Michael is a senior lawyer in our dispute resolution team and leads the firm’s contested trust and probate practice.

He is known for his attention to detail and for being very approachable. With many years’ experience, he is adept at taking people through this complex and very difficult area of law, whilst remaining positive and realistic.

Michael is a full member of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and regularly receives referrals from other firms in this specialist practice area.


Michael has experience of a broad range of commercial dispute resolution with a particular expertise and interest in contentious trust and probate disputes. Whilst Michael has successfully resolved many disputes through alternative means, he also represents clients in cases that involve court action.

Michael’s experience includes:

  • different forms of alternative dispute resolution including mediation and joint settlement meetings
  • burial disputes
  • caveats, warnings and appearances
  • claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975
  • disputes over the role of executors, administrators and trustees
  • disputes over the identity of the correct beneficiary or interpretation of a Will
  • forged, fraudulent, invalid and lost Will claims
  • Will validity disputes
  • powers of attorney disputes
  • mental capacity disputes
  • proprietary and other trust claims
  • inheritance disputes involving charities
  • Deputy / Attorney appointment or removal disputes in the Court of Protection.

Michael works with, executors and administrators, beneficiaries, attorneys, deputies, trustees and charities.

Michael’s recent work includes:

  • The daughter beneficiary defending an inheritance claim by her sisters in relation to the estate of her late father – resolved in mediation.
  • The long-term cohabitee pursuing an Inheritance Act claim, successfully resolved via negotiation with the cohabitee able to secure continuing accommodation.
  • Executors notified of a caveat preventing application for grant of probate.
  • The attorneys falsely accused of misappropriation of assets and subject to OPG investigation.
  • Sisters due to benefit from a Will made by their father that is alleged by an estranged relative to be invalid because of lack of capacity or undue influence.
  • A woman to successfully claim over £450,000 as the correct beneficiary to late father’s estate. Her father’s sister and nephews had denied he ever had children until DNA evidence resolved the dispute establishing proof of parentage.
  • Assisting a Deputy investigated by the Office of Public Guardian when wrongly accused in relation to alleged financial irregularities concerning the property & finance of their incapacitated relative.

After graduating from the University of Sheffield, Michael went on to complete his training contract with a leading regional firm, Tees Law in 2002. He became an associate in 2008 before joining Debenhams Ottaway as a senior associate in 2015.

In Touch

Michael is a member of:

  • the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS)
  • Solicitors for the Elderly
  • Charity Law Association (CLA)

Michael is a Dementia Friend and volunteers with his local Talking Newspaper charity for blind and partially sighted individuals.

Michael Henry's news

What Clients Say
  • Michael Henry was the best possible person I could have had for my very upsetting situation I was having to deal with. His whole persona is amazing. Empathy with my situation, made me feel at ease. The manner in which he went about getting results and information was very impressive and utilising the time I paid for efficiently always aware that I was a person with limited funds but not in a way that made me feel uncomfortable.

    The Legal 500 2022
  • A friendly solicitor who was sensitive and supportive. The service has been excellent. A consistent, professional manner.

    Roy Large
  • Michael was friendly, very efficient and always kept us well informed.

    Wendy Laws
  • Absolutely fantastic, patient and understanding” and welcomed his skills to “guide through a minefield of legal problems and keep focused and positive.

  • From start to finish a thoroughly professional service.

  • My hearty thanks for your support and what (if I may say so) seemed in every way to be exceptionally excellent service; even by the high standards of Debenhams Ottaway.

  • I just wanted to drop you a short note by way of a personal thank you. I know it’s your job, but there are many ways to do a job and I appreciate the care and consideration you showed to (client) at your meeting yesterday. You really made a difference to her during this very difficult time. Thank you.

  • I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to you, I really appreciate your guidance, advice and humour during my inheritance claim I cannot thank you enough for all of the hard work and effort you put into my case.  Thanks once again for your legal advice, time, and support. I just wanted to drop you a short note by way of a personal thank you. I know it’s your job, but there are many ways to do a job and I appreciate the care and consideration you showed to (client) at your meeting yesterday. You really made a difference to her during this very difficult time. Thank yo

    Theresa McShane
  • Michael Henry is innovative and good at coming up with solutions to resolve issues.

    Chambers & Partners HNW guide 2018
  • Thank you so much for all your efforts and professional advice. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you.

  • Understood what result we were looking for and the service then aligned to the end goal.

  • Michael is extremely professional, courteous, helpful, sensitive to the situation at hand and extremely thorough, and he is always willing to talk through issues.

    Chambers & Partners HNW guide 2021