Lindsay Ellison SC

Lindsay Ellison SC

Lindsay Ellison SC

1983, Bachelor of Laws (Sydney)

1979, Bachelor of Economics (Sydney)

After a short and uneventful career as a suburban solicitor, Lindsay was called to the Bar in 1985. He became a Senior Counsel in 2005. He practises principally in Equity and Probate and has appeared in many leading NSW Wills and Estates cases. He frequently lectures barristers and solicitors, and occasionally Judges, on aspects of law and practice. He is an accredited Mediator under the Australian Mediation Accreditation System.

In 2015, Doyle’s Guide listed Lindsay as a leading Senior Counsel in NSW Wills and Estates litigation. In 2016, he became pre-eminent. He is not sure why. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 that status was continued. Since 2020 he has been the “Market Leader”.

In May 2016, he delivered the Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture for Equity Trustees Limited.

Lindsay is a former Secretary-General and later Vice President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a longtime member of the Australian Skeptics, the Samuel Griffith Society, the Sydney Institute, the Centre for Independent Studies, and the Goon Show Preservation Society.

He is happily married to his first wife and has two children, 2 chainsaws and the memory of a dog. He has no interest in sailing, skiing, golf, cooking or learning a foreign language and does not own a winery. He has not the slightest intention of walking the el Camino de Santiago. He does not wish to achieve a work/life balance. Lindsay doesn’t smoke. Nor does he drink tea, coffee or alcohol. He eats too much chocolate. He knows nothing about cars or sport. He is one of the least interesting persons you might ever meet.

Lindsay has made over 600 donations to the Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. He recommends you do the same. His philosophy is that if you draw blood, the least you can do is to give some back.

Lindsay’s preferred pronouns are: HeHaw HeHaw HeHaw and Ha Ha Ha

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Family Provision
Wills and Probates


2020-2024, Doyle’s Guide, “Market Leader” Wills and Estates Senior Counsel

2016-2019, Doyle’s Guide, Pre-eminent Wills and Estates Senior Counsel

2015, Doyle’s Guide, Leading Wills and Estates Senior Counsel

Professional Appointments and Memberships

2021-2024, Inaugural Chairman, NSW Bar Association Succession and Protective Law Committee

2005, Appointed Senior Counsel

1985, Called to the NSW Bar (subsequently admitted in Queensland, Victoria and the ACT)

1983, Admitted as a solicitor of the NSW Supreme Court (and the High Court of Australia)


NSW Bar Association

TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner) by the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners

Accredited Mediator, National Mediation, Accreditation System

Private Mediator and Neutral Evaluator on appointment by the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Dust Diseases Tribunal of New South Wales

Vice President (2011 – 2013)

Councillor (2009 – 2011)

Secretary-General (2005 – 2007)

Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences Australia & New Zealand Forensic Science Society Sydney Institute Institute of Public Affairs NSW Bar Association Professional Conduct Committee (1993–2002, 2004 – 2005) Australian Sceptics Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney) Zoo Friends National Trust Centre for Independent Studies, Samuel Griffith Society Goon Show Preservation Society

Publications and speaking engagements

Speaking engagements Lecturer on Litigants in Person  CPD and the Bar Practice Course (2010 to 2021)

Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture for Equity Trustees Limited (May 2016)

Annual guest lecturer on “Ethical and other considerations of being an Expert Witness” as part of a Forensic Anthropology Course (Department of Anatomy and Histology), University of Sydney

Regular lecturer on Probate and Succession at CLE conferences (NSW, Qld, Tasmania and Victoria)

Broadcaster, 2NBC–FM (1983–1989)

Selected Cases

Stone v Kramer [2021] NSWSC 1456 and [2023] NSWCA 270 – the Plaintiff gets the farm – equitable estoppel, confirmed on appeal

Lewis v Lewis [2021] NSWCA 168 – knowledge and approval, severance of clauses

Rodny v Weisbord [2020] NSWCA 22 – can a document never seen by a testator be an informal Will

Croft v Sanders [2019] NSWCA 303 – whether delusions and hallucinations affect capacity

Nadilo v Soulis [2019] NSWSC 108 – successful resulting trust claim based on conversations 40 years earlier

Re MP’s Statutory Will [2019] NSWSC 331, [2019] NSWCA 222,268 – statutory Will application where protected person might wish to die intestate

Steimetz v Shannon [2019] NSWCA 113 – widow’s clam dismissed at trial, received $1.75 million on appeal

Blendell v Byrne [2019] NSWSC 583 – undue influence in probate and equity Re Estate Miruzzi, deceased [2018] NSWSC 1899 – can there be revocation by destruction of a photocopy Will

Craig-Bridges v NSW Trustee and Guardian [2017] NSWCA 197– in which the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the trial Judge who had found the deceased had capacity to make her last three Wills

Lodin v Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10 – former spouse who had property proceedings and an appeal in the Family Court of Australia obtained $750,000 out of the deceased’s estate – reversed on appeal

Lodin v Lodin [2017] NSWCA 327

Revell v Revell [2016] NSWSC 947 – in which the trial Judge found provision of $1.5 million was “proper and adequate”

Smith v Johnson [2015] NSWCA 297 – in which the discretion of the trial Judge was found to have miscarried; trial judgment set aside and discretion re-exercised to dismiss plaintiff’s claim

Mead v Lemon [2015] WASC 71 – Plaintiff child awarded $25 million out of estate in family provision claim; reduced to $6.14 million on appeal

Lemon v Mead [2017] WASCA 215 Burke v Burke [2015] NSWCA 195 – community expectation; estrangement NSW Trustee and Guardian v Budniak, Estate of Stanislaw Budniak [2015] NSWSC 934 – testamentary capacity; procedure with regard to lost Will; knowledge and approval; last Will set aside

Amprimo v Wynn [2014] NSWSC 991, [2015] NSWCA 286 – can a provider of paid sexual services become an “eligible” person

Phillips v James [2014] NSWCA 4 – availability of subsequent assets as notional estate

RL v NSW Trustee and Guardian [2012] NSWCA 39, (2013) 84 NSWLR 263 – reviewing the law as it applies to the principle of ademption

Andrew v Andrew [2012] NSWCA 308, (2012) 81 NSWLR 656 – consideration of whether the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) effects a change from the principles applicable under the Family Provision Act 1982 (NSW)

Waddell v Waddell [2012] NSWCA 214 – the Plaintiff gets the farm – equitable estoppel

Gray v Hart (No 2) [2012] NSWSC 1562 – costs in probate

Church v Mason [2012] NSWSC 1489, [2013] NSWCA 481 – knowledge and approval in probate

Re Will of Jane [2011] NSWSC 624 – contested application for the court to make a statutory will

Ireland v Retallack & Ors [2011] NSWSC 846 and 1096 – consideration of Court’s control over solicitors’ costs including Executor’s prima facie indemnity costs where such costs may be related to unnecessary work and not reasonably incurred

Petrovski v Nasev; Estate of Janakievski [2011] NSWSC 1275 and 1474 – first successful prosecution of allegation of undue influence in Probate since the 1870s; consideration of solicitor’s role in taking instructions and Will making where purported testator not involved in giving instructions and apparently vulnerable; costs in probate

Costa & Anor v Public Trustee [2008] NSWCA 223 – can a suicide note be a Will and the role of an appellate court in applying facts found at trial

Nicholls v Hall [2007] NSWCA 356 – adult children and family provision Becker v Public Trustee [2006] NSWSC 76, 1146 [2007] NSWCA 136 – undue influence and fraud in probate

Millington v Wilkie (2005) 62 NSWLR 322 – the duty of care of an employer when construction safety regulations are breached

Public Trustee v Fitter [2005] NSWSC 1188 – the effect of amendments to the Forfeiture Act whereby acquitted killers may be subject to the Forfeiture Rule

Straede v Eastwood [2003] NSWSC 280 – on the relevant evidence and principles of Forfeiture Act claims

Marshall v Carruthers [2002] NSWCA 47 – the status of a de facto spouse under the Family Provision Act

Uniting Church v Legge (2002) 55 NSWLR 293 – costs in Compensation Court proceedings

Ryan v Kazacos [2001] NSWSC 140 – can a suicide note be a s 18A Will

Police Service v Honeysett (2001) 53 NSWLR 592 – which contradicted the common law principle that police officers were not “employees”

Re R [2000] NSWSC 886 – the Protective Division and powers of attorney

Palmer v Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd (1999) 48 NSWLR 318 – involving unjust enrichment and thedefence of change of position

Public Trustee v A M Hoipo Pty Ltd (1999) 19 CCR 215 – the role of the Public Trustee in Compensation Court proceedings

Troja v Troja (1994) 33 NSWLR 269 – which led to the enactment of the Forfeiture Act

Hughes v Hunters Hill Council (1992) 29 NSWLR 232 – concerning council misfeasance and trees in footpaths

Springfield v Brown (1991) 23 NSWLR 535 – first consideration of s 18A of the Wills Act