About Us

A brief history

Gilbert Stephens can trace its history back to a firm which was founded in the late 1800s by Henry William Gould. In 1938 the firm moved from its offices in Bedford Circus to 17 Southernhay East.

Since this date, the firm has undertaken a series of mergers and acquisitions to form today’s firm, employing over 120 people across its 8 offices in Exeter, Mid, West and East Devon:

  • Amalgamated with Campion Symons & Co of Exeter on 1 January 1999.
  • Merged with Mossop & Whitham with offices in Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth on 1 July 2004.
  • Purchased the sole practitioner practice of Frances Canning in March 2008.
  • Acquired the firm – Symes Robinson & Lee with offices in Exeter, Crediton and Budleigh on 1 July 2013.
  • Acquired the firm – Veitch Penny with offices in Exeter and Crediton on 1 October 2021.


We are delighted to announce that Gilbert Stephens LLP and Veitch Penny LLP merged on 1st October 2021. Gilbert Stephens currently has offices in Exeter, Crediton, Budleigh Salterton, Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary and Okehampton. Veitch Penny has offices in Exeter and Crediton.

The merged firm will retain the name of Gilbert Stephens LLP and Veitch Penny will continue to be known as Veitch Penny but as part of Gilbert Stephens LLP. The combined firms will have 8 offices and in excess of 130 members of staff.

Both firms have been established for many years and are committed to provide practical and effective legal services to the locations in which they have offices as well as further afield. Both firms can now offer a full range of legal advice including buying and selling property (residential and commercial), agricultural, private client work including wills, estate planning and administration of estates, dispute resolution, family and personal injury work. Independent Financial advice is available through the associated business Gilbert Stephens Financial Services Ltd.

If you would like to get in touch with us you can find our contact details here