Michelle Hayter

Michelle Hayter

Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution
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Michelle Hayter

Partner & Head of Dispute Resolution

Michelle is Head of the Dispute Resolution Department and has built a strong personal reputation in this practice area over the past 19 years. As partner, Michelle also heads up the firm’s operations in Ringwood.

Her growing team deal with all aspects of civil and commercial litigation. Both Michelle and her team are recognised in the 2021, 2022 and 2023 Legal 500, the independent guide to law firms in the UK.


Michelle Hayter qualified as a Solicitor in 2002 and became a Partner at Frettens in 2010. 

She is a fully-qualified ACTAPS (Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists) member and her experience in Estate, Trust and Will disputes attracts clients from across the UK. She has worked on many high-value and high-profile cases, some of which have attracted national media coverage.

She further specialises in TOLATA work, acting for separating couples who are unmarried in dealing with the division of the property.

Michelle also deals with all aspects of civil and commercial litigation. Her experience ranges from breach of contract and contractual disputes, landlord and tenant disputes, land, boundary and property litigation, director/shareholder disputes, professional negligence and money claims.

  • A number of ongoing claims for a long running contentious probate dispute between two siblings and their late mother’s estate.
  • Claim against sister for financial abuse and Order for Sale proceedings.
  • Ongoing commercial disputes for a property investor, including, breach of contract to off-shore investments, dispute with leaseholders over alleged defective premises and serving dilapidations on a leaseholder, continued advice on commercial rent arrears, forfeiture proceedings and general breach of contract.
  • Defending an alleged claim for negligence in providing building services.
  • Acting for client in defending a claim in relation to the build and supply of a yacht.
  • Acting for a number of co-habitees in establishing their rights to the family home.


Michelle is enjoying putting her vast quantity of previously unopened recipe books to good use having avoided cooking for many years.  Her wardrobe reveals a clever knack for spotting a designer bargain, a girl can never have too many little black dresses, surely?

Michelle is as exuberant as she is competitive, but she also has a creative and artistic side and is a dab hand with a paint brush. Michelle loves fast cars, diamonds and red wine (but not necessarily in that order!). 

  • This was a very difficult and upsetting time in my life. I am so grateful for the nice friendly welcome I received each time I visited Frettens, and the reassurance that my case was being dealt with swiftly and professionally at all times. I can't thank Michelle Hayter enough for the help and guidance she gave me.

    Mrs Gillon
  • Thank you Michelle and Kerri so much I can’t tell you how relieved I feel to finally be at this stage.  I’m forever grateful to you both for helping me through this all.

    Ms Jones
  • Your service was excellent, they had to act very fast and Michelle Hayter was extremely professional and helpful and would thoroughly recommend her.

    Mrs Coggan - Dispute Resolution
  • I value the direct approach and constructive manner Michelle Hayter deals with matters. She always responds quickly to any concerns and questions that I have.

    Dispute Resolution Client
  • Thank you for all your help. I have been very impressed with yourself and Frettens with progressing and staying on top of everything.

    Dispute Resolution Client
  • Michelle Hayter – diligent, invested, committed, responsive and honest.

    Commercial Litigation Client
  • Michelle was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and sympathetic. Her professional approach was exactly what I needed. No sugar coating, just practical advice, explanation of costs involved and her opinion. It wasn't the news I was hoping for, but it was what I needed to know.

    Dispute Resolution Client