Christmas Shoeboxes ready for Eastern Europe

29th November 2021

It’s that time of year again where the cold winds are blowing, people are wearing extra layers to keep warm and most people are busy preparing for Christmas. Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are continuing their annual tradition of donating Christmas shoeboxes to the Christian Response to Eastern Europe Appeal (CR2EE) in order to bring some cheer and happiness into the lives of those less fortunate than us at this time of year.

CR2EE are a Christian based charity who offer support & relief to disadvantaged and vulnerable people living in Eastern Europe, this includes giving support to families, churches and medical organisations through financial gifts, taking humanitarian aid and medical supplies and setting up projects to provide long term benefits and independence. One of their annual campaigns is the Christmas Shoebox Appeal where people are encouraged to fill a shoebox with suitable gifts for families, this could be children, adults and even grandparents because Christmas isn’t just for children!

The shoeboxes are then sent to Eastern Europe and distributed by CR2EE. Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are donating their Christmas Shoeboxes along with many other companies who recognise the important work carried out by Christian Response to Eastern Europe Appeal.

You can find out more details about the Christian Response to Eastern Europe Appeal here

And watch this video for the smiles these shoeboxes bring here

Martin Justice becomes Partner at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors

24th November 2021

We are pleased to announce that Martin Justice, based at our Okehampton Office, has become a partner in the firm.  Martin offers advice over a broad range of Private Client work including Wills, LPAs, Trusts and Inheritance Tax Planning, in addition to the administration of estates, trusts and Deputyships.  He specialises in advising farmers, rural business owners and high net worth individuals on inheritance tax and succession planning which is often daunting for individuals and, in the case of Inheritance Tax, with the various reliefs and exemptions, can seem a minefield.

Farmers in the UK are increasingly looking for legal assistance to help them navigate the complexities of agricultural law. Agriculture is a growing business across the world, and there is much at stake when it comes to ensuring that farmers have the correct up to date legal knowledge and adequate resources. Gilbert Stephens offers expert advice on all aspects of agriculture law including:

Martin said:   “I am really proud to have been made a partner of the firm.  Since the firm opened an office in Okehampton nearly 4 years ago it has gone from strength to strength thanks to the hard work of all the team here and the support of our clients.  I am looking forward to helping continue the growth of the firm in Okehampton and to serving the community in West Devon in the months and years ahead.”

As a result of ever changing agricultural policy, farmers are experiencing many rapid developments. They must keep pace with a wide range of changes such as reforms in CAP, the impact of planning and environmental policy and reforms to the law of agricultural holdings. There is also the ever present need to arrange their affairs in a tax efficient manner.

Whether buying or selling a farm or farmland, dealing with farming assets, letting your property or considering what happens to a farming business in the future, it is important that you are given the correct legal advice. Through our experience in agricultural matters we understand the pressures on the rural community and are well placed to give practical and realistic advice.

Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.  Tel:  01837 512100

Supporting the Okehampton Round Table Santa Sleigh

23rd November 2021

The Okehampton Round Table Santa Sleigh is coming to town, and Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are sponsoring it! Santa and his elves will be blasting out the Christmas music when they visit Okehampton on Friday the 3rd of December, Saturday the 4th of December and Sunday the 5th of December to deliver pre-ordered Christmas trees to the local residents.

Additionally, Okehampton Round Table are offering a Christmas Tree pick up service, this will be £5 or if a tree was purchased from them £4. As many of us will have experienced removing a Christmas tree with falling needles and getting it to the recycling centre can be challenging! With this service you avoid all the hassle whilst raising money for a local charity. The Christmas Tree collection service will be on the 8th and 9th of January.

All profits from this fundraiser go to the Okehampton Round Table who do sterling work supporting the Okehampton District communities.

We can’t wait to see the happy smiley faces of the residents of Okehampton when Santa and his elves visit.

Follow Santa and his Elves on the Roundtable Facebook page  here.

Sidmouth WI Christmas Fayre

23rd November 2021

The Women’s Institute in Sidmouth has organised a Christmas Fayre to take place on 27th November between 10am-12pm at the All Saints Church Hall, All Saints Road, Sidmouth.  There will be a raffle to which Gilbert Stephens Solicitors have donated a Greendale hamper as one of the prizes.

Managing Partner Terry Bastyan said “We hope that our donation will help to make this event a success and we wish the WI all the best for their Christmas Fayre.”

There is free entry to the event and they’ll be various stalls selling a variety of festive and other items.

The WI set out in 1915 to give women a voice and be a force of good for the community, to this date the organisation just keeps growing and is now the largest women’s organisation network in the UK. You can read more about the WI here 

Sidmouth Women’s Institute has monthly meetings which include a speaker, social time, bring and buy stall and a competition.  They meet at St Teresa’s Hall, Connaught Road on the third Wednesday of the month.  Follow their Facebook page here.


Ottery St Mary Christmas Tree Festival

19th November 2021

Around 50 local groups, including Gilbert Stephens Solicitors, will soon be decorating their Christmas trees at Ottery St Mary Parish Church ready for the Christmas Tree Festival which is running between 24th and 27th November 2021.  The Ottery Saint Mary Parish Church will be open each day between 11am and 5pm for the public to view the trees, and perhaps get some inspiration for their own decorations!

This annual festival is a great opportunity for local schools, clubs, organisations and businesses to decorate their own trees for display at the church and Gilbert Stephens are happy to be able to continue with their support of this iconic local event once again this year.

Managing Partner Terry Bastyan said “We love seeing all the colourful designs  that are created by our local community and it’s great to see people enjoying the festive fun which this event always brings.”

The free event encourages and inspires all ages and abilities to get involved and showcase their creativity, and the Christmas Tree Festival also offers a wonderful setting to get into the Christmas spirit, all within the beautiful setting of Ottery Saint Mary.


Inspire Magazine

18th November 2021

Take a look at the Autumn/Winter 2021 edition of Inspire Magazine from Wilkinson Grant.  There’s some beautiful properties, delicious Rockfish recipes and if you’re considering downsizing you’ll find some great tips in their “Is it time to downsize” feature. Read the full magazine here.

If you’re considering moving our Property Team are here for you, we have offices in Exeter, Crediton, Okehampton, Ottery St Mary, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth.  We offer clients considerable expertise in all residential property matters for both personal sales and purchases or as part of an investment portfolio. Our aim is to make the buying of property as easy and quick as possible and we will work to the highest standards to achieve this for you.

Contact us on 01392 424242 or email



Opening Night for Sidmouth Musical Theatre’s Production of Sister Act

28th October 2021

Sidmouth Musical Theatre opened their production of Sister Act on Sunday night and we were excited to be there to enjoy the performance! The theatre was full and the audience were thrilled to see this beloved musical come to life on stage. The story of a Reno lounge singer, who witnesses a murder and hides out in the convent where her mother once taught is one that has captured people’s hearts since it appeared on Broadway back in 2010.

Jonathan Cave & Laura Newbery-Butcher from our Sidmouth office were at the performance and thoroughly enjoyed it:  “It was an excellent show, especially considering it was opening night. Sammy Ottaway, who starred as Deloris was truly exceptional”

It was great to see people having a really good time and we are delighted to have sponsored the show.

Sister Act runs until 30th October, including a Saturday matinee. Find out more here

Here are a couple of photos taken by Laura who attended the opening night with her family:

Celebrating one year at our new offices in Okehampton

26th October 2021

It has been a whole year since we moved to our new Okehampton office at Red Lion Yard!

At Gilbert Stephens we are grateful to all of our clients & colleagues who have supported us through what was a difficult time for everyone, it certainly was no ordinary year to get a whole office moved to a new location.

All our team have settled in well to the new office, despite having to take Covid regulations into consideration as they did so.  The new environment is a much more versatile space from which we offer our legal services, and is very accessible.  The new office has allowed our team to provide greater support for our existing and new clients and we are about to complete renovations to the second floor so that additional services will be available.

At Gilbert Stephens we don’t just help people resolve a legal issue once, we will do our best to be there for life going forward providing guidance and support whenever needed.  The need for legal advice arises often throughout most people’s lives, whether that’s buying a property, making a will, needing employment advice, setting up a business, help dealing with a probate… there are many life events that require legal help – and that is why we are here for a lifetime, to help guide you through these issues as they arise.

We are very pleased to be able to provide a full legal service to Okehampton and the surrounding and to be part of a friendly and thriving local community.

Thank you again for your support throughout the last year.  If there’s anything at all you think we can do to help you, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels

23rd October 2021

We are very much looking forward to attending the Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels on 5th November.

The Tar Barrels are a tradition with it’s origins lost in history. Initially barrels were rolled through the streets, but this then turned into them being carried and Ottery is now the only town to carry full sized tar barrels through the streets.

It is always an amazing spectacle to witness and you can’t help but become part of the event when there, enjoying the atmosphere and cheering on the Tar Barrel rollers, whilst avoiding running in to them!

Additionally, there is a bonfire and fireworks display to round off the event. Children in the town take part in a Guy building competition with the winner’s Guy placed on the bonfire.

For full details of the event, it’s history and all safety information you will need for the day, see the Ottery Tar Barrels website here

Congratulations to our hamper winner!

22nd October 2021

We are very pleased to announce that Alex has been selected as our winner of the Hamper Draw which we held at Sidmouth Classic Car Show. Alex and her son Oscar are pictured here receiving the hamper from Managing Partner Terry Bastyan. We hope you enjoy tucking in to all the delicious treats!