how to apply.




Toby Graham

The course content has been written by Toby Graham TEP. Toby is a partner and Head of the specialist Contentious Trusts and Estates Group at Farrer & Co in London. 

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