Humphreys & Co. > Bristol, England > Firm Profile

Humphreys & Co.

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 2

Humphreys & Co. is known for its specialism in mesothelioma cases, although the practice is also well versed in claims relating to other asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer and pleural thickening. Handling matters at a domestic as well as international scale, the team is led by Stephen Burbidge, who is hailed as a ‘very experienced asbestos litigator’. Fabio Seccatore is another asbestos specialist with experience relating to other serious injuries such as paralysis and amputation.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Burbidge

Other key lawyers:


‘Amazing team – highly professional and reliable.’

‘Stephen Burbidge is extremely good and knowledgeable.’

‘The personal injury team at Humphreys & Co are quick to respond to queries, highly knowledgeable and aware of the complexities of industrial diseases in the lungs.’

‘Stephen Burbidge has a clear understanding of the medical issues involved in asbestos related lung disease.’

‘Humphreys & Co were professional, knowledgeable, diligent, and generally went to great lengths to explain the claims process and associated costs in layman’s terms. I felt that they gave a very compassionate and personal service, particularly given the sensitive nature of the claim.’

‘Stephen Burbidge is a very experienced asbestos litigator who has been undertaking these complex disease claims for many years.’

‘I dealt mainly with Stephen Burbidge. His knowledge and expertise is outstanding. He explained each part of the claim process in great detail, taking care that I understood what was going on at all times.’

‘Stephen Burbidge was extremely professional throughout. His knowledge of the subject in hand was first rate. All communications were carried out in a friendly and reassuring manner. My claim was carried out to a satisfactory conclusion.’

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Intellectual property Tier 2

Humphreys & Co. continues to have a vibrant practice in the IP space, where the firm’s experience spans trade marks, copyright and designs. With a diverse client portfolio that includes a number of international household names, the practice is well situated to manage and defend global IP portfolios across a range of sectors including the electronics, retail, education, and finance industries. The team consists of practice head Robert Humphreys, the ‘well-prepared’ Tristan Morse, and senior associate Ruth Annand.

Practice head(s):

Robert Humphreys

Other key lawyers:


‘What I appreciate most about them is their people.’

‘I am genuinely impressed with the intellectual property knowledge, experience and honesty that all staff have at Humphreys & Co.’

‘I have dealt with one individual, Tristan Morse. Very good process of business.’

‘As regards their technology and collaboration, everything works flawlessly and I’ve never encountered a problem.’

‘Tristan Morse is always well-prepared and provides accurate and succinct answers to my questions. In my experience, it’s hard to find experienced solicitors that demonstrate this level of professionalism and openness.’

‘Professionalism, accuracy, speed and honesty.’

‘Tristan Morse is easy to work with and does a great job.’

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Bristol Tier 3

Humphreys & Co. counts litigation arising out of commercial transactions, intellectual property disputes and construction proceedings in its caseload, in addition to shareholders’ disputes, fraud claims and gambling and betting litigation. The team is ‘led by astute and commercially-focused’ Robert Humphreys, who is praised as a ‘formidable lawyer’ and ‘experienced litigator’. Tristan Morse focuses on contentious trade mark, design and copyright mandates, as well as professional negligence claims.

Practice head(s):

Robert Humphreys

Other key lawyers:


‘When working with Humphreys, they always keep you informed as to the development of the matter.’

‘Humphreys & Co is a small firm, but it punches well above its weight. In the cases I have worked with them on, they have gone up against (and beaten) much bigger firms. The individual lawyers all work extremely hard for their clients; they are tenacious negotiators; and have the ability to see both the legal complexities of a case and the client’s commercial objectives, and to blend those two in a way which is surprisingly rare among commercial lawyers.’

‘Robert Humphreys is extremely hard-working; he is an experienced litigator with an ability to cut to the core of any case in an instant. He negotiates incredibly hard for his clients. He is a pleasure to work with.’

‘I have worked with this exceptional niche practice for many years. Led by the astute and commercially-focused Robert Humphreys, this firm specialises in heavyweight commercial litigation and has always punched well above its weight. It has particular expertise in construction, IP and insurance-related claims as well as significant experience in international litigation.’

‘Humphreys & Co provide a high quality service which is comparable to London firms which would probably have significantly higher charge-out rates.’

‘Robert Humphreys is a standout lawyer at the firm. As an adviser, he gives clear and straightforward advice to his clients. As a litigator, he is unafraid of dealing with complicated or difficult cases, and will fight hard for his clients’ interests.’

‘I have worked with Robert Humphreys who is clearly a formidable lawyer. He is easy to work with. He is very responsive and retains an intimate knowledge of his cases. As a partner I would describe him as red hot.’

‘Quick responses and wise counsel particularly when you are embroiled in a tricky dispute and emotions are high. The lawyers who work go out of their way to explain the knotty issues clearly in language you can understand. As a business run by people of colour it does mean a lot to us that the team including the barristers introduced by the firm are diverse.’

This niche practice, working nationally and internationally out of Bristol, is known for its high-quality commercial legal work, including litigation, commercial transactional work, intellectual property and employment law, as well as planning and real estate. Private client specialisms include occupational disease (particularly asbestos-related) litigation, contested inheritance litigation, and shared ownership property work.

The firm: Humphreys & Co. is an independent solicitors’ firm working for commercial and private clients, delivering a high-quality, cost-effective range of legal services with experience, energy and professionalism. Its lawyers work closely together; clients’ affairs are not compartmentalised into unconnected issues of law.

The firm is not a legal factory turning out a mass-produced legal product. It offers an independent approach. Personal case-handling by solicitors working in a financially-disciplined way is the firm’s approach.

The aim is always to be transparent about the legal process, giving advice and explaining options to clients in a concise and straightforward way, identifying clear courses of action, whatever the technical or legal complexities of the subject.

The costs approach is competitive, particularly by reference to the charge rates of large firms. Charges are generally by reference to time spent but the firm often agrees fixed fees for specific projects or in some cases, risk-adjusted funding structures.

Types of work undertaken
Commercial: A wide range of commercial legal work is done, including, for example: negotiating, drafting and explaining agency, distribution and supply agreements, partnership terms, conditions of trading, computer and IT contracts, franchising and outsourcing documentation.

Intellectual property and IT law: These are core practice areas. Registration, maintenance, transfer, licensing of and litigation about IP are long-established strengths. The firm’s lawyers work extensively with issues of: trade marks, patents, copyright, designs, trade secrets, know-how, employee obligations, media, publishing, the internet, trade libel and passing off.

Corporate transactions: These include company and partnership structure, company law and director compliance, shareholder arrangements, new ventures, joint ventures and share/asset sales and purchases.

Litigation: The firm has strength in depth in litigation of all types, aiming to make court, arbitration and mediation procedures work positively for clients. The litigation practice includes: contractual claims and recoveries, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence claims, land and property claims, construction disputes, insurance and reinsurance litigation, defamation actions, receivership and liquidation claims, including mediation and other alternative dispute resolution processes.

Commercial property: All kinds of commercial property work are undertaken, including: developments (residential and commercial), acquisitions and disposals, investments, industrial properties, lease negotiations and other landlord and tenant work.

Planning: With The Planning Inspectorate for England and Wales located in Bristol, property planning work is a specialist strength through the firm’s planning advice and representations unit, including: negotiation with councils, applications, appeals against refusals, objections, enforcement notices, appeals against enforcement, lawful development/use certificates and advocacy at hearings and inquiries.

Employment and human resources: Services include contracts and staff issues, occupational health and safety, redundancy, dismissal, discipline, severance compensation, unfair competition, post-termination restrictions, discrimination (including in relation to race, sex, age and disability), employment tribunal proceedings and industrial relations.

Private client: Work includes a long-established and highly regarded claimant occupational disease unit, in particular working with asbestosis, mesothelioma, respiratory diseases and other conditions. Contested probate and inheritance litigation is also a key area.

Residential conveyancing: The firm has a highly regarded, efficient practice in residential conveyancing (with a particular specialism in shared ownership property work) throughout England and Wales but centred on London.  Our team also undertakes property and negligence litigation for and against private clients.

Department Name Email Telephone
Commercial Transactions Team & Managing Partner Robert Humphreys 0117 929 2662
Litigation Team Robert Humphreys 0117 929 2662
Industrial Disease and Injury Team (Asbestos-Related Claims) Rhiannon Davies 0117 929 2662
Intellectual Property and Trade Marks Team Tristan Morse 0117 929 2662
Contentious Trusts and Probate Team Philip Siddons 0117 929 2662
Commercial Property Team Jonathan Griffiths 0117 929 2662
Shared Ownership Residential Property Team Yasmine Machin 0117 929 2662
Photo Name Position Profile
Yasmine Machin photo Mrs Yasmine Machin Head of Residential Conveyancing.
English (fluent)
Chinese (Mandarin)
Chinese (Cantonese)
Law Society of England
Law Society of Ireland
Barreau de Bruxelles (Ordre Français)
The Ukrainian Bar Association (UBA)
International Trademarks Association (INTA).
London Solicitors Litigation Association (LSLA)
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
Union Internationale des Avocats (UIA).
The American Bar Association (ABA).
Indian National Bar Association (INBA).
UK Society of Chinese Lawyers (UKSCL).
International Bar Association (IBA).
American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA).
International Law Association (ILA).

Humphreys & Co. is committed to the principles of diversity. We believe that by recruiting, hiring, and promoting people of different cultures, backgrounds, beliefs and preferences, the quality of our work life is improved and the legal services that we provide to our clients is more creative.

We hold the fundamental belief that differences in talents, backgrounds, experiences, and cultures make the practice of law not only more enjoyable but also better serve our clients by providing innovative and creative solutions for business and legal problems.

The following values are of particular relevance to diversity and human resource policies in the firm:

  • merit-based employment
  • non-discrimination and diversity, and
  • fair, flexible, safe and rewarding workplace.

The firm has put in place measures to:

  • help prevent all forms of discrimination, whether direct or indirect
  • recognise the positive advantages of, and help make best use of, diversity in the workplace.

Our firm is dedicated to creating and maintaining an environment that promotes diversity and teamwork for all employees, regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, religion, sexual orientation, or veteran status. We continually seek the best talent available, and value the perspectives diversity brings.

Humphreys & Co. is proud of its firm culture. For us, diversity is not a burden or something that we have to do; it is who we are.