Funds management fees: Public / private rates

Casey by her manager the National Australia Trustee Limited v Pel-Air Aviation Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 212 dealt with a number of outstanding issues between the parties as to the calculation of the claimant’s damages for funds management.

One issue was whether funds management damages should be calculated by reference to what may be charged for funds management by a private trustee or by the NSW Trustee and Guardian. It was therefore noted at [21]:

The question which thus now arises to be determined is whether that result provides a proper basis for an award of damages of some $872,000, calculated by reference to the assessed fees of the National Australia Trustees, or whether instead, Ms Casey’s damages should be calculated by reference to the assessed fee which the NSW Trustee would charge, of some $575,173, were it appointed manager.

The court ruled at [27] that n my view a simple, unexplained preference for a more expensive manager, without more, when there is no question that the NSW Trustee could also be appointed by the Court and that it could also properly perform the work the claimant requires, cannot be a just basis upon which the calculation of this head of damage can rest.

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