Blanchards Bailey LLP > Blandford Forum (Shaftesbury), England > Firm Profile

Blanchards Bailey LLP
DT11 9LQ

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 2

Blanchards Bailey LLP works with an impressive roster of longstanding clients including farming families, rural landowners and businesses. Paul Dunlop leads the team; he has over 16 year’s of agricultural experience and is a board member on the Country Land Business Association for Dorset and the Dorset Agricultural Society. Private client associate Kelly Miller joined from Humphries Kirk, while company commercial solicitor Mark Howell joined from Coles Miller Solicitors LLP.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Jerome Dodge; Sarah Dunlop


‘Blanchards Bailey have a very strong team in Agriculture and Estates dealing with any issues that can arise.’

‘The individuals make a balanced team dealing with all aspects required.’

‘I always find Blanchards Bailey very approachable with a good team who are proactive and quick to respond to enquiries.’

‘Paul Dunlop is a very approachable strong litigator and has been a stand out character in the firm in general property matters, particularly agriculture.’

‘Sarah Dunlop is the go-to lawyer for property transaction matters, particularly for rural and agricultural property where she has a wealth of knowledge and can be relied upon.’

‘Blanchards Bailey LLP are a ‘one stop shop’ with tremendous expertise in a wide range of disciplines providing both excellent advice and as well as the always necessary, reassurance and confidence in their ability.’

‘All Blanchards Bailey’s partners and staff have a very happy, relaxed and yet professional disposition.’

Work highlights

  • Advised client in respect of a multi-million pound farm sale, with associated smaller sales and grants of easements taking place simultaneously.

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

Blanchards Bailey LLP is ‘an excellent firm to work with’ and takes a ‘knowledgeable, flexible and personal approach’ to regional litigation. The team particularly stands out for its knowledge of the farming and agriculture sectors and experience in private client mandates and property litigation. Paul Dunlop and Ben Jones jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop; Ben Jones


‘Special mention to Ben Jones who picked up the ball running and scored us a goal!’

‘Blanchards is a stable long term partnership with a wide breadth of skills to cover all of the bases.’

‘For litigation matters we have used the services of senior partner Paul Dunlop and associate Ben Jones. Their timely dealing with the matter at hand and the level of personal customer service is excellent. We always know we have given the matter the required attention.’

‘The team, led by Paul Dunlop, are always a pleasure to deal with and provide us with quality instructions on a range of topics under the commercial litigation umbrella. I’d have no hesitation in recommending them and would say they are my go-to firm for commercial litigation in Dorset.’

‘Paul Dunlop and Ben Jones are the individuals I’ve dealt with and they all seem very knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘Blanchards Bailey are an excellent firm to work with. They provide quality work and are very personable.’

‘I mainly deal with Paul Dunlop and Ben Jones. Both are fantastic lawyers and always a pleasure to speak and deal with.’

Key clients

Ibeautyhero Limited

J Cossins & Sons Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual in a contract dispute and a professional negligence claim.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

The practice at Blanchards Bailey LLP is led by Paul Dunlop; he has over 15 year's of litigation experience. The team consists of both employment specialists and HR practitioners. Areas of expertise includes employee status issues and discrimination and whistleblowing cases.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Woodman; Jane Cordner


‘I have always found the advice to be practical, focused on the business needs, coming up with creative solutions, good value for money relative to other firms.’

‘Jane Cordner understands our ethos and provides advice which is compatible with that ethos.’

Work highlights

    Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

    Blanchards Bailey LLP has growing expertise in Court of Protection work, with Lucy Mignot expanding her practice here. The practice is headed by Paul Dunlop and Ben Jones. Dunlop has over 21 years’ civil litigation experience. Jones specialises in property and company commercial disputes.

    Practice head(s):

    Paul Dunlop; Ben Jones

    Other key lawyers:


    ‘The team are all very professional and efficient when dealing with my questions and concerns.’

    ‘The individual we consult seems to be be very knowledgeable, experienced, positive and professional in her approach.’

    ‘Blanchards’ multi-disciplinary set-up means that there are specialists available for whatever the case may throw at you.’

    ‘Lucy Mignot stands head and shoulders above any solicitor I have used in the past. Readily available and responsive.’

    ‘The empathy shown within their Court of Protection team is exceptional, together with great understanding of the processes required to ensure the protected party receives all the requisite care they require.’

    ‘Competent, depth of legal knowledge and professional in inter-party correspondence.’

    ‘Lucy Mignot is always professional and positive about reaching solutions to resolve dispute but also robust in defence of her client.’

    Key clients

    Robin Hansford

    Christopher Kekwick

    Rachael Roberts

    Jane Glover

    Judith Sargeant

    Work highlights

    • Advised trustees in an unusual trust dispute that previous solicitors had been running for 12 years.
    • Advised potential claimant in a validity claim on the grounds of fraudulent calumny and lack of knowledge and approval with agricultural elements.
    • Advised the beneficiary of a statutory will in potential claims to remove the executors and for breach of trust.

    Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

    Blanchards Bailey LLP places particular focus on estate planning matters, particularly those pertaining to inheritance tax. Its mental capacity and Court of Protection work is also an area of expertise. Jerome Dodge heads the practice. Other key names include senior associate Emma Needham and associate Catherine Roberts.

    Practice head(s):

    Jerome Dodge

    Other key lawyers:

    Catherine Roberts; Sophie Lawrence


    ‘Sophie Lawrence – I feel she works with me as part of the team. I appreciate the fact that she problem solves with me, contributing her professional expertise to come up with the best approach or solution.’

    ‘The partners and principal personnel are stable and consistent. This makes Blanchards the ideal advisor.’

    ‘Their fees for these services are modest in comparison to other firms and always good value.’

    ‘Catherine Roberts made a difficult scenario very straightforward and she achieved a very well structured inheritance tax result.’

    ‘I cannot imagine receiving such a personal and consistent service from another firm of solicitors.’

    ‘The practice have a very good team of people, covering the full range of services you would hope for in a local company.’

    ‘I think a key strength is the ‘personal touch’. You feel the individuals are very concerned to do their best for you.’

    ‘A modern firm, who provide clear advice on processes and timescales involved. The team are polite and offer clarity in their dealings. We have always been able to speak to someone by telephone or had a response to enquiries by email.’

    Work highlights

    • Advised on estate planning for clients with £20m of agricultural and business assets.
    • Advised client on an opportunity to save £140,000 of Inheritance Tax.
    • Acted as a Court of Protection Deputy in a highly complex and specialist matter.

    Private client > Family Tier 4

    Blanchards Bailey LLP has niche expertise in pension related family matters, with particular focus on army pensions. The team is led by Laura Martin. Her expertise lies within the resolution of complex financial arrangements following divorce.

    Practice head(s):

    Laura Martin

    Other key lawyers:

    Julie Keogh


    ‘Julie Keogh never fails to impress me with her knowledge, empathy and support.’

    ‘They give a very prompt and personal service.’

    ‘They were really friendly and informative.’

    ‘Easy to talk to; Speedy call back.’

    ‘Laura Martin took the stress away and was proactive.’

    ‘I am impressed by the pleasant way I am dealt with, the professional approach of all the staff and the discretion that it is shown.’

    ‘Laura Martin was perceptive, prompt in dealing with things and got back to me quickly, keeping me informed as the divorce proceeded.’

    ‘My case was dealt with such a professional, yet personable approach by Laura Martin who only ever put my interest first, made everything clear and comfortable and assisted with dealing with a difficult situation in a smooth way. Would highly recommend.’

    Work highlights

    • Acted for husband in Financial Remedy Court proceedings concerning matrimonial assets worth in excess of £1.25m plus income.
    • Acted for Intervenor in Financial Remedy proceedings concerning matrimonial assets totaling £600,000.
    • Acted for Father in Children Act proceedings and obtained an urgent Order that the child live with Father due to safeguarding concerns.

    Real estate > Commercial property: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall

    Blanchards Bailey LLP is regularly sought out by clients in the agricultural sector for its expertise in farming and landed estates.

    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.

    Paul Dunlop photoMr Paul DunlopPrincipal Head of Litigation and Disputes