Barcan+Kirby LLP > Bishopston, England > Firm Profile

Barcan+Kirby LLP
60 Gloucester Road

Insurance > Clinical negligence: claimant Tier 1

Barcan+Kirby LLP‘s clinical negligence department specialises in a broad range of medical injury claims, including those involving cerebral palsy, severe birth injuries, head and spinal injuries, amputations, and spinal accidents. Additionally, the group represents clients in inquests. Richard Harries is practice head and sports experience in delayed cancer diagnoses, birth injuries, and negligence cases involving GP, surgical, and A&E care. Claire Hurrell is an expert in cases arising from negligent obstetric care, while Helen Franklin regularly handles claims pertaining to cerebral palsy, amputation, and delayed cancer diagnoses. Senior associate Jay Nathwani acts on behalf of adults and children with particular knowledge in complex brain injury and ophthalmology issues.

Practice head(s):

Richard Harries

Insurance > Personal injury: claimant Tier 3

At Barcan+Kirby LLP, the personal injury practice works closely with other departments within the firm, including the probate and court of protection teams, to handle complex claims arising out of road traffic incidents or at work. Samantha Castle is hailed as ‘someone who fights her client’s corner’ and leads the team with deep-seated experience in a variety of matters including occupier’s liability cases and cycling accidents. Serious injury claims such as spinal injuries and fatal accidents are a central area of focus for Myfanwy Buckeridge.

Practice head(s):

Samantha Castle

Other key lawyers:


‘A small firm punching beyond its size.’

‘I work with Myfanwy Buckeridge – immensely experienced, unflappable, has the benefit of sitting as an assistant coroner which gives her an extra perspective of what is required, relentlessly efficient, and delightful.’

‘Myfanwy Buckeridge can draw on partners where needed, and they are supportive.’

‘The team at Barcan Kirby are very impressive. Each one of their partners, solicitors and paralegals brings a wealth of knowledge, understanding and practicability to their cases.’

‘Barcan Kirby’s team is rigorous and has a knowledgeable approach to their cases. They are effective communicators and seek to bring cases to a swift conclusion whilst obtaining great results for their clients.’

‘The team have a thorough approach with a personal touch. They know their area of law well, and will make sure that no stone is left unturned.’

‘Samantha Castle is someone who fights her client’s corner. Myfanway Buckeridge really cares about her clients.’

Private client > Family Tier 3

'Extremely client focused...supportive and humane', Barcan+Kirby LLP regularly handles high-net-worth cases, as well as matters concerning children and domestic abuse. The team’s specialties encompasses property disputes between unmarried couples, child abduction cases, and modern fertility law matters. The wider practice is chaired by Hanni Pennelegion; Kirsten Hale heads up the matrimonial finance practice; Tom Powles runs the children team; while Kim Joseph serves as head of the care-focused offering.

Practice head(s):

Hanni Pennelegion; Kirsten Hale; Tom Powles; Kim Joseph

Other key lawyers:

Chris Miller; Anna Wilson; Clare Cox; Gareth Hughes; Georgia Holmes; Sarah Marshall; Charmaine Moger; Abi Cousins


‘Abi Cousins is is brilliant at working with tricky clients and getting on top of the legal landscape. She is definitely one to watch!’

‘Excellent quality advice from accessible, local lawyers with a strong reputation in matrimonial finance work.’

‘Kirsten Hale is approachable, knowledgeable and applies her considerable expertise in a practical way that her clients understand and find hugely reassuring. Matrimonial finance claims can be bewildering and confusing for the parties and Kirsten works hard to make sure the legal mysteries are dispelled and anxieties are managed with sound, tactical advice. She is a stand-out practitioner in her field.’

‘The team are all extremely client focused – they are able to give robust advice, whilst being supportive and humane.’

‘Michelle Hubbard gives excellent client care in public law. Sarah Marshall is diligent and attentive in private law matters, not afraid to give sensible advice. Kim Joseph is extremely experienced, particularly in acting for children in public law and complex private law matters.’

‘Barcan Kirby have one of the largest family teams in the Bristol area, with a wealth of experience and expertise. The culture at the firm is client centric, always looking to do the right thing for the client knowing that this is what leads to the best outcome for the firm over the long term. Their fixed-fee package is a great example of how they put this into practice.’


Work highlights

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate

Capable in both contentious and non-contentious mandates, Barcan+Kirby LLP have extensive knowledge of wills and trusts, grant applications and estate administration, as well as powers of attorney matters.

Barcan+Kirby is one of the largest mid-sized law firms in Bristol, with a long-established reputation for providing legal advice to individuals and businesses across Bristol and South Gloucestershire. In addition, the medical negligence and personal injury departments act for clients on a national basis. Formed in April 2015 via the merger of Barcan Woodward and Kirby Sheppard, the firm now employs in excess of 180 people and has strengthened and broadened its depth of services to include the corporate services division.

The partners are advocates for flexible working and proud of the high percentage of women in senior or managerial positions in comparison to other law firms. This was reflected in Barcan+Kirby winning both the Business Award for Gender at the Bristol Diversity Awards 2019 and Legal award at the Bristol Life Awards 2019.

Barcan+Kirby is committed to the development of staff and provides comprehensive and supportive training. Their Associates Academy was established to support ambitious staff to develop the skills required to become leaders of the business. In addition, they have invested in new premises on North Street, Bedminster and Gloucester Road, Bishopston with an extension to the Thornbury office to provide a better working environment for staff.

The firm’s core values drive their culture. They combine a fresh, modern approach with traditional values. Their vision is to build on reputation for excellence, strive to build long-term relationships with clients, and retain their position as a major force in the South West legal sector.

Their HR team won the National People in Law Awards HR Team of the Year 2020 in recognition of their communication skills and HR initiatives, being described as ‘throwing down the gauntlet’ to the larger city firms.

Principal areas of work: The clinical negligence and personal injury departments are recognised both regionally and nationally for the quality of their work and the support they provide to claimants. The clinical negligence team has a wealth of experience across a range of injury types, including cerebral palsy, delayed or misdiagnosis, maximum severity birth injuries, amputations and fatal injuries. The personal injury team has particular experience in dealing with catastrophic injury cases, including claims arising from brain, back and spinal injuries, as well as road traffic accidents.

The family department is one of the largest in Bristol and has expertise spanning separation and divorce, matrimonial finances, child arrangements, care proceedings, domestic abuse, child abduction and surrogacy and Parental Orders. Every member of the dedicated matrimonial finance team is a Resolution-accredited specialist and most solicitors across the department hold at least one Law Society panel membership.  The department is unique in having its own specialised team dedicated to assisting clients with all aspects of child arrangements, including Surrogacy and Parental Orders, as well as having developed its own domestic abuse team (DAT) who are able to provide support to vulnerable clients, often on an emergency basis.  The family team also includes a large and extremely experienced care team, acting for parents, children and other family matters throughout the community in difficult and challenging public law proceedings.

The wills, trust and probate team provide comprehensive wills, estate planning and probate services to clients across the South West. Their strong reputation for providing exceptional service is demonstrated by the fact that over 70% of business comes via referrals from existing clients. Many of the team are members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) or Solicitors for the Elderly, and several hold the STEP Advanced Certificate in advising vulnerable clients. In 2019, the team won Solicitor Firm of the Year (South) at The British Wills and Probate Awards. The department have recently adapted their will writing process to accommodate the needs of those wanting to make a will during lockdown, including the launch of their online wills service.

The highly experienced residential conveyancing department are specialists in all aspects of the buying and selling process. As well as dealing with straightforward domestic property transactions, they provide advice on re-mortgaging, buy-to-let investments, leasehold flats, new builds and shared ownership homes. Much of the team’s business comes via client recommendations or repeat business. The department are members of the Law Society’s Conveyancing Quality Scheme, reflecting the high standards of service.

The dispute resolution department are praised for the professional and diligent service they provide. They are skilled in all forms of dispute work including commercial and contract disputes, property litigation and debt recovery. The expert team offer alternative services such as mediation and direct negotiation.

The employment team provide advice for both employees and employers on a range of employment-related issues, including HR support, redundancy, disciplinary issues and contract advice. They also provide support for discrimination at work and wrongful, unfair or constructive dismissal.

The commercial property department work with a variety of businesses providing practical and clear advice on areas including sales and purchases of land, retail and industrial units as well as leases, financing and regulatory compliance work. The team’s experience spans a range of sectors including new build property, restaurants, leisure, retail and construction.

The corporate and commercial team have grown from the ground up over the last three years and have developed a credible reputation, priding themselves on links with the local business community as well as advising national businesses including nursery childcare providers. The team encompass a strong mix of skills and experience and have a familiarity with a broad range of industries.

Department Name Email Telephone
Senior Partner Anna Wilson
Managing partner Bill Willcocks
Residential Conveyancing Stephen Parker
Children Tom Powles
Divorce and ancillaries Kirsten Hale
Personal injury and medical negligence Richard Harries
Litigation James Bell
Wills, trusts and probate Tom Sharkey
Commercial Property Salma Maqsood
Corporate and Commercial Georgina Bryant
Employment Samantha Castle
Number of UK partners : 20
Number of other UK fee-earners : 72
The Law Society of England & Wales
Law Society Children Panel

At Barcan+Kirby there is a huge passion to make careers in law accessible to all. As such, the firm actively encourages flexible and part-time working for all employees and in 2020 set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee.

As of July 2022, 86% of employees at Barcan+Kirby were female. In 2018, the firm achieved a gender-balanced partnership (53%) and in 2022 the partnership stands at 60% female. In 2021, following the pandemic and a firm wide consultation, the firm put in place a new hybrid working policy to compliment its flexible and part-time offerings. Now 58% of employees chose to work in a flexible way.

All employees at Barcan+Kirby complete mandatory diversity and equality training on an annual basis. Senior employees with a management and recruitment responsibilities are given additional training on subjects such as unconscious bias, menopause and trans awareness.

In 2020 the firm set up an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee its purpose is to build a truly inclusive environment focusing on skills and attributes and providing a level playing field for all irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity.

The committee has been running for 18 months and has focused on recruitment, connecting with The Law Society and local Universities to promote the opportunities available for all in the legal sector. The EDI committee publishes a bi-monthly internal newsletter on EDI subjects specific to the firm and there is a project underway to ensure that drafting is undertaken in a gender neutral way.

Throughout the year the firm celebrates different cultural events and religious celebrations and invites employees to talk about their experiences. So far individuals have shared their stories on what its like to be part of the LGBT community, the challenges faced from being a parent of a child with autism, the celebration of Holi and also an insight into Thai New Year.

CLIENT: Clinical Negligence client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: While dealing with Barcan+Kirby Solicitors I found them to be polite, prompt, they also explained all the Legal matters in a way I understood. When given timescales I was kept informed of progress, any delays that arose for any reason & kept in touch. I was also impressed with the way they handled the Covid situation & continued to work whilst in lockdown. I am totally happy & satisfied with their work to resolve my case.

CLIENT: Clinical Negligence client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I chose Barcan + Kirby due to their presence in my local area of Bristol. I’m very glad that I did, as from the initial phone call, an appointment / consultation was made very quickly. I immediately felt safe and confident that I’d made the right choice. I’d never made a claim in my life before, so I was nervous and apprehensive at first, but I was briefed quite thoroughly in an easy-to-understand way about what going forth with the case would entail. Personally, I appreciate this kind of thorough approach as, if one is going to go ahead with this kind of action, then no stone should be left unturned. I would thoroughly recommend them.

CLIENT: Real Estate – Property Litigation client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: Sharlie Sollars calmly managed a land dispute which became protracted and at times, awkward. Sharlie stuck to the objectives in the interests of the bigger picture and demonstrated a very good balance of carrot and stick, where necessary. The outcome was ultimately successful with satisfactory ‘wins’ for both parties. We were very pleased with Sharlie’s tenacity and professionalism and on a personal note, her manner and approachability.

CLIENT: Real Estate – Property Litigation client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I can’t fault any of the work carried out by James Bell and his team. I gave James very little time to prepare for anything let alone actually take my case on as i had left it to the last minute (2 days to prepare) I actually believe had I gone to another solicitor they would not have taken me on. A friend had dealings with Barcan + Kirby a couple of years ago so I am glad I went with her advice.

CLIENT: Real Estate – Commercial Property client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: We used Barcan & Kirby for a complex Commercial Property purchase. Fantastic proactive team working from everyone we met. We got the job done slightly ahead of schedule and on budget. No transaction is ever straight forward but the support we had was amazing, practical and pragmatic. Highly recommend.

CLIENT: Real Estate – Commercial Property client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: Barcan + Kirby provided commercial legal advice which clarified the issues quickly on a potential property purchase. I will use them again in the future.

CLIENT: Personal Injury client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I was extremely impressed and satisfied with the service I received; I was kept well informed and completely in the loop at all junctures – I cannot highly recommend this firm of lawyers enough – their friendly professionalism was a real beacon of light and I was guided expertly and informatively throughout – thank you!

CLIENT: Personal Injury client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I advise anyone to use this firm of solicitors. They are highly competent, professional & knowledgeable solicitors with a vast experience of the claims they handle. Trust them. Trust what they do. Trust they will do their best for you. My solicitor was excellent.

CLIENT: Contentious Trusts & Probate client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I was very happy with the service provided to me at Barcan+Kirby Solicitors, the Solicitor provided the answers to all my questions and proceeded to help me along the probate questions I had at the time to be put forward to the Executor and Administrators, there was a positive outcome and all went well. Very grateful to my Solicitor Mark Scanlon and team, if needed again I will approach them for more services.

CLIENT: Contentious Trusts & Probate client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I have had an emotionally difficult situation to resolve and found Mark Scanlan to be both professional and understanding at all times. He offers clear, concise and helpful guidance and where needed support. His no nonsense and systematic approach has been a great comfort and much appreciated. Having had previous negative experience with lawyers I would add that Mark and his firm have gone a good way towards re-educating me as to their excellent counsel and advice. Many thanks to Mark and his team.

CLIENT: Private Client – Family client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I used Barcan and Kirby throughout the separation and then subsequent divorce. They provided a great service from the outset and their actions and advice allowed me to plan for the future from an early stage. I would highly recommend their services from straight forward to complicated cases. I have already recommended several friends on their service.

CLIENT: Private Client – Family client
COMPANY/FIRM: Barcan + Kirby Solicitors
TESTIMONIAL: I can highly recommend Barcan and Kirby. Friendly helpful and very knowledgeable staff, always ready to help when needed. I had a solicitor that was knowledgeable, helpful and I consider myself to be very fortunate to have had them. Thank you to everyone.