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Contentious Probate Solicitors

Our specialist team is experienced in handling all aspects of contentious trust and probate litigation. We encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution and can represent you at mediation. 

Contentious probate expertise

With an ageing population and an increased prevalence and awareness of conditions such as dementia, disputes over trusts and estates have escalated in recent years. Add to this a desire to hand wealth down to younger generations and also a greater diversity in family structures, it is unsurprising that disputes in this area are becoming more and more common. They can affect virtually any family.

Whether you are seeking to challenge or defend the validity of a will, bring or defend a claim under the Inheritance Act, protect your interest in an estate, or have been excluded from an estate, we have the expertise to guide you through the litigation process. We can also help with lifetime claims, such as actions against trustees, disputes concerning deputyship, financial abuse, and professional negligence claims.

We focus on providing you with a clear plan from the outset, designed to support you through the distress and upset which is often a by-product of these disputes. Unlike other firms, we encourage other funding arrangements in the right circumstances, rather than just where they are necessary.

Call our Contentious Trusts & Probate team now on 0330 100 1014 to see how we can help you.

Why choose our contentious probate experts?

  • We encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution and can represent you at mediation
  • You can rely on our extensive experience of acting in high value and complex cases
  • We will help you through the process of funding your case – you will be given clear costs information and, in appropriate cases, we will look at alternative funding options such as a “no win no fee” arrangement, insurance, or third party funding
  • A number of our team are members of ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) and hold qualifications with the STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)

Our specialist contentious trust and probate litigation team

Our specialist team is experienced in handling all aspects of contentious trust and probate litigation.

We can draw on support from our impressive private client, tax, agricultural and commercial teams and we often deal with farming estates, family businesses and international assets disputes.

Understanding the legalities from the outset may help to avoid disputes. Freeths offer a wide variety of information guides regarding Trusts, Probate and Estate Administration. Please get in touch using our enquiry form if you would like a copy.

Key contacts

Sarah Foster's Profile

Sarah Foster

Oxford Office Managing Partner & Joint Head of Private Client Services

Mark Keeley's Profile

Mark Keeley

Partner & Joint Head of Private Client Services

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Our accreditations

We are celebrating another year of accreditations and rankings.

Notable work

  • Acting for an administrator in a complex claim for an account on the footing of wilful default against former administrators. The events complained of spanned a period of over 30 years.
  • Recovering money from attorneys who have acted in breach of trust, removing attorneys/deputies who have abused their position, or challenging lifetime gifts that have been procured by undue influence.
  • Successfully defending a will challenge brought by a claimant against his defendant clients. The claim would have meant the defendants’ losing their home, but Robert successfully secured the transfer of the property over to his clients through High Court litigation.
  • Advising a beneficiary of a £1.2 million estate on the construction of the terms of a will whose entitlement is unclear from the wording of the will and representing that beneficiary in pre-action negotiations.
  • Successfully resisted a £2 million+ unusual mutual wills case, where it was alleged that because of that mutual will, our client held his late wife’s estate on trust for the claimant (a non-family member). Complex company and estate issues arose, given (i) our client’s 100% shareholding in estate companies and the claimant’s position as director in them; and (ii) the fact that our client and the claimant were joint executors of the late wife’s will. A settlement was reached prior to trial whereby a small % of the £2 million was paid, including costs.
  • Recently acted for the daughter in a disputed multi-jurisdictional estate. The deceased (born in Italy) had lived in England for over 40 years. His wife alleged that he had adopted England as his domicile of choice and made an Inheritance Act claim against his £1.5 million estate. We obtained witness evidence to show that he had not lost his domicile of origin. The claim was settled favourably at mediation.
  • Mark has represented well over 200 clients in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in estates, ranging from a modest value up to estates exceeding £25 million.


  • "The team at Freeths are my go-to for this practice area. Always extremely knowledgeable and pragmatic in their approach and their client communica...

    The LEgal 500, 2024

  • "The stand out aspect of this firm is the breadth of experience in this field, with excellent resources behind them. They have top quality partners...

    The Legal 500, 2024

  • "Freeths is one my favourite firms and this team is no exception. They really know their stuff and go the extra mile for their clients. They focus...

    The Legal 500, 2024

  • "Freeths are a leading player in the field of Contentious Trusts and Probate. The specialist team sits within an organisation that is very well res...

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "Good national coverage, large and experienced team of specialists who are all down to earth and approachable."

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "They offer an excellent service across the whole range of contentious trusts and estates and Court of Protection work. Always focused on the clien...

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "The whole team is well-informed and professional. Whenever I spoke with any staff member in this team, they were extremely helpful and genuinely c...

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "The team deals very sensitively with very delicate matters, they are able to communicate difficult matters sympathetically and they try to reduce...

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "From my perspective it has a great deal of inhouse specialist knowledge, including a very strong private client offering. Thus the private client...

    The Legal 500, 2023

  • "Freeths has a well-established and well-regarded private client team. The strength of the team transcends the regional offices. It is often involv...

    The Legal 500, 2023

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Whatever your legal needs, our wide ranging expertise is here to support you and your business, so let’s start your legal journey today and get you in touch with the right lawyer to get you started.


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