I am the lead Partner for the Will, Trust and Estate Disputes team in London.
I specialise in private client disputes and litigation, specifically those concerning trust, estate and succession disputes. My clients include private individuals, trustees, executors, administrators, protectors and beneficiaries.
I deal with all manner of disputes both in the UK and internationally, including claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, will disputes, and claims in respect of beneficial interests in property.
I was named in Citywealth's list of Top 10 Powerwomen Trust Litigators 2020 and Top 100 Trust Litigators and Polymaths in May 2020. I'm also ranked in Legal Week's Private Client Global Elite Directory as 'One to Watch'.
Earl Bathurst (Deceased)  EWHC 21 (Ch);  WTLR 1207
A dispute concerning the estate of the 8th Earl Bathurst and the ability of his widow to use and enjoy valuable chattels.
A.H. Baldwin and Sons Ltd & Others v. His Excellency Sheik Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Al-Thani  EWHC 3156 (QB)
Acting for an auction house and obtaining a worldwide asset-freezing injunction against Sheikh Saud Al-Thani, a member of the royal family of Qatar and one of the world's most prolific collectors of art and antiquities.
Wilson v. Dodd  EWHC 3727 (Ch)
Obtaining judgment for an American investor who was induced to invest in an English business due to a fraudulent misrepresentation.
Singellos v Singellos  EWHC 2353 (Ch) (The Times, 22 December 2010)
A multi-jurisdictional contentious probate dispute which extended a 19th Century legal principle relating to the necessary mental capacity to execute a will (Parker v Felgate) to documents executed to effect lifetime transfers to offshore companies.
Walbrook Trustees (Jersey) Ltd & Ors v Fattal  EWHC 2808  EWHC 991  EWHC Civ 427
Strike out of a claim against professional trustees for abuse of process.
"Highly experienced in these disputes and in many of the big cases. She knows this area of law backwards and fights very hard for her client." - Legal 500, 2023
"Claire-Marie Cornford combines real expertise with excellent client handling and achieves good results for her clients while standing her ground when she needs to... Claire-Marie Cornford is an absolutely first-rate litigator. She is absolutely focused on getting the best possible result for her clients and takes a lot of time and care to understand from them what their objectives are. She never loses sight of the end-game. She is a very tough opponent and a pleasure to work with. She is supported by a strong team." - Legal 500, 2022
"She is one of my favourite instructing solicitors. She is very intelligent, very quick and is good at prioritising the key issues." - Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2022 (Leading Individual - band 3)
"Claire has done a really impressive job of building their private wealth disputes practice in London. She brings in really good work, runs an impressive team, she is an inspiration to me. She is well on top of the law but combines that with really impressive dedication to her clients. She is super bright." - Chambers & Partners High Net Worth 2022 (Leading Individual - band 4)
Top Recommended Contentious Trust Lawyer, Spears 500 2021
"Claire-Marie Cornford is fantastic: she is very bright, dedicated to going the extra mile for her clients, and sensible in her approach to matters... [she] leads from the front and is a focused and tenacious litigator." – Legal 500, 2021 (Next Generation Partner)
"Calculated, clever, calmness and awe inspiring in her ability to navigate tough cases." - Citywealth Leaderslist 2020
"Claire-Marie Cornford is clever, experienced and runs the team with enormous energy... [she] is exceptionally talented and experienced. Fantastic and personal service. An extremely safe pair of hands.... An experienced and very impressive lawyer, client focused and tactically astute." - Legal 500, 2019
Claire-Marie has "a calm manner that helps to diffuse the most difficult of situations" - Legal 500, 2016
"From the initial meeting with the family law partner, Claire-Marie Cornford, right through the progress of my case where I was advised by Kate Harris, ably assisted by Katherine Reed, I was well advised throughout. Not only was the service professional, but also sensitive on a personal level, which was particularly important to me given the background circumstances (a bereavement)." - 5* Trustpilot review
"From start to finish, Irwin Mitchell LLP have enabled us to deal with an urgent case with utmost professionalism and expertise. Consultant Solicitor - Deborah Levy and her colleague - Claire-Marie Cornford have been very proactive in their approach and were able to give us the best possible resolution to what had become a matter whereby time was of the essence. I would highly recommend IM LLP for any services requiring legality."- 5* Trustpilot review
What Inspired You To Get Into Law?
I was drawn to law by a desire to help others.
What Is The Most Rewarding Aspect Of Your Role?
Developing a strong personal bond with my clients and supporting them through the litigation process.
What Do You Do Away From The Office?
I enjoy yoga, gardening, sport and driving fast cars.