Nicola Phillipson TEP

Called 1999

Her rapport with clients is exceptional.

Chambers & Partners 2021


Nicola specialises in probate, inheritance, trusts, and COP Property and Affairs work.

Nicola’s practice covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious probate work, claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, trusts matters, and Property and Affairs work within the Court of Protection.

Nicola is a full member (TEP) of STEP and is recognised as an exert in her practice areas in both the 2021 Chambers and Partners and Legal 500.

Nicola regularly represents clients at mediations and other forms of ADR, and is a member of PLP ADR

Nicola is the author of A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Control of the Body After Death, which was published in 2020.

Nicola sits as a Recorder and a Deputy District Judge, and Nicola’s sitting as a Deputy District Judge includes sitting in the Court of Protection.

Areas of Expertise

Contact Nicola Phillipson TEP


Nicola deals with contentious and non-contentious work at all levels, including:


  • Construction and interpretation of wills
  • Rectification of wills
  • Testamentary capacity, undue influence, fraudulent calumny, knowledge and approval
  • Statutory wills
  • Actions against executors
  • Removal or replacement of executors
  • Pronouncements for and against wills in solemn form
  • Applications for Inventory and Account
  • Mutual wills
  • Administration of Estates
  • Intestacy
  • Proceedings under CPR64
  • LPAs


Inheritance Act

Nicola regularly advises and acts for Applicants, Beneficiaries, and Executors in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975


Nicola’s practice includes:

  • Construction and interpretation of trusts
  • Actions against trustees
  • Removal or replacement of trustees
  • Advising trustees on their powers and duties
  • Variation of Trusts
  • TOLATA claims

Mediations and ADR

Nicola is very experienced in acting for all parties in mediations, ADR, ENE and Judge led FDRs, and is a member of PLP ADR


Direct Access

Nicola is Direct Access qualified

Nicola was called in 1999, is a fully accredited member of STEP and regularly assists and advises clients at mediation, FDRs and ENEs.

Nicola sits as a Recorder in the family court and as a Deputy District Judge where she is authorised to hear civil, family and CoP cases. In her capacity as a DDJ, Nicola conducts FDRs and is part of the Dispute Resolution Hearing Pilot Scheme which aims to mediate cases to settlement rather than proceed by way of a contested hearing.

Nicola acts for landlords and tenants in all aspects of housing law and homelessness.

Nicola deals with property and affairs work within the Court of Protection including:

  • contested LPA and deputyship applications
  • applications for statutory wills
  • applications for gifts
  • variations to wills

Nicola’s appointment as a Deputy District Judge includes sitting in the Court of Protection

Legal 500 2022 - Tier 1 Chancery, Probate & Tax  - "Nicola is extremely pragmatic in her advice. A master in developing a clear strategy from the outset with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law in this area. She will go the extra mile."

Chambers & Partners 2022 - Chancery Band 2 - "She is very approachable, practical and down to earth." "She is very friendly and has a great skill at explaining the law to lay clients or instructing solicitors."

Ranked by The Legal 500 as a leading Junior for Commercial, banking, insolvency and Chancery law expertise in the 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 directories.

Ranked by The Legal 500 as a leading Junior for Property expertise in the 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 directories. Quotes "She is very easy to talk to and she is very technical but in a layperson kind of way - she makes things quite straightforward for clients." "Her rapport with clients is exceptional." - 

Chambers & Partners, 2021Nicola is a pro-active problem solver. She is engaging and great with clients. Nicola is a hands-on lawyer who quickly gets to the heart of the problem and offers insightful advice coupled with practical solutions.

Nicola is a well respected and a go-to barrister in this area.’ The Legal 500, 2021

An exceptional advocate who puts clients at ease.’ The Legal 500, 2021

“Focuses on contested probate and Inheritance Act claims, and is highly experienced in mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. The Legal 500, 2020.

Clever, down to earth, practical and collaborative.” –  The Legal 500, 2020.

An exceptional advocate who puts clients at ease.” – The Legal 500, 2020.

Very Conscientious and provides sound advice.” – The Legal 500, 2019.

A superb advocate” – The Legal 500, 2019.

Incredibly smart and aggressive where necessary.” – The Legal 500 2018.

An expert in housing cases.”- The Legal 500, 2017.

"Highly knowledgeable, pragmatic and down to earth." - The Legal 500, 2016.

Full member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)

Member of the Chancery Bar Association

Member of the Northern Chancery Bar Association 

Recent cases include:

  • Advising upon and ultimately settling a claim for a widow under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 in a £6 million estate
  • Advised and represented beneficiaries in an application to remove an executor who was failing to administer the estate in a timely manner.
  • Successfully defended a Will which was being challenged on the basis that the testator lacked capacity and had been unduly influenced by the beneficiary
  • Opinion provided to the court on the correct interpretation of the beneficiaries under a will trust.
  • Successfully defended a case in the COP where the appointment of an LPA was challenged.

Recorder Deputy DJ


Contributor to the Sweet and Maxwell loose-leaf publication  “Co-habitation Law and Precedents” (Sweet and Maxwell).

Co-author with Rachel Roche LLM TEP of “Challenging a Will”  - an e-book guide to help lay clients understand the process of challenging a will and what the next steps are.

“Inheritance Act Claims – Delay at your Peril” – published in the Law Society Private Client quarterly magazine.

Author of 2 books:

A Practical Guide to the Law in Relation to Control of the Body After Death

“Challenging a Will” - a guide to help lay clients understand the process of challenging a will and the next steps (co-author with Rachel Roche LLM TEP)

“Habeas Corpse – Who Controls the Body?” – delivered to the Northern Contentious Probate Group in 2019. Declarations of Parentage and DNA Testing in the Business and Property and Family Courts – delivered to the Law Society in Leeds in 2019. Regular seminars delivered in Chambers and in-house to solicitors’ firms (titles include: “So Long, Farewell – How, When and Why to remove Personal Representatives” (2019), “Bringing Inheritance Act Claims out of Time” (2019) “Inheritance Act Damages Workshop” (2018). “A DECLARATION OF DEATH – WHEN, HOW AND WHY TO PRESUME A PERSON DEAD” (2017).

Jurisprudence, BA Hons – Merton College, Oxford MA (Oxon) Merton College, Oxford