Lawyers for Rod Petricevic's trust are trying to get Bridgecorp's receivers to front up $40,000 in secured costs before a trial begins to fight for $2.2 million.

The dispute between Navigator Finance - a Bridgecorp subsidiary - and the R.M. Petricevic Family Trust, of whom Petricevic is a trustee, will be heard during a three-day hearing in February.

But before the trial begins costs are being sought by the trust so if they win there will be money available to cover its legal bills.

Navigator is taking action against the trust over an unsecured advance of $2.2 million that was never repaid.

The trust's lawyer Bruce Stewart, QC, said the plaintiffs had a "hopeless case".

"It's bad enough that they [the trustees] have to pay my bills, Mr Patterson's bill, and Mr Thompson's bill [other lawyers], and then they still might not get any costs. This [$40,000] is a minuscule amount for these creditors to pay."

In November, Navigators' liquidators Corporate Finance successfully fought to keep a ban on the sale of Petricevic's $4.4 million Remuera Rd home that the trust owns.

Bridgecorp's receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers are paying to bring the case against the trust.

It is believed that the receivers have about $17 million in the bank to repay 14,500 creditors. If Navigator wins this case it will have a further $2 million.

Bridgecorp collapsed in 2007 owing investors $450 million.

Stewart said Navigator was originally established as an investment vehicle to fund a film, The Navigator. He said it was a tax favourable treatment approved by the Inland Revenue.

Petricevic claims there was never a loan agreement between Navigator and the $2.2 million was advanced from the subsidiary to the trust.

The plaintiff's lawyer Murray Tingey said it was uncertain how the debt arose but it was common ground that the trust was in debt to Navigator to the tune of $2.2 million.

Tingey said his client was opposed to securing costs because it was a receiver's job to recover as much money as it could for creditors.

He added that the liquidators did not have all the documents pertaining to Navigator and were working with what had been provided.

High Court Judge Mary Peters said if costs weren't set aside the trustees "would be out-of-pocket if they won".

Tingey agreed this would be the case but he said the receivers were committed to getting as much money as possible back to Bridgecorp creditors.

Justice Peters reserved her decision on whether to secure costs. She said her written judgment would be delivered next week.

Petricevic has been banned as a company director because of the commercial failure of Bridgecorp, and is facing criminal and fraud charges, which he is defending.

In 2008, Bridgecorp's receivers bankrupted him over $666,186 he owed creditors for a personal tax bill the company paid for him in September 2006.

Last week, Petricevic had legal aid denied by the Legal Services Agency because of alleged assets he has access to under trust.

Petricevic can seek a review on the decision by an independent authority.

Legal Services Agency spokesperson Bronwyn Bannister would not disclose whether Petricevic's lawyer Charles Cato is seeking a review, citing the Privacy Act.