David Catchpole

Position: Partner
Phone: +(44)(0)1603 693383

What can I do for you?

I’m a specialist in contentious trust and probate disputes with 20 years' worth of experience. My team deals exclusively with such matters and has developed a real expertise for our clients. Our work includes helping both individuals and larger organisations like charities or higher educational establishments deal with a whole range of contentious issues relating to trusts and disputed wills. This diverse work covers all sorts of matters, ranging from testamentary capacity and undue influence claims and applications under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, to advising on proprietary estoppel and breach of trust actions. 

Supporting my clients’ objective

My clients frequently feel that an injustice has been done and their objective is often to reach a fair outcome (without incurring disproportionately high costs). For example, I recently successfully acted for a client who had been promised all of his father’s estate but who was due to receive very little under the intestacy rules. We were able to negotiate a compromise for the client which satisfied him and retained some of the estate for other family members in what was a bitter feud.

What do others say?

Trust and probate disputes frequently involve a human element and one thing that my team prides itself on is the sympathetic way in which we deal with what are often very emotional matters. The team is highly sought after in this difficult area and receives recognition accordingly in the Chambers UK directory and Legal 500, where I am described as "brilliant, calm, compassionate and supportive". Receiving positive feedback from pleased clients is really what makes my job worthwhile. The latest edition of the Legal 500 confirms that Mills & Reeve has "a highly regarded contentious trust and probate team".

What else should you know?

I am a member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and am one of the few members of the organisation outside London. This is a prestigious and well respected body to belong to and is a great way of keeping me and my clients up to speed with the latest developments.