Firm / Organisation

Barcan+Kirby

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Managing Partner: Bill Willcocks
Executive Partner: Anna Wilson
Number of partners: 17
Other fee earners: 56

Contacts:
Clinical Negligence & Personal Injury:
Richard Harries
Litigation: James Bell
Family Law: Jim Gridley
Wills, Trusts & Probate: Tom Sharkey
Conveyancing: Steve Parker
Commercial Conveyancing: Bill Willcocks
Residential Conveyancing: Anna Wilson
Employment: James Bell
Domestic Violence: Tom Powles
Court of Protection: Tom Sharkey
Childcare: Tom Powles
Family Finance: Hanni Pennelegion
Corporate & Commercial: Georgina Bryant

THE FIRM
Barcan+Kirby is one of the largest mid-sized law firms in Bristol, with a long-established reputation for providing legal advice to individuals and businesses across the city and South Gloucestershire. In addition, the medical negligence and personal injury departments act for clients on a national basis. Formed in April 2015 via the merger of Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard, the firm now employs in excess of 180 people and has strengthened and broadened its depth of services. The Corporate and Commercial team, formed in 2017, has grown from one solicitor to four with additional support staff to assist the growth. The firm also launched a Notary Public Service in 2018.

The Partners are advocates for flexible working and proud with the high percentage of women in senior or managerial positions in comparison to other law firms. This was reflected in Barcan+Kirby winning both the Business Award for Gender at the Bristol Diversity Awards 2019 and Legal award at the Bristol Life Awards 2019.

Barcan+Kirby is committed to the development of staff and provide comprehensive and supportive training. Their Associates Academy was established to support ambitious staff to develop the skills required to become leaders of the business. In addition, they have invested in new premises on North Street and Gloucester Road with an extension to the Thornbury office to provide a better working environment for staff. The firm’s core values drive their culture. They combine a fresh, modern approach with traditional values. Their vision is to build on reputation for excellence, strive to build long- term relationships with clients and retain position as a major force in the Bristol and South Gloucestershire legal sector.

Their HR team won the National People in Law Awards HR Team of the Year 2020 in recognition of their communication skills and HR initiatives, being described as ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ to the larger city firms.

PRINCIPAL AREAS OF WORK
The clinical negligence and personal injury departments are recognised both regionally and nationally for the quality of their work and the support they give to claimants. The clinical negligence team has a wealth of experience across a range of injury types, including cerebral palsy, delayed or misdiagnosis, maximum severity birth injuries, amputations and fatal injuries.

The personal injury team has particular experience in dealing with catastrophic injury cases, including claims arising from brain, back and spinal injuries, as well as road traffic accidents.

The family department is among the largest in Bristol and has expertise spanning matrimonial finances, child arrangements, care proceedings, domestic abuse and child abduction. Every member of the dedicated matrimonial finance team is a Resolution-accredited specialist and most solicitors across the department hold at least one Law Society panel membership. The team recently developed its own Domestic Abuse Department (DAD), with the head, Georgia Holmes, winning Highly Commended for Lawyer of the Year for her work in this area at the Modern Law Awards 2020.

The wills, trust and probate team provide comprehensive wills, estate planning and probate services with a strong reputation for providing exceptional service to clients across Bristol and the wider South West. This is demonstrated by the fact over 70% of business comes via referrals from existing clients. Many of the team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) or Solicitors for the Elderly, and several hold the STEP Advanced Certificate in advising vulnerable clients. In 2019, the team won Solicitor Firm of the Year (South) at The British Wills and Probate Awards. The department have recently adapted their Will writing process to accommodate the needs of those wanting to make a Will during lockdown, including the launch of their online Wills service.

The highly experienced residential conveyancing department are specialists in all aspects of the conveyancing process. As well as dealing with straightforward domestic property transactions, they provide advice on re-mortgaging, buy-to-let investments, leasehold flats, new builds and shared ownership homes. Much of the team’s business comes via client recommendations or repeat business. The department are members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, reflecting the high standards of service.

The dispute resolution department are praised for the professional and diligent service they provide. They are skilled in all forms of dispute work including commercial and contract disputes, property litigation, commercial property and debt recovery. The expert team offer alternative services such as mediation and direct negotiation.

The employment team provide advice for both employees and employers on a range of employment-related issues, including HR support, redundancy, disciplinary issues and contract advice. They also provide support for discrimination at work and wrongful, unfair or constructive dismissal.

The commercial property department work with a variety of businesses providing practical and clear advice on areas including sales and purchases of land, retail and industrial units as well as leases, financing and regulatory compliance work. The team’s experience spans a range of sectors including new build property, restaurants, leisure, retail and construction.

The corporate and commercial team have grown from the ground up over the last three years and have developed a credible reputation, priding themselves on links with the local business community as well as advising national businesses including nursery childcare providers. The team encompass a strong mix of skills and experience and have a familiarity with a broad range of industries.