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

Blanchards Bailey LLP
DT11 9LQ

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

The 'professional and efficient' litigation team at Blanchards Bailey LLP is popular among owner-managed, family-owned businesses and high-net-worth individuals across the South West. Paul Dunlop heads up the team and handles a range of commercial disputes for SMEs and agricultural sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Lucy Mignot; Ben Jones


‘Great communication, clear instructions and all the team not just the individual solicitor is able to help and answer any questions. Very professional.’

‘Great long standing relationship with the dispute resolution team. Easy going and friendly communication via email and phone.’

‘I deal mostly with Ben Jones who is a stand out individual in the team. We have a great working relationship and he always goes the extra mile!’

‘The team are always professional and efficient when dealing with any business.’

‘Everyone I have dealt with always deals with queries in a timely manner and and remain professional.

Key clients

Sheppard Piling Limited

Earthyard Limited

Rocket Finance Limited

Morgan Design Studio Limited

Work highlights

  • Represented an individual in a £70,000 claim relating to alleged defects in a pleasure cruiser boat and negotiated settlement to extract client from ongoing contractual obligations.
  • Defending Morgan Design Studio in a £1.86m professional negligence claim brought by a property developer relating to allegations of combustible cladding fixed to two developments of eleven storey and twelve storey student accommodation blocks.
  • Acted for peer to peer lending and crowdfunding platform Rocket Finance in recovery of a £400,000 bridging loan secured over property.

Employment > Employment: Dorset, Devon and Cornwall Tier 3

The HR and employment team at Blanchards Bailey LLP offers services tailored to the needs of its local small business clientele. This is led by team head Paul Dunlop, who has strong litigation experience as well as an understanding of agricultural employers.  Jane Eldridge oversees the practice's HR consultancy arm. In addition to strengths with religious and educational clients, the team has gained new work from consultancy clients.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:


‘This is a local practice to our company and whenever we have a legal query which we have forwarded to them they have always responded promptly and pertinently to our questions.’

‘Jane Eldridge is very professional, up-to-date with all legislation, communicates well and is always very efficient in responding to e-mails and phone calls and her advice has always been greatly appreciated. Whilst always busy, she never gives the impression that she doesn’t have time for you and will always spend as much time as necessary answering our questions.’

Key clients

Matrod Frampton Limited

Sarum College

Portsmouth Cathedral


The Business Phone Limited

South Western Scaffolding


National Dental

Portsmouth Diocese

Inkspace Limited

Private client > Agriculture and estates Tier 3

Blanchards Bailey LLP's agricultural practice focuses on working with individual farmers and businesses on a range of issues. With offices across rural Dorset, the firm has experience with a variety of agricultural and business matters including partnerships, renewable energy, and commercial contracts. Practice head Paul Dunlop specialises in partnership, boundary and land disputes. Recently promoted partner Robin Cole offers expertise in land development and farm diversification.

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:

Robin Cole; Jerome Dodge; Sarah Dunlop


‘The team can cover all aspects of legal matters by calling on different members of the team, meaning that you only to deal with one organisation.’

‘The individuals I have dealt with have always been efficient at what they are dealing with.’

Work highlights

  • Safeguarded a client’s ownership of a woodland and negotiated a commercial deal whereby the opposition bought it for about £2m.
  • Advised a group of trust inheritors on the winding up of a trust and disputed Agricultural Holdings Act tenancy.
  • Provided tax and trust advice which saved the client in excess of £500,000.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Blanchards Bailey LLP offers a variety of contentious expertise to its primarily Dorset-based clients, with a focus on inheritance disputes. The firm also has expanded its focus on Court of Protection matters, led by senior associate Lucy Mignot. Paul Dunlop leads the practice and has experience with agricultural clients and deathbed gifts matters, while Ben Jones was recently promoted to partner..

Practice head(s):

Paul Dunlop

Other key lawyers:


‘Always prompt responding to queries, assiduous in updating us.’

‘Lucy Mignot is clear and concise in conversation and emails, offers sympathetic responses to our concerns and adds valuable, helpful advice. 

‘The different teams we dealt with during our case were all proficient in their area of expertise and kept each other well informed in developments when necessary.’

‘Lucy Mignot was supportive during what was a very upsetting and emotional time for us all. She responded promptly to requests and always returned our calls. I found them both approachable and compassionate .’

‘The team has an in-depth knowledge in their field and take time to discuss matters and agree on direction collaboratively and where required engage further council for a wider balanced view of matters.’

‘Working with Lucy has provided good support and guidance on matters with a focus on diligence for results.’

Work highlights

  • Represented clients in a Part 64 claim for the court’s determination as to the deceased’s date of death and construction of the will.
  • Represented client in claims to set aside a declaration of trust on the grounds of undue influence under the Inheritance Act 1975.
  • Represented the client in a validity claim on the grounds of lack of testamentary capacity, lack of knowledge and approval, and fraudulent calumny.

Private client > Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 3

With a large team based across rural Dorset, Blanchards Bailey LLP offers services to a variety of clients, both wealthy and vulnerable. It has a growing practice in Court of Protection matters, supporting clients with limited capacity in need of longer-term care assistance. Jerome Dodge leads the team from Blandford Forum and focuses on tax and estate planning advice.

Practice head(s):

Jerome Dodge

Other key lawyers:

Emma Needham; Catherine Roberts


‘I have found all my dealings with individuals to be marked by prompt and effective responses and in particular their ability to frame those responses in a way that a lay customer finds easy to assimilate and decide upon. My principal dealings are with Jerome Dodge who I find extremely helpful in all regards. ’

‘My issues were taken care of consistently, even when my individual solicitor was on annual leave, giving me confidence it was always in hand.’

‘I found Emma Needham to be very knowledgeable and helpful. Emma explained that, although not covered under the free simple will service, I would need to set up a trust and she gave me easily understandable information and a fixed price for the service.’

‘The team’s internal communication is good. All team members have an attentive and professional, yet personable, manner.’

‘I think the team at Blanchards Bailey are excellent. They seem to act as a very close knit group, and a strength I have found is how they work hard to build a relationship with clients that goes beyond just providing a legal service.’

‘Personable team, pragmatic straightforward advice and work. Efficient.’

‘I have found the partners and juniors very capable and always very attentive and pleasant to deal with.’

‘Consistent in quality of service. Professional and diligent. A trustworthy and personable service.’

Private client > Family Tier 4

Well regarded in the Dorset area, Blanchards Bailey LLP offers expertise across a wide set of family law matters. The firm is particularly regarded for its work regarding the pensions of army and other public service officers, constructing strong relationships with nearby camps. The recently promoted Laura Martin heads up the team - she is praised for being ' just as capable dealing with emotions as with legal procedures.'

Practice head(s):

Laura Martin

Other key lawyers:

Julie Keogh


‘Blanchards Bailey is a firm I have and would use again. The vast knowledge and professionalism showed to me made me feel secure and I trusted the decisions they helped me make were for my best interests.’

‘Laura Martin is outstanding and hardworking. I can’t thank her enough for her patience and for helping me through such a difficult time. Making the decision to file for divorce was the worst time but Laura helped by being professional, understanding and honest with me during the whole process. Laura made an extremely difficult time and process manageable and I really appreciated this.’

‘Julie Keogh is my solicitor and she has been exceptional, particularly in these difficult times. She has made me feel supported, comfortable, and understood. She is sensitive and offers excellent unprejudiced advice. Julie always makes herself available when required. I haven’t felt like just another client – Julie has shown great empathy and I trust her advice. Julie is very friendly and her communication and delivery of information regarding my situation has been excellent.’

‘Julie Keogh was extremely personable. Her calm manner made me feel instantly more relaxed in what was an emotive case. Julie was very professional and gave clear advice with regards to family matters. Her calm and friendly demeanour enabled her to deliver advice regarding a child contact case sensitively. At times, Julie had to change my way of thinking and encouraged me to view the wider picture before things reached court. Julie was very aware how emotive and difficult the case was and handled this incredibly sensitively and professionally.’

‘Laura Martin was fantastic throughout the time I used her. She was always on time with appointments, prepared, knowledgeable, empathetic, relatable. I always felt so comfortable talking with her and she made me feel looked after.’

‘Laura Martin has treated me with respect and dignity. I left an abusive partner and toxic marriage – Laura has been extremely sensitive and understanding. I have felt understood and listened to. I have felt supported and not pressured to act upon her advice.’

‘Laura Martin was brilliant in handling my case, she was very professional but also kind and understanding, and helped me to understand every stage of the case process. ’

‘Laura Martin is exceptionally pleasant to deal with, radiates kindness and compassion combined with sound legal knowledge and a very conscientious approach to work and providing a standout service to clients. She is just as capable dealing with emotions as with legal procedures.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a wife in financial remedy court proceedings over matrimonial assets worth £1.8m.
  • Acting for a mother in Children Act proceedings on a shared childcare arrangement.
  • Acting for husband in Financial Remedy Court proceedings on matrimonial assets worth £1.3m and income in excess of £130,000 net per annum.

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.

Mr Ian Campbell  photo Mr Ian Campbell Principal Wills and Estate Planning
Mr Jerome Dodge  photo Mr Jerome Dodge Principal Wills and Estate Planning
Mr Paul Dunlop  photo Mr Paul Dunlop Principal Head of Litigation and Disputes
Mr Alan Horne  photo Mr Alan Horne Principal Head of Residential Conveyancing