"His approach hits the perfect balance of commerciality and pragmatism. Tony has been empathetic and considerate, whilst being firm and decisive dealing with a tricky case."

Chambers UK 2023

“Tony Cockayne is a very good communicator and is responsive to any queries.”

Chambers High Net Worth 2023

"Tony Cockayne is an excellent team leader, he is unflappable, full of energy and has a real sense of when a point is worth pushing and when to pull back."

Legal 500 2023

"Tony Cockayne heads a team with great energy, enthusiasm and positivity."

Legal 500 2023

"His approach hits the perfect balance of commerciality and pragmatism."

Chambers High Net Worth 2022

"Tony has been empathetic and considerate, whilst being firm and decisive dealing with a tricky case."

Chambers High Net Worth 2022

"Tony Cockayne is empathetic and clearly very skilled at achieving the best possible outcome for clients."

Chambers UK 2022

"I have found him extremely impressive, calm, with a balanced approach, sound advice and a clear strategy when dealing with a very difficult situation."

Chambers UK 2022

I am a Partner at Michelmores and head of the Disputed Wills and Trusts team as well as head of the Charity Sector. I joined the Firm in 2002 and I am proud to be part of the success story that is Michelmores.

I work with either private individuals or leading national charities, advising on a wide range of private client litigation matters. This involves acting for clients where there is a dispute in relation to a Will or a trust. I also act in contentious Court of Protection matters.

Disputes regarding Wills arise in a number of circumstances for example where the testator’s mental capacity is being challenged or where there is an allegation of undue influence.

I have developed a particular specialism in advising in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. including a number of high profile and high value claims A further common area of law where I have acted on a number of matters is the doctrine of proprietary estoppel claim.

I recognise that embarking on a dispute can be extremely challenging for my clients and like to develop a collegiate working relationship to achieve the best possible result. I thrive on developing and maintaining the relationships with clients during what is generally a stressful time.

My role acting for a member of national charities primarily involves advising in a wide range of issues arising out of the legacies gifted in Wills.

Our team is ranked in Tier 1 for Contentious Trusts & Probate Disputes with Legal 500, and I am listed as a Leading Individual. I am also ranked in Band 1 for Private Wealth Disputes by independent legal guide Chambers, and I am a recommended lawyer for Private Wealth Law in Chambers High Net Worth.

I am also an experienced mediator and have been mediating disputes for over 15 years. I have attended well over 100 mediations and enjoy bringing my pragmatic approach to helping people find resolutions to complex situations.

I sit on the national committee for the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists.

Recent experience

Acting for an elderly widow who had not been provided for by her husband. The estate consisted of a number of assets both within this jurisdiction and across Europe. The matter had a number of complexities including if the deceased had the requisite testamentary capacity when he made his Last Will and Testament and a thorough consideration of the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975

Acting in a matter that was resolved at final trial regarding the rectification of a Will where the wording used was ambiguous and unclear

Resolving a matter by way of mediation where a claim was made regarding a significant area of land in the west country. We acted for a client under the doctrine of proprietary estoppel in relation to land worth some £6m

Cockayne, Tony