Firm Profile > Lyons Davidson > Bristol, England

Lyons Davidson
43 Queen Square

Family Tier 2

Lyons Davidson has standout expertise in matters involving child abduction, international children law, and child and domestic abuse law. The department's caseload often involves complex cross-border work. Team co-head Philippa Morgan is a leading regional specialist in child abduction and cases concerning the 1980 Hague Convention, and has appeared at all judicial levels up to the Supreme Court. Her fellow co-head Iona Phillips is the team's expert on children and domestic abuse law. They are supported by Donna Cummins, who has experience in both private and public children law matters.

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A real commitment to client care, a comprehensive understanding of the law as it affects their clients, a professional approach with excellent quality of advice given. Always well prepared and always caring about getting the best possible outcome for their clients. Well respected by the judiciary and colleagues alike. The ‘go to’ firm in Bristol.

The team has strength in depth, which brings comfort to clients and instructed barristers alike. It is also a team with a level of expertise that compares very favourably with firms of greater size.

I have found the individuals to be expert in what they do and committed to delivering the best service possible to their lay clients. They always deliver fair and well-thought-through advice to clients, even if it is advice that the client may not want to hear. In my experience, the firm attracts and retains high-calibre solicitors and they are to be commended.

Lyons Davidson has a strong, hardworking team that fight for all of their clients with determination and great skill. None of their clients are ever shortchanged and all receive a high quality of representation and a tenacious, carefully thought-out approach to each case.

Iona Phillips has a real eye for detail and leaves no stone unturned when representing clients. She is particularly strong on cases with a foreign element and ensuring that her clients are protected and not disadvantaged through issues of language or culture. Donna Cummins is formidable in the representation of her clients’ cases. She is particularly good when representing teenagers.

The overriding unique feature of the family practice at Lyons Davidson is that they are a team in the true sense of the word. They are a collection of highly motivated and talented family lawyers and there is real strength in depth in their team. They collectively provide high-quality client care whether it be to lay or professional clients. In this regard they are second to none.

I have worked with Iona Phillips for several years on numerous cases. She is unflappable, highly organised, and fights very hard for her clients whilst being realistic where necessary.

Clinical negligence and personal injury: claimant

With 'a strong reputation which is respected by opponentsLyons Davidson routinely acts for insurance customers who have suffered injuries in road traffic accidents. The group is also regularly instructed in employer's liability claims as well as those relating to occupier's liability. Emma Saville leads the team and has substantial experience in cases arising from road traffic accidents. Laura Merry is head of the brain and spinal injury team and specialises in child brain injury cases. Kerry Dutton and Katie Charlesworth are also praised for their 'first class approach'.

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‘The firm has a strong reputation which is respected by opponents.’

‘Laura Merry is the standout partner here. She is so empathetic towards clients.’

‘This is a good solid firm in personal injury.’

‘The team know their clients’ social and medical situations well.’

‘Kerry Dutton is a good communicator – she managed our case fairly and honestly. Kerry explained the law surrounding each element of the case clearly and answered all of our queries and questions to help us make our decisions. We were always kept up to date and all decisions were ours.’

‘Kerry Dutton and Katie Charlesworth have provided a first class approach on difficult, complex and high value claims combined with a caring and sympathetic approach.’

‘Laura Merry is very well prepared; has a good relationship with clients; is commercial and straightforward, efficient and pragmatic – a good communicator.’

Lyons Davidson is a national legal business providing the full range of services for individuals and businesses, managing over 80,000 instructions a year.

The firm has a strong focus on customer service, with 91% of customers scoring them ‘Very Good’ or ‘Good’ and 95% confirming they would be happy to use the firm’s services again.

Lyons Davidson is an innovative business, using technology to enhance the service that it provides, including market-leading online communication tools and applications.

The key to Lyons Davidson’s service is its people, who work in specialist teams focused on a specific area of law. They are an Investors In People employer, taking care to ensure the development and quality of all its teams, emphasising the importance of experience and delivery of value. The firm employs over 750 people across the businesses, from a wide variety of backgrounds and across the whole spectrum of diversity, in offices including Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds and Solihull.  Group businesses include Lyons Davidson Scotland LLP, which is regulated to provide legal services in Scotland; support services business File Dynamics Limited and joint venture businesses with organisations working in the insurance industry..

The quality of Lyons Davidson’s services have been recognised by a number of awards over the past five years, including Law Firm of the Year in 2016 and 2019; Solicitors Journal Private Client Team of the Year in 2016; Modern Law Awards’ Private Client Team of the Year in 2016; and Skills for Justice’s Legal Sector Employer of the Year, for the firm’s work on developing apprenticeships.  Individuals within the business have also been recognised with awards including Legal Expert of the Year. Our People programmes have also been commended with CILEX awarding us Innovation and People Development in 2018 and highly commending us for Inclusion and Diversity in 2019.

Lyons Davidson is a responsible business working within well-developed accredited systems and procedures to maintain the right approach and culture.  ISO 27001 accreditation keeps the security of customers’ data and information at the forefront of everything Lyons Davidson does, while ISO 14001 environmental management systems certification ensures the firm limits the environmental impact it has as a business.   Its Corporate Responsibility policy focuses on returning value to the local community, and this year the firm is partnering with Cancer Research UK on a national basis, with local charities for each individual office, and is seeking to work with social enterprises where it can.

Services: The business provides services in three different service areas, each managed through a separate Legal Services Board: Services for individuals, Services for business and dispute resolution.

Services for individuals: this includes the wills, trusts and probate team, and the family law team, working together to deliver a full legal service to meet the needs of individual clients.

Lyons Davidson advises on a wide range of matters to help individuals plan for the future, including powers of attorney, complex trusts and estate planning. We also work with a local partner to support the residential property needs of our clients..

When things go wrong, specialist teams give the support and assistance needed to resolve disputes swiftly and effectively, including divorce, childcare, international child abduction and probate disputes relating to the estate of someone who has died.  The specialist childcare team Advoca provides representation for both children and their parents in public and private law proceedings.

Services for business: Lyons Davidson has a full range of corporate and commercial specialists advising businesses in mergers and acquisitions; property transactions; finance and banking; business structures and governance and corporate management transactions.  There are specialist teams to advise on employment law, health and safety, regulatory issues and corporate prosecutions to support the commercial teams when needed.

The firm has a specific strength in the food industry, giving specialised advice to large international businesses in this sector on risks and management, and providing valuable input to business transactions.

Dispute resolution: Lyons Davidson is the selected provider for a number of insurers on a national and exclusive basis, supporting their customers who have purchased products that need the assistance of legal services as part of a claim or service delivery. This includes motor and house insurance, family legal expenses insurance and commercial liability, and commercial legal expenses policies.

Services include personal injury and clinical negligence claims, and a full range of dispute services including contract, property and employment litigation.  These are supported by a 24/7 legal helpline that manages over 80,000 calls a year.

The firm focuses on early resolution of disputes, helping clients seek the outcome they want, driving the claim through a court process where and when needed.

Insurer business partners rely on Lyons Davidson to look after their customers. As part of the work insurers do with the firm, they agree service levels to ensure Lyons Davidson is delivering high-quality and effective legal support.  They regularly audit the firm against those standards: these external audits show a consistently high level of service delivery.

The dispute resolution teams provide a range of services directly to insurer partners, including motor and property outlay, recovery and defence of claims, and specialist cost services through the cost drafting team, Meruit Costs.  The defence teams provide a unique counterclaim offering that combines delivering the right service to the customer with the experience of defending claims, advising on settlement and the application of insurer reserving policy.

Technology: a key part of what Lyons Davidson does is its use of technology.  The firm recognises that, whilst many clients will want to speak directly to their adviser on the phone, there is an increasing expectation of online communication options from businesses.  Therefore, it provides a customer portal, which includes messaging facilities, online signing, document uploads and interactive forms, so that clients can communicate how and when they want.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing Director Mark Savill
Finance Director Gill Banbury
Compliance Director Alex Hewitt
Commercial Director Michelle Lennaghan
Director Richard Squire