Well done to our team, some excellent client feedback this month!

24th September 2021

We are delighted to have received some excellent feedback from happy clients recently.  Our dedicated team is always eager to provide the best service possible to our clients.  Here’s just a few examples of the kind words that our team has heard this month!

“Having now paid your account I wanted to write and say how much both Sheila and I appreciated your services.  Your office staff were most helpful, appointments were made quickly with no long waits. The advice you gave us regarding taxation upon death and how to mitigate it was extremely comprehensive but laid out in a way that a simple man like me could understand. You not only gave us options but also guided us towards what we should consider as a currently good course of action.

The advice on keeping our wills simple I think in retrospect was very good advice because as our assets may change in the future, we can adjust our wills as and when considered necessary.

Lastly, I wanted to say that I thought, considering the time taken and the quality of the advice given, your bills were modest.

More importantly than anything both Sheila and I fell that the conduct of our affairs will be in safe hands as and when we are under the turf as they say in Cornwall. This just means that you can not retire for a long time.

Many Thanks John.”

“David thank you, we would just like to say you`ve been the very best solicitor that we have ever dealt with ( & there`s been a few as we`ve moved many times ) I don`t know if the opportunity will ever arise but we would both thoroughly recommend you to any prospective clients, once again thank you for exceeding our expectations.”

Kind regards Mr & Mrs P”

“I have used Gilbert Stephens Solicitors for several years for various matters. Most recently, Conall Ryan has assisted me with probate and will matters. I am exceptionally happy with the service I have received and it is unlikely you will find anyone more efficient than Conall. He deals with matters extremely expeditiously. He is very approachable and has made a difficult time for me dealing with my Mother’s death considerably easier. I cannot recommend Conall Ryan highly enough.

Mrs T “


Gilbert Stephens merge with Veitch Penny

20th September 2021

We are delighted to announce that Gilbert Stephens LLP and Veitch Penny LLP are to merge 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


Paddleboard Yoga Session to Get the Young Professionals Network Back in Action

20th September 2021

Gilbert Stephens Young Professionals Network were excited to finally get together again for the first time since the lockdowns began. The event, which felt a long time coming, was a Paddleboard Yoga Session on Exeter Quay where members were able to socialise while enjoying the outdoors. Sarah Heath said:

“After the stresses caused by the Covid Pandemic, we thought what better way to get back together but with a yoga session! Chloe Sikiniotis of Magdalen Health led the session, on boards provided by the Kayak Hub.  Despite initial fears of falling into the Canal everyone had a great time and finished the session dry, which is always a plus!”

The YPN is different to other formal networking groups as the atmosphere is relaxed and informal. What makes the events extremely popular with younger professionals is the alternative option to building professional and personal relationships outside of the more traditional business networks – like on a Paddleboard!

If you would like to join you can contact the YPN by email at Membership is free and confirmation of acceptance of membership will be emailed to you. Once you have received confirmation, you will be emailed invitations to our events.



Okehampton Show 2021

10th September 2021

We were thrilled to attend the Okehampton Show this year and to be one of the main sponsors again, the organisers really pulled off one of the best yet, despite so many unknowns.

The local country shows are always big events in our calendar, and we have missed them whilst they were unable to run.    It’s always a great opportunity for us to catch up with familiar faces, alongside meeting lots of new ones!

This year we had delicious bacon butties, cream teas and of course Pimms for those that visited us.  To keep the kids entertained we had the very talented Mel offering face painting, we also made use of this year’s competition prize by floating some ducks in it for the kids (and some adults) to catch.

Massive congratulations to Lauren Riley who won the hot tub, we very much hope you enjoy many relaxing times in it!

We were also delighted to meet Karen Webb who was the winner of our Facebook giveaway for a family ticket to the show.

It was great to visit the other local businesses attending and catch up after so long.  We enjoyed the amazing talent on display,  the arts and crafts were exceptional as always, as was the locally produced food and drink!

Of course, a country show is never complete without the numerous animals in attendance and it was wonderful to see their keepers able to show off their beautiful animals for the judges and crowd.

A big thank you to the organisers for such a wonderful event. We very much look forward to next years!

If you want more information on agricultural law we can help, our expertise include the sale and purchase of farms and farmland, rural and agricultural property, charging of rural land and property, rights and easements, and the transfer of sporting rights.  Our team has a good working knowledge of rural payment schemes and grant schemes.  Rebecca Cox based out of our Crediton Office regularly makes farm visits and has a real interest and deep understanding of the rural community and issues affecting agriculture.

Contact our team today and let us know how we can help.

Tel:  01837 512100




Exeter Property Circle Networking Event – 9th September – book quick!

8th September 2021

The Exeter Property Circle are excited to be hosting their September networking event at the Chandos Deli in Exeter City Centre this Thursday between 5-7pm.

There are still just a few tickets remaining if you would like to come along!

The event will be making use of the outside area as well as the inside which is great for the current climate, in addition numbers will be limited to 40 due to the venue’s size and to make sure that everyone feels safe and happy.

The EPC are already planning another event for November and can’t wait to welcome more to join then!

There will be no speaker for this event, just an opportunity to catch up face to face with people (finally!) over a drink or 2!

Tickets include a welcome drink and a donation to their two chosen charities, The Exeter City Community Trust and The Exeter Chiefs Foundation.

Both charities do amazing work for our local community, the EPC are really happy to be able to support them again.

If you would like to book you can do so here.

Tom Woodley Fundraiser

7th September 2021

We were thrilled to find out that a recent auction organised by Tedburn St Mary Football Club has raised over £4000 for Tom Woodley.   Tom, who is the Manager of the Kings Arms in Tedburn St Mary, has been undergoing treatment for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), a condition that affects his spine and he has lost feeling from the chest down.

Tom has been an integral part of the Tedburn St Mary Football Team, helping to look after them since he arrived 8 years ago.   The Football Club decided to step in and help raise some money for Tom and his family and arranged this amazing event.  People came together, donated items and bid at auction the in April.

It is very uncertain what level of support Tom is going to need in the future and so we were happy to donate some money to their fundraiser.

Well done to the Tedburn St Mary Football team on such a successful fundraiser and we send our best wishes to Tom and his family.

You can find out more information on Tom’s Fundraising page here and there is a Facebook Group called Miles for Tom here.

Gilbert Stephens shortlisted for two legal awards

2nd September 2021

The Devon and Somerset Law Society are hosting the 2020 Legal Awards on 23rd September at Exeter Cathedral. The awards ceremony will honour those who excel within different sectors of the legal sector. We will be attending having been shortlisted two categories.

The first is the Corporate Social Responsibility category which we are delighted with. Our community is something we take a great interest in at all our branches around Devon.  We support numerous events and organisations each year.

The second category is the Chartered Legal Executive of the Year in which our team member Sarah Heath has been shortlisted. We are very proud of Sarah who is one of our newest associate members. Sarah is a Chartered Legal Executive in our Residential Conveyancing Department, based at our Exeter office and has been with the firm for a number of years.  She has been instrumental to the success of both the Young Professionals Network and founding the Exeter Property Circle.

We are looking forward to the event which is always a highlight within the legal community and greatly missed last year. We would like to say congratulations to all of those who have been shortlisted and we wish you all the best of luck.

Budleigh Lions August Bank Holiday Fête on the Seafront 

2nd September 2021

It was great to see the Budleigh Lions Fete and the much loved Pebble Building Design competition finally take place having been cancelled twice due to Covid!

In addition to the Pebble Building & Design competition the event also saw the announcement of another favourite “Spot the Stranger” which had been ongoing for the last month, in addition to the final of the “Treasure Hunt” competition, which had been ongoing for the last week through the town.

Visitors enjoyed some good weather and a fun day for all with money being raised for the Budleigh Lions and other charities who attended the event.  Well done to Geoff Paver and the team on yet another successful event!




A household became homeless every 3 minutes during the last lockdown

31st August 2021

The government recently released new figures on homelessness in England for the period January to March 2021 – during the last national lockdown. They show:

  • Despite the eviction ban being in place, 68,250 new households approached their local council and were found to be homeless or at risk of homelessness.

  • During the national lockdown, a household became homeless every three minutes.

  • 95,450 households were living in temporary accommodation (TA), of whom 59,120 were families. That means 119,830 children were living in TA at the end of March.

  • One in five (18%) homeless households were placed into emergency B&Bs and hostels, where living conditions are notoriously poor and cramped, and need to move onto a permanent and secure home.

  • The three most common triggers of homelessness during the period were: households no longer being able to stay with families and friends (32%), the loss of a private tenancy (13%) and domestic abuse (12%).

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “It is a scary sign of the times that even the eviction ban couldn’t stop thousands of families becoming homeless in early 2021. Now the ban has lifted far more people could be faced with the brutal reality of homelessness.

“The bottom line is that there aren’t enough social homes, which has created a massive bottleneck, trapping huge numbers of people in crummy temporary accommodation. How can anyone call a rat-infested room no bigger than a prison cell, home?

“If the country is to stand a chance of recovering from the pandemic, the government must urgently invest in a new generation of quality social housing. Last year we built fewer than 7,000 new social homes. We can and must do better.”

Anyone who is facing homelessness can get free and expert advice from Shelter by visiting or by calling our emergency helpline on 0808 800 4444.


  • 95,450 households were reported as living in temporary accommodation on 31st March 2021. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table TA1.

  • 119,830 children were reported as living in temporary accommodation on 31st March 2021. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table TA1.

  • 68,250 households approached their local council and were found to be homeless or at risk of homelessness between January and March 2021. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A1.

  • The rate at which a household became homeless in the last quarter is calculated by dividing the total number of minutes from 1st January to 31st March (128,160) by the number of households that were owed a relief duty in the same period. 36,800 households were owed a relief duty from January to March 2021. This is available at MHCLG, Statutory Homelessness Live tables, Initial assessments of statutory homelessness duties owed, Table A1.

  • The three most common triggers of homelessness are the three most common reasons for loss, or threat of loss, of households’ last settled home between January and March 2021. 21,750 households owed a prevention or relief duty lost their last settled home because they were no longer able to stay with family or friends. The loss of a private tenancy is the ending of an assured shorthold tenancy (AST). 9,080 households owed a prevention or relief duty lost their last settled home because their AST ended. 8,050 households owed a prevention or relief duty lost their last settled home due to domestic abuse. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table A2.

  • 11,170 households living in temporary accommodation on 31st March 2021 were living in bed and breakfasts and 5,570 were living in hostels. This is available at: MHCLG, Live tables on homelessness, Statutory Homelessness Live Tables, Table TA1.

“Thank you so much for all you have done to achieve our house move”

29th August 2021

Adam Tompkins was delighted to receive a card and gift from some happy clients who were moving from Devon to Dorset recently.  The clients were grateful for all Adam’s hard work and commented “Thank you so much for all you have done to achieve our house move, you went the extra mile so many times and we really appreciate it”.