Thomas Klemme


Private Client Disputes

T: +44 207 395 3041


Tom advises on a wide range of private client disputes with a particular focus on high value contentious trusts and estates along with art and cultural property disputes.

In relation to contentious trusts, Tom has acted for clients on multi-jurisdictional disputes including breach of trust claims, removal and direction applications as well as advising both trustees and beneficiaries on all aspects of their rights and duties. Tom also has a wide experience of applications pursuant to the Variation of Trusts Act 1958.

In relation to contentious estates, Tom has considerable experience acting for executors and beneficiaries in high value will dispute claims, claims pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 along with will construction claims and the administration of contentious estates.

Tom also has considerable experience with claims relating to art and cultural property. He has acted for art dealers, private collectors and museums.

Furthermore, he has extensive experience litigating claims through to trial in the High Court and the Court of Appeal.

Recent Experience

  • Defending trustees of a large family trust consisting of land and heritage assets from claims by the life tenant including for breach of trust and a removal application – Bathurst v Chantler & Ors [2018] EWHC 21 (Ch)
  • Acting successfully for a minor child in an application pursuant to the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.
  • Defending the executors of a large estate in a will dispute claim which included a two week trial at the High Court.
  • Acting for a claimant beneficiary in a mutli-jurisdictional breach of trust claim against former trustees worth over £100 million: Labrouche v Frey & Ors [2016] EWHC 268 (Ch)

Career History

Tom joined Wedlake Bell from Charles Russell Speechlys LLP in 2021.

Tom qualified as a solicitor in 2016 and has a degree in modern history from Bristol University.


“The increasing regulation of the art market” – Christie’s Heritage and Taxation Bulletin, Spring 2020

“Cross-border enforcement of tax debt: trustee issues in the UK and offshore” – Trusts and Trustees, Vol 25, Issue 5, June 2019

Co-wrote the chapter (D6) on trusts litigation for STEP textbook: Planning and Onshore and Offshore Trusts 2018

“Equity Prevails”, Trusts & Estates Law and Tax Journal, May 2017

"Andrew O’Keeffe is experienced and dependable, and has deadly dangerous negotiation skills. Tom Klemme is his reliable and switched-on right-hand man."

— Legal 500, 2023

"I have also been impressed recently with his associate Thomas Klemme."

— Legal 500, 2023


Executors and the Perils of Will Challenges


Case comment: Bo Bruce inheritance dispute