Society's News

President’s Charity of the Year – Bristol Children’s Help Society

                            The Bristol Children’s Help Society is a privately funded volunteer led charity that owns and runs Barton Camp our 100 bed residential children’s centre in the beautiful Mendip hills. Barton Camp operates through the year as a base where disadvantaged local children can enjoy a few … more

BLS features in Bristol Post oldest thriving companies in Bristol

Excerpt from the article: How Bristol’s oldest companies are still thriving after more than 100 years in business They include the city’s last-surviving chocolate maker a wine merchant and a tannery. Why do some companies struggle to survive beyond a year while others flourish for hundreds? Although more than 90 per cent of small companies in Britain will survive one … more

No 12, The Meeting Rooms – Conference, Meeting and Mediation Rooms for Hire

Bristol Law Society’s suite of conference and meeting rooms including a suite of mediation rooms are conveniently located in the centre between the Waterfront Area and the Old City in a modern building situated on the corner of Colston Avenue and St Stephen’s Avenue. There are a number of large public car parks within a 5 minute walk from the … more



A law firm is celebrating after scooping the accolade of the highest donating business of all time in a charity will-writing campaign.

Bristol based-Fussell Wright have raised an incredible £21,150 for the Will Aid scheme in its 30th anniversary year after writing almost a staggering 300 wills in exchange for a voluntary donation.

This is the 17th year the firm has taken part in the month-long fundraiser and their total raised to date is £133,827 – making them the highest donating firm of all time.

Michael Dickman, from Fussell Wright, said he was over the moon that their 2018 efforts had made them the top fundraiser.

He added: “We have supported Will Aid since it started 30 years ago. As a firm we like to support charities and to give back to the community in which we practice. We always look forward to Will Aid month in November.

“We have worked extremely hard to raise as much money as possible for the nine wonderful charities involved, where every penny raised is reaching some of the most vulnerable individuals world-wide.

“Making a will with a professional solicitor is one of the most important pieces of paperwork a person can complete and yet millions of people put it off,” he said.

“This is just one of a number of reasons why we choose to donate our time for Will Aid.”

Paul Morgan, from the British Red Cross, paid the firm a visit today to present them with a certificate to thank them for their achievement.

He said: “We are very grateful to Fussell Wright and the Will Aid scheme for this generous contribution.

“The Red Cross uses donations to reach people in crisis, here in the UK and all around the world.

“£300 could help feed 10 families in Syria for a month.

“£100 could help train four people in life-saving first aid skills here in the UK.

“And with £1,000 our UK volunteers could give five people the support they need to readjust to life at home following a spell in hospital.”

Will Aid is a charity will-writing scheme that raises money for charities: ActionAid, British Red Cross, Christian Aid, NSPCC, Save The Children, Sightsavers, Age UK, SCIAF (Scotland) and Trocaire (Northern Ireland).

Campaign director Peter de Vena Franks said: “Will Aid has made an amazing contribution to the work of these nine participating charities in the last 30 years.

“Thanks to the commitment of local solicitors that took part in this year’s Will Aid, many people both in the UK and abroad will receive life-changing support and local people who used the scheme have the peace of mind that having a professionally drawn up will brings.

“I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to Fussell Wright for their incredible efforts this year.”

Will Aid will run again in November 2019. Find out more by visiting

Law Society Committee Member Appointments – deadline 22 April 2019

Click here to access the PDF document : Committe Member Appointments

Ashley Palminteri appointed Deputy District Judge

The Family Law Practice is delighted to announce that our principal Director Ashley Palminteri has been appointed as a Deputy District Judge by the Lord Chancellor.
This personal accolade coupled with the firm’s recognition as a leading firm in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners demonstrates the excellence that we endeavour to deliver at TFLP as specialist family lawyers.

Many congratulations from all at BLS to a former President and friend of the Society.

Bristol Law Society welcomes Nine Feet Tall as sponsors

Nine Feet Tall has joined Bristol Law Society (BLS) as sponsors to help to enhance member benefits through a series of jointly curated workshops, thought leadership and events around topics including digital transformation, innovation, technology and change management.

Nine Feet Tall are experts in shaping and delivering business and digital transformation through effective programme and portfolio management and have extensive experience in the legal sector. Nine Feet Tall are different from other consultancies. Open, honest and free of jargon, they deliver projects with passion, empathy and accountability, leaving lasting value for every client they have worked with.

Esther McMorris, Founder and CEO of Nine Feet Tall said, “We are delighted to have formalised our relationship with Bristol Law Society. We have managed and delivered many programmes and projects in the legal sector and feel passionate about making change happen. We look forward to partnering with BLS on events and initiatives to help support law firms in the region to deliver their strategic objectives.”

Nick Lee, President of the Bristol Law Society said, “We are really excited about developing a long term working relationship with Nine Feet Tall to be able to offer our members insight and support into digital and business transformation at a time of increasing change and evolution within the legal services industry. With recognised expertise in the legal sector, we think they are a great fit (together with our existing supporters) to provide a range of educational workshops and market insight as part of our increasing offer to our members”.

Nine Feet Tall with be running its first workshop with Bristol Law Society members in May about innovation from inception to execution and will focus on how to create an approach innovation which is meaningful and delivers real benefits to firms and their clients. More details about this to follow.

Check out Nine Feet Tall’s website 

Bristol Law Society Client Journey 2019 – Free Benchmarking Report

Dear Member

I am writing to let you know about the latest project that we are working on which is an exciting first for Bristol Law Society!

We are delighted to announce that we will be working with our Customer Experience (CX) partner, insight6 – one of the UK’s leading legal client feedback organisations.

We are offering your firm the chance to get involved in a customer experience benchmarking project FOR FREE! Numbers are limited. Read on for more.

Following on from the success of its National Client Journey mystery enquiry project, we are really pleased to announce that, in conjunction with BLS, insight6 will be working with us to produce our very own Bristol Client Journey report this year.

Excitingly, the report will benchmark our member’s firms and compare them to the national results and the results of other Law Societies (wishing to take part) across the UK.

In the last two years, 135 UK law firms volunteered to be part of the insight6 national Client Journey project, where they received a series of complimentary mystery enquiry reports. More than 900 experiences were conducted via phone, website and walk-in enquiries and the results provided those firms with an opportunity to raise their own awareness and provided them with a clear opportunity to grow their business through great client experience.

What you will get
The overall regional results will identify performance in relation to the sector as a whole and will be made accessible to your firms. It’s worth noting that all published data will be anonymised but you as individuals will get a copy of your individual reports. There is no charge for the reports provided.

Key benefits to you

  • You will have 3 detailed reports that allow you to see through the lens of potential clients
  • Benchmark your enquiry process both locally and nationally
  • Identify and celebrate areas and team members of excellence
  • Highlight opportunities to improve your enquiry process and increase new client conversions
  • The opportunity to add more reports if you require more data across various locations or departments (at a reduced price for our members)

Some of the key headlines of a previous Client Journey were:

What you need to do
We really do hope that you will agree to be part of this project. If you would like to enrol your firm in this project

Sign up here

Craig Hawthorn, insight6’s local Customer Experience Director will then confirm your inclusion in this year’s project and provide more information if required.

If you would like to find out more about insight6 please click HERE.

Due to a restricted number of places in this project between insight6 and the Bristol Law Society, we are taking applications on a first come, first served basis and have a deadline of Wednesday 8th May.

Many thanks for your time we would love to see your firm involved.

Nick Lee,

President Bristol Law Society

The Law Society Criminal Legal Aid Petition – sign up!

The Law Society has launched a petition as part of their criminal justice campaign, calling for the government to increase investment in the criminal justice system. We would be extremely grateful if you could sign this and circulate this across your networks.

Link to the petition here:

More information about the campaign, including our video can be found here:


SOLUS – Professional Indeminity Insurance for Sole Practitioners

Click to download SOLUS JLT Sole Practitioners 2019

Report of Myanmar Lawyers criminal law fact-finding visit March 2019




















Myanmar is a country with many challenges – not helped by the fact that almost all criminal procedure is dealt with under the 1898 Code of Criminal Procedure (as ‘exported’ to all the sub-region by the British Empire.). This has been updated by the other countries but not by Myanmar.

Stephen McNamara (ex head of legal at Bristol City Council) worked in Yangon as a VSO volunteer in 2017 , returned in 2018 and has just returned again to Yangon. He is working with a local NGO Tharthi Myay which works on land rights and the rule of law.

Stephen is working with Myanmar lawyers on proposals on how the law could be updated e.g. by requiring the police to give information on an arrest, and by requiring some disclosure of prosecution evidence.

Tharthi Myay funded the visit of 4 lawyers to Bristol in March – and they met with criminal lawyers (Allen and Hoole, and Daniel Woodman and Co), VWV, the police, Andrew Langham QC, the University Legal Clinic as well as receiving a formal welcome from the President of Bristol Law Society, Past President Michael Gupwell of BLS and Head of Legal, WECA and BLS Counci Member Shahzia Daya.

Stephen is now an enthusiastic student of colonial law and the role of lawyers as agents of change “The trip was an extraordinary experience for our Myanmar colleagues. Myanmar lawyers have a bravery we can only guess at. They very much appreciated the generosity and openness of their colleagues in Bristol. In different ways we are all working to support the rule of law. This visit may well have contributed to bringing about fundamental change. And if anyone is interested in my critique of the 1898 Act. or what Tharthi Myay and local lawyers are trying to do then write to me

BLS Annual Awards Dinner – Save the Date! 24th October 2019

The Law Society Excellence Awards – represent the SW!

The Law Society Excellence Awards

The Excellence Awards showcase outstanding work by firms and individuals in the legal profession across England and Wales.

This year you can choose from 22 categories, including team awards such as Excellence in Private Client Practice and Excellence In-house, alongside individual awards such as Woman Solicitor of the Year and Junior Lawyer of the Year. Plus, new for 2019 is a brand-new category: Excellence in Access to Justice. With so many categories to enter, there’s a place for everyone to shine.

Help to compile a winning entry

Visit the Excellence Awards website – – for a wealth of advice to help you compile your strongest possible entry, including guidance notes, top tips, advice from Excellence Awards judges, and answers to frequently asked questions.

What our winners say

“It’s just so lovely to be among peers and to hear about the great work that is being done in every field of law. To win is just the icing on the cake.”
Cris McCurley, Ben Hoare Bell LLP
Winner, Law Firm of the Year – Medium 2018

“I would certainly encourage others to enter the awards, it’s been really good for raising our profile and for boosting morale generally in the firm.”
Rachel Roche, Roche Legal
Winner, Sole Practitioner of the Year 2018

“To see what other people do shows you how great the profession is and how great it is to work in.”
Ravi Naik, Irvine Thani Natas Solicitors
Winner, Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2018

Don’t miss out on your chance to represent the south west

Time is running out to submit your entry for the Excellence Awards 2019. Nominations are free and close at midnight on Friday 3 May 2019. You can enter online at