Blanchards Bailey LLP > Weymouth (Dorchester), England > Firm Profile

Blanchards Bailey LLP

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

The ‘approachable, professional and proactive’ team at Blanchards Bailey LLP is well placed to assist its client base of rural landowners, farming families and businesses on a range of matters. The team is led by Paul Dunlop who has more than two decades of experience in civil litigation and agricultural disputes. Jerome Dodge is especially well versed in wills and estate planning work, while Lucy Mignot deals exclusively with contentious trust and probate and Court of Protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Jerome Dodge; Lucy Mignot; Sarah Dunlop


‘The team at Blanchards Bailey is approachable, professional and proactive in helping clients with a range of matters that impact on rural businesses.’

‘Sarah Dunlop is always very helpful and is very good at supporting clients through difficult transactions. Sarah has a sound understanding of rural matters and builds rapport very quickly, putting clients’ minds at ease.’

Key clients

Tarhinton Farms Limited

Stock Gaylard Estate

Work highlights

  • Instructed Stock Gaylard Estate on all of their work, including a large development, succession planning and employment matters.
  • Advised Cossins on a division of trust assets.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

Based in Blandford, the ‘personable, professional and approachable’ team at Blanchards Bailey LLP is noted for its expertise in the agriculture sector, and has demonstrable experience in handling property disputes and private client cases. Paul Dunlop advises on agricultural disputes, property litigation and contentious probate mandates, while ‘knowledgeable and professionalBen Jones focuses on real estate litigation. Dunlop and Jones jointly lead the team alongside Dorchester-based Lucy Mignot.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop; Ben Jones; Lucy Mignot


‘Personable, professional and approachable.

‘Ben Jones is knowledgeable and professional. A good communicator and adviser.’

‘I am very pleased with the service that Paul Dunlop and Blanchard Bailey have provided and will continue to use them and recommend the firm to others.’

‘The team works very well together. They take a collaborative and co-operative approach to dealing with disputes and come up with practical solutions to clients’ problems.’

‘Very enthusiastic and experienced team providing reassurance and professional guidance through difficult and stressful times. Ben Jones was always available at for key moments.’

‘Ben Jones is experienced and knowledgeable about the construction industry. He provided regular updates and support throughout a recent case.’

‘Blanchard Bailey team is great to work with. They are very professional, knowledgeable and have a friendly approach to ensure everything technical is understood and explained properly.’

Key clients

Sheppard Piling Limited

ICF Builder Limited

Tomorrow’s Forest

Work highlights

  • Advising Tomorrow’s Forests Limited in the successful settlement of a contract claim arising from high-volume commercial re-forestation.
  • Advising ICF Builder Limited in detailed construction dispute pursuant to the Pre-Action Protocol for construction and engineering disputes following successful settlement of vexatious insolvency proceedings and stating issuing of injunctions.
  • Advising Sheppard Piling Limited in a technical dispute arising out of piling works to new-build residential properties and involving.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

Blanchards Bailey LLP is well placed to handle the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters in the employment space. The team, led by Paul Dunlop, is comprised of specialist employment and HR practitioners, with Jane Cordner standing out as ‘easily the most approachable, helpful, considerate HR solicitor‘. Stephen Woodman is noted for his litigious experience, and is regularly instructed to handle complex dismissal and discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:


‘Stephen Woodman has been incredibly supportive with my case and has been very understanding regarding my situation at a time when I have felt completely overwhelmed and vulnerable.’

‘We employ Blanchards Bailey on a consultancy basis for their HR advice. They have assisted us with putting together employment contracts for our small company, and have provided invaluable advice and documentation as situations have arisen. We find them to be diligent, responsive and professional.’

‘We are regularly in contact with Jane Cordner, who assists us with all our HR requirements. She is brilliantly knowledgeable, very helpful and will come back to us quickly in response to any questions we have.’

‘We deal mainly with Jane Cordner, and her professionalism and expertise have assisted us with a number of quite sensitive issues over the years and we have built up a very good rapport with her. She is always available to answer even the most trivial of questions where we are perhaps unsure of the exact legislation involved.’

‘Blanchards Bailey are always incredibly professional. They are well staffed, attentive, and always on hand.’

‘Jane Cordner is easily the most approachable, helpful, considerate HR solicitor I have ever come across. She is always there for us as a business and has helped us happily over several years of working. I never have any fear approaching her for any of my concerns, big or small. As a new manager, having Jane on hand to help me is invaluable.’

‘The team are always approachable and readily available by email or phone which is a key consideration as a business who rely on them for employment advice.’

‘Jane Cordner is our point of contact and is always able to understand our queries, regardless of how convoluted and complex they are, giving the right advice to make sure we are legally compliant and also fair for the member of staff. She has a good understanding of our context and provides bespoke solutions to our issues.’

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Particularly noted for its capabilities in Court of Protection work, Blanchards Bailey LLP draws praise from clients for fielding a contentious trusts and probates team with 'genuine expertise and strength in depth.’ The team is jointly headed by Paul Dunlop, a highly experienced civil litigator; commercial litigator Ben Jones; and Lucy Mignot - a 'fantastic lawyer' who deals exclusively with contentious trust and probate and Court of Protection matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop; Ben Jones; Lucy Mignot


‘This practice has simply worked well with me providing efficient service, prompt responses to questions, and excellent overall communication about ongoing matters.’

‘Pleasant and helpful at all times.’

‘I am very grateful for the help I receive from the team. The service always exceeds my expectations.’

‘Any time I need them, they are always available to help quickly and with a high level of professionalism.’

‘Lucy Mignot is always very professional and explains legal matters in terms that a layman can understand.’

‘I have worked on cases in which Lucy Mignot represented other parties. Lucy was positive and practical in negotiating and robust and strategic in putting her clients’ position. I have recommended her subsequently to clients where I cannot act because of a conflict of interest.’

‘A team of contentious trusts and probate lawyers who have genuine expertise and strength in depth.’

‘Lucy Mignot is a fantastic lawyer who is great with clients and attracts superb work.’

Key clients

Diana Bennett

Judith Sargeant

Francesca Giradelli

Christina Hammond

Helen Haigh

Martin and Sarah Granados

Robin Hansford

Chris Kekwick

Jane Glover

Work highlights

  • Advised Chris Kekwick in a trust dispute.
  • Acted for Diana Bennett under a CFA in a 1975 Act and proprietary estoppel claim.
  • Advised Robin Hansford in an undue influence and fraudulent calumny claim with an agricultural element.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

Lauded as an ‘impressively modern, highly skilled, diverse team', Blanchards Bailey LLP regularly advises clients on issues related to estate planning, inheritance tax issues, and Court of Protection work. Practice head Jerome Dodge has extensive expertise in wills and estate planning, inheritance tax, powers of attorney, and trust administration.

Practice head(s):

Jerome Dodge


Other key lawyers:

Catherine Roberts; Sophie Lawrence; Emma Needham


‘Blanchards are friendly and attentive from reception to head of department. They are empathetic and thorough, and I enjoy working with them.’

‘Impressively modern highly skilled diverse teams, with high achievement and goal oriented aims. Close, detailed, client collaboration. Open, efficient, sympathetic.’

‘Jerome Dodge’s expertise, ability to delegate to highly qualified and skilled individuals has been impressive over the years.’

‘The team is a regional leader in South Dorset and provides sound, professional advice proportionate to the scale of the individual and estate, without complication. They have been consistently accessible and helpful over a number of years, developing a deep understanding of the family’s requirements and engendering complete trust.’

‘Blanchards Bailey’s team cover a wide range of areas of expertise. They are very experienced with all areas of trusts and estate planning. They also have access to a financial planning department who can assist with probate cases, ensuring continuity of service and Blanchards Bailey relationship for generations.’

‘The individuals within the team are extremely knowledgeable and, above all else, are very approachable.’

Work highlights

  • Designed an Inheritance Tax planning scheme to save a client’s family up to £800,000.
  • Advised on estate planning for a £15m farming enterprise.
  • Administered complex deputyship with multiple Court of Protection applications.

Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

Acting primarily for clients from the agricultural sector, Blanchards Bailey LLP‘s expertise extends to advice on refinancing and tax structuring issues. The ‘highly experienced‘ practice head Robin Cole, who divides his time between Dorchester and Blandford Forum, specialises in development and investment issues such as acquisitions and disposals. His colleague Sarah Dunlop is noted for her expertise in land law, tenancies and farming partnerships.

Practice head(s):

Robin Cole

Other key lawyers:


‘Blanchards’ pricing is generally more competitive than other comparable firms we have used, and we consider them to be very good value.’

‘Robin Cole is a highly experienced lawyer.’

‘Good local practice with a team which understands what is required.’

Key clients

Tarhinton Farm Limited

CMS Developments Limited

Andersen Consulting

Westcoast Developments Limited

Kingston Maurward College

Stonecombe Developments Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising multiple landowners on separate renewables option and option for lease for a renewables site exceeding 1000 acres.
  • Advising landowner in respect of land purchase and multi-million pound refinance in a multi-party refinance and purchase transaction.
  • Acting on the promotion of a 200 acre garden market scheme involving, inter alia, co-operation agreement between landowners, profit sharing and equalisation arrangements.

Private client > Family Tier 4

Blanchards Bailey LLP specialises in dealing with pensions, and army pensions in particular. The team regularly works with business owners, land owners and wealthy individuals in structuring financial settlements and drafting pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements. Laura Martin – who heads the practice – is noted for her work on complex financial disputes involving multi-million-pound businesses.

Practice head(s):

Laura Martin

Other key lawyers:

Julie Keogh


‘Very user friendly. Exceptional understanding of a very difficult and emotional situation. Walked me through every stage in clear, layman’s terms.’

‘Julie Keogh has been excellent throughout the process. Very understanding.’

‘Laura Martin and her team have been so very honest and honorable throughout this. As a company I cannot find fault.’

‘Laura Martin and her team have been, and continue to be outstanding and brilliant on a professional level, but as important they’ve been so helpful on a personal level in helping one to process all of what is happening, which in return helps you cope with going through divorce, financial and children matters.’

‘Julie has a very caring and reassuring manner and responds efficiently and professionally to any concerns that I have put forward to her when it has come to providing guidance around my divorce proceedings.’

‘Julie Keogh was very professional and explained everything clearly at every stage. Responded very quickly to any questions I had.’

‘Blanchards Bailey have an extensive array of experienced and knowledgeable practitioners who are all able to advise clients reliably and cost-effectively.’

‘Laura Martin is a truly caring and very competent family lawyer and mediator.’

Work highlights

  • Acted for Husband in extensive Financial Remedy proceedings and Children Act proceedings.
  • Acted for Intervenor in Financial Remedy proceedings; husband non-compliant with directions made by the Court and providing financial disclosure.
  • Acted for maternal grandparents in respect of their application for a Special Guardianship Order. Successful outcome as a Special Guardianship Order was granted and supervised contact to the mother.

Blanchards Bailey acts for many of the largest and most successful owner-managed and family-owned businesses both in Dorset and in the surrounding counties of Somerset, Wiltshire and Hampshire. The firm also attracts clients from London and other major conurbations.

We are known for having specialists within areas of the law and business sectors, and for providing an excellent proactive service to our clients. We provide practical and clear advice in a friendly and approachable manner.

We were ranked in the The Legal 500 2018/2019 in the areas of Employment, Commercial property, Commercial litigation, Agriculture and estates, Contentious trusts and probate, Family, and Personal tax trusts and probate.  Several of our lawyers are individually recommended including all of the firm’s partners.

At the 2019 Dorset Legal Awards we were a finalist in six team categories and won Law Firm of the Year (under 99 employees), Company and Commercial Team of the Year and Private Client Team of the Year.