Firm Profile > Porter Dodson LLP > Sherborne, England

Porter Dodson LLP

Employment: The West Country Tier 2

Porter Dodson LLP's practice has a particular emphasis in bringing and defending employment claims, and corporate support work. Its litigation experience includes whistleblowing and discrimination cases, which is most evident in the firm's key sectors of healthcare and social care. Adrian Poole is the practice head.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Poole


Porter Dodson is in the front rank of employment law practices in the SW region outside of Bristol

They have a specialist knowledge of employment and discrimination law combined with strong practical emphasis on achieving positive outcomes for clients. Good sense of strategy and with it a boldness of conviction to see things through. Strong team ethic and support

They have taken the time to understand our business and it helps them enormously as they land into any situation running

They are approachable and friendly, offering sensible advice that you can work with

They have an ability to work at all levels depending on the needs of the client. Whether working on a complex issue or day to day query you get the same level of service and attention

They are able to apply an understanding and sympathy to a very difficult and emotional subject, mental health in the workplace. They demonstrate an excellent knowledge and interpretation of the law. In our view they are industry leaders in this field

Adrian Poole has a strong technical employment background and really fights for his clients

Sarah Young is very pragmatic and picks the points worth fighting

Laura Roper is an excellent practitioner who is definitely one to watch

Robert Titcombe has a nice manner with clients and is a safe pair of hands

Adrian Poole is approachable and easy to talk to. Very strong knowledge base on all employment matters. He leads the team with humour and purpose

Laura Roper has a strong knowledge base, with clear communication and sound judgment. She is approachable and flexible

Sara Young in particular is brilliant, she has spent time understanding our business and culture and adapts quickly to the pace of the decision making we normally run to

Adrian Poole and Sarah Young are both excellent – very pragmatic, easy to work with and realistic about dealing with the practicalities of employment situations

Sarah Young makes the most complex of situations understandable and solutions provided in a clear and no nonsense fashion. Approachable and dedicated, constantly goes the extra mile

The person I rate the most is Laura Roper: her legal acumen is second to none. She is extremely personable and acts with the competence and confidence of a partner

Key clients

Group Silverline

GP surgeries across Somerset

Aviation Requirements

Westbury Packaging

Fusion Fostering

AJ Wakely & Sons

CC Moore


Hunts Foodservice


Commercial litigation: The West Country Tier 3

Porter Dodson LLP handles work for both regional and London clients, as well as those located further afield internationally. Key workstreams include commercial disputes, insurance disputes, insolvency-related cases and professional negligence matters. The group in Yeovil is led by associate Anusheh Burcher, who specialises in disputes in the aviation, construction and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Anusheh Burcher


The firm’s commercial litigation team has a breadth of experience that you would normally only expect to find in a firm based in a substantial provincial city

Anusheh Burcher is a real rising star and somebody to look out for

Key clients

Comfy Living Limited



Dorset Build & Maintenance Company


Knapp Stud

Hunt & Duff

Commercial property: The West Country Tier 3

Porter Dodson LLP provides partner-led advice on a wide range of property matters, with a particular strength in assisting landowner and developer clients with the contractual arrangements associated with the development of land for residential and commercial use. The firm also acts for other clients, such as retailers and medical practices. In acting to advising clients on a standalone basis, the team also works with members of the firm's corporate and commercial department on the property aspects of corporate transactions. Taunton-based Bruce Weir heads the wider commercial property department. 'Great multitasker' Louise Sanders and Victoria Walker are key contacts in Yeovil.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Weir

Other key lawyers:


Porter Dodson has deep knowledge of the commercial property market; the team is good at resolving complex issues and communicating clearly

Team members understand the client’s business and its needs

The team never overcomplicates contracts and approaches negotiations in a constructive manner

The property team has exceptional experience with dealing with all types of housing development

A standout partner is Louise Sanders; Louise is extremely hardworking, knowledgeable and dedicated

Key clients


Trustees of the Camel Pension Fund

Martock and South Petherton Surgery

Contentious trusts and probate Tier 3

Porter Dodson LLP covers a wide range of contentious trust probate matters with domestic and cross-border aspects, involving the contesting of the validity of wills, advising on claims against estates, claims in the agricultural sector pursuant to estoppels and assistance with disputes regarding the interpretation of wills. The firm is also experienced in advising trustees on the location of assets and beneficiaries.

Practice head(s):

Cara Hough


Porter Dodson is professional, amenable and always sets clients at their ease’

‘A responsive and capable team that provides an excellent service’

‘Cara Hough is very helpful, understanding and supportive while remaining very professional’

‘Cara Hough is knowledgeable and a competent practitioner who always provides balanced arguments’

‘Cara Hough is proactive and pragmatic, providing sensible solutions to difficult and complex issues’

Corporate and commercial: The West Country Tier 3

Porter Dodson LLP has eight offices across the West Country, with practice head Evelyn Adfield being based in the Taunton office. The team advises on corporate transactions, statutory demergers, joint ventures, share arrangements and corporate governance, among other matters. A notable area of expertise is the charities sector, where the team handle structuring, Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIO) conversions, constitutions and corporate governance arrangements. Associate David Culshaw, who is a new arrival from Stephens Scown LLP, has particular experience of working with food and beverage sector businesses.

Practice head(s):

Evelyn Adfield

Other key lawyers:

David Culshaw; Sarah Young


Professional and friendly, they showed diligence to check all aspects of the work and made us feel like they were an extension of our business

Very responsive

Evelyn Adfield was outstanding, she has the gravitas of a major London law firm combined with the communication skills of a friendly in-house law team

Evelyn Adfield has a good knowledge of the area I was interested in, and a good sense of what would work and be acceptable to the other parties

Key clients

Martock and South Petherton Surgeries

Toolstream Limited

Douglas Seaton Limited

Family Tier 3

Porter Dodson LLP acts for high-net-worth individuals, business owners and landowners on relationship breakdowns and divorce, which involves dispute resolution and litigation, wealth protection measures, the negotiation and drafting of financial settlements, as well as the representation of disputes regarding the relocation of children. The firm is also experienced in handling private and public children law matters and advises on fertility law.

Practice head(s):

Richard Baker

Personal tax, trusts and probate Tier 4

Porter Dodson LLP provides long-term tax and succession planning as well as will drafting. The team deals with the creation and management of trusts through lifetime settlements and complex wills as well as with the administration of estates. The firm’s succession planning matters regularly involve the restructuring of assets with the goal of wealth preservation. The practice’s client base consists of agricultural clients, elderly high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs and vulnerable individuals.

Practice head(s):

Ian Sankey

Other key lawyers:

Sharon Collier; Kate James; Sarah Stone


Very responsive, with a great team ethos and back up

Sarah Stone is a key associate within the team. She encourages delegation, overcomes hurdles and always has the client’s needs to the fore. She communicates to clients in jargon-free manner

Porter Dodson conveys a simple and strong message to both clients and employees to reflect the complete focus on quality service delivery and staff engagement, which drives its client-centric approach. To maintain the range and level of commercial expertise and stay abreast of the changing economic environment, Porter Dodson continues to invest in quality appointments.

Porter Dodson is committed to assisting its clients, whatever their needs, and ensures that national expertise is delivered at a local level. The focus is on being the clients’ long-term trusted advisor by putting client relationships at the forefront at all times.

The firm has excellent feedback from clients who value the commitment to delivering a personal approach to legal requirements. Identified by clients as the most important elements of their Porter Dodson experience are communication, accessibility, responsiveness and clear explanation.

Principal areas of work: 

Corporate Commercial: The corporate commercial team draws on its depth of experience and technical excellence to provide a comprehensive service to the full range of business clients, from entrepreneurs, SMEs and family businesses to major retail and national employers with operations locally, nationally and overseas. The team advises on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, restructuring, joint ventures and commercial contracting.

Real Estate:

The team comprises a number of highly regarded lawyers who advise on property portfolio matters of every size. Work undertaken involves site development work (including SIPP’s, site assembly, conditional contracts, options, overage, planning agreements and infrastructure arrangements), property finance and commercial landlord and tenant for national and local businesses and companies.

In addition, the firm has an established client base of high net worth clients for residential transactions.

The real estate and corporate commercial teams are leaders in the field of GP surgery integrations throughout Somerset, being an NHS pilot scheme.

Dispute Resolution: The dispute resolution team is one of the largest in the area and provides a comprehensive litigation service, including mediation services.

Employment: The team advises a number of major employers, providing strategic advice and expertise, including restructuring and TUPE and the provision of in-house training.

Private Client: The team’s high-level expertise and broad knowledge is bolstered by practitioners who are members of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners). The firm has an enviable reputation for advising generations of families on their private legal matters, from property transactions, asset protection, succession and tax planning, to estate administration. The team’s reputation attracts a large volume of contentious probate work, often of a complex nature.

Family: Porter Dodson has one of the largest family teams in the region, with in-house counsel, and can, unusually, offer collaborative family law advice, mediation and representation in court. The team has an excellent reputation in childcare, pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. The firm offers a highly innovative, niche fertility and parenting practice.

Recruitment: The firm is always interested in hearing from anyone wishing to join Porter Dodson in a legal advisory or support role, either speculatively or in response to an advertised vacancy. All applications should be sent to

Other offices: Bridport, Dorchester, Poundbury, Sherborne, Sturminster Newton, Taunton, Wellington.

Department Name Email Telephone
Chair Julia Perrins
Managing Partner Robert Fox
Corporate Commercial Evelyn Adfield
Commercial Property Bruce Weir
Residential Property Michelle Wilson
Dispute Resolution Stephen Wray
Employment Adrian Poole
Private Client Ian Sankey
Family Richard Baker
In-house family/childcare barrister Ellen Saunders
Number of UK partners : 22
Number of other UK fee-earners : 64