Philip Dreadon

Special Counsel - Private Wealth

Philip is one of New Zealand’s leading private client experts. He has extensive legal experience in private practice with particular expertise in domestic trusts, asset planning, property, and other private client work.

Philip delivers effective solutions for clients.  With significant experience and a post-graduate qualification in personal financial planning, Philip understands the potential pitfalls faced by his clients.  He can quickly identify options available to protect them, their families, and their businesses and/or organisations.

He has hands-on knowledge of issues relating to succession planning, and family, commercial, and charitable trusts.  Philip helps clients establish trusts.  He also provides ongoing advice on trustees’ obligations, governance matters, the effects of changes to trust legislation, and reviews and restructuring.

In addition, Philip regularly assists clients with drafting wills and powers of attorney.  He advises on rural family succession planning, deceased estates, cross-border estates, and contentious trusts and estates.  He also helps with matters relating to elderly and vulnerable clients, family law, relationship property, rural/ urban/ commercial land transactions, commercial leasing, and private business transactions.

Philip takes care to understand each client’s unique situation.  He strives to establish ongoing, long-lasting, relationships with clients to become their primary trusted adviser on all manner of private client legal matters.  Clients appreciate his empathy, responsiveness, and reliability.  He provides clear, tailored, and commercial advice.  Having worked as a legal practitioner across many industry sectors, he can provide his clients with sound, pragmatic, and workable solutions to meet their specific requirements.

A member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, Philip keeps abreast of new developments in trust law and financial planning.  He is the author of the popular CCH book ‘The Attorney’s Handbook’.  He has also presented to major banks and financial institutions on private wealth matters.

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Professional background

Recent work

Resolution of trust matters

Assisting Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga resolve trust matters associated with the Christchurch Earthquakes.

Adapting to legislative changes

Assisting organisations, including a major bank and charitable trusts such as the Cause Collective, with adapting to recent major changes to trust law.

Trust governance advice

Assisting charitable trusts such as the Kauri Trust, the Pukeko Trust, and a significant Treaty Settlement Trust, with governance matters.

Cross-border deceased estates

Dealing with complicated cross-border deceased estates in the United States of America, Australia, Great Britain, Holland, Croatia, and Austria.

Trust reviews and restructuring

Working with high net worth individuals to review and restructure their trusts to accommodate changing situations.


  • 1986, New Zealand


  • LLB, University of Auckland
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Business Studies (Endorsed Personal Financial Planning), Massey University


  • Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)


  • Asset Management
  • Health and Aging
  • Private Wealth
  • Relationship Property
  • Trust Structuring
  • Wills and Estates


  • Member of MinterEllisonRuddWatts’ internationally recognised Tier 1 Real Estate Team, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific