Society's News


Corporate Members 2021

3PB Albion Chambers Ashfords Barcan + Kirby Battens Beale & Co BLM Burges Salmon Clarke Willmott CMS CMNO Cooke Painter Ltd Clyde & Co DAC Beachcroft The Family Law Practice Foot Anstey (including Enable Law) Fussell Wright GL Law Guildhall Chambers Irwin Mitchell Solicitors Lyons Davidson Marc White & Co Meade King Osborne Clarke Paragon Costs Solutions Queen Square Chambers … 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

Please note that the BLS office is shut to members at present as we continue to work from home during the pandemic. We can be contacted on info@bristollawsociety.com. In the meantime, our office is now operating as the Bristol Nightingale Court and accordingly, we are unable to hire out our facilities until further notice. (Oct 2020) Bristol Law Society’s suite … more


THE FOUNDING OF BRISTOL LAW SOCIETY IN 1770




Christmas menu from 1790

Bristol Law Society is the oldest local Law Society and indeed was founded before the national Law Society. On 19th October 1770, 18 solicitors and attorneys-at-law met in the Bush Tavern on Corn Street to form themselves into a professional society. At that time Attorneys practised in the Common Law courts, acting as advocates in the lower courts and instructing members of the Bar to appear in the higher courts, whilst solicitors were entitled to practise in chancery, mainly concerned in matters of land and trusts.

 

The first members of Bristol Law Society were George Birch, John Blagden, Thomas Brigstock, Thomas Brooke, Daniel Burges, Edward Daniel, Joseph Fowle, Thomas Harford, Joseph Hawkswell, Joseph Horwood, James Hughes, Jacob Kirby, Edward Parker, John Seager, George Booth Tyndall, Francis Ward, William Webley, and Nathan Windey. The Society met fortnightly at the Bush Tavern to discuss questions of Law over a convivial drink or two and pooled money to buy books to start up a legal library. Initial funding of the Society came not from subscriptions but from prizes won on the state lottery and also from fines levied on members who were late to meetings or who failed to attend.

From 1775 onwards, Bristol Law Society held an annual dinner to which not only members could come, but also to which the Chamberlain of Bristol was invited. It probably helped that the Chamberlain at the time was Hawkswell’s brother.