Making a compensation claim following a car accident

24th March 2022

You are driving along and suddenly another driver crashes into your car. The accident can result in injury and property damage. If you have been injured as a driver or passenger in an accident caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, then it is important to get legal advice about making a compensation claim.

An accident may leave you injured and unable to work resulting in a loss of income, it may leave you without transportation and other expenses. If the accident was caused by another driver’s negligence, then they should be held financially responsible for all damages that have been incurred as a result of their negligence – this includes your expenses, lost income and a sum for the injury itself.

How much you can claim depends on the severity of your injury and your exact losses, these will vary for each person. If you instruct a solicitor to pursue your claim a medical report will be obtained to assess your injuries. The amount of compensation you get for your injury is then worked out by comparing your injuries to other similar cases.

In addition to the injury compensation, accident claims also compensate for expenses such as lost earnings and medical costs, we call these special damages. You can also be compensated for the pain and suffering you have endured, this is called general damages.

Making a claim can seem daunting, but our specialist solicitors will help guide you through each step of the process and make sure you receive the best possible outcome.

If you would like more information or advice about making a compensation claim after an accident call us on 01392 424242 or email We have offices in Exeter, Crediton, Okehampton, Ottery St Mary, Budleigh Salterton and Sidmouth.

We’re Hiring!

17th February 2022

We have a variety of current vacancies for support workers and fee earners including:

  • Full Time Receptionist at our Exeter office
  • IT Support Assistant at our Exeter office
  • Commercial Property Solicitor / Chartered Legal Executive at our Exeter office
  • Trust & Estate Practitioners over various branches
  • Residential Property Solicitor / Chartered Legal Executive over various branches
  • Private Client Legal Secretary based at our Exeter office and Residential Property Legal Secretary based at our Exeter office. These are full-time roles however a 4 day role may be considered for the right candidate

Gilbert Stephens is a thriving law firm based in the heart of Devon. We are very proud of our reputation built up over 100 years of serving our local community. We provide a supportive environment for all employees and are committed to equality of opportunity in all of our recruitment.

Everyone in our firm is highly valued for the contribution they make. We are always interested in talking to individuals who enjoy working as part of a busy and focussed team, are good communicators, self motivated, enthusiastic, flexible and share our commitment to offering a quality service to our clients.

Please see our website for full vacancy details and how to apply:

Why Powers of Attorney are important no matter your age

4th January 2022

Lasting Powers of Attorney are often thought of as something you put in place when you get to a certain age, when you may be having difficulties with memory and struggling to deal with your financial and business affairs. In fact everyone should consider having them in place, no matter their age or lifestyle.

Just take a look at Covid and how quickly some seemingly healthy people have sadly had to be put in an induced coma, leaving them incapable of making their own decisions about their health or finances. The pandemic has really brought home just how important having a Power of Attorney in place is. But there have always been illnesses which could lead young healthy people to that place, and any one of us might have an accident where we sustain a serious brain injury.

We encourage everyone no matter their age, health or fitness to consider Powers of Attorney for themselves just in case they are needed for important decisions in the future. By putting them in place you will have peace of mind that people you trust will be making the important decisions for you should the need arise.

There are two separate Lasting Powers of Attorney.  One allowing you to appoint someone else to manage your financial affairs, and the other allows you to appoint a person who can make decisions about your health and medical treatment. Each Power of Attorney needs to be registered by the Public Guardian before they are valid.

A financial Lasting Power of Attorney can be set up so that the person who is your attorney can act on your behalf right away, or you can choose to appoint an attorney only when you are not able to make your own decisions.

We know it’s a difficult decision to make, but please consider Lasting Powers of Attorney as one way in which you can protect yourself and those around you, just as you do when making a will at a time when you are unlikely to die soon after. It will help them knowing you have appointed someone whose judgement you trust should anything happen to you and, in fact, it is the only way to give anyone the ability to speak on your behalf and be involved in decision making.

One great way to avoid any potential problems with the people you appoint is by having a talk about their duties, it’s always wise for them to understand exactly what they will need to know in order take the right action should the need arise.

You can find out more information here  or call 01392 424242


Farming Community Network Charity Auction

16th December 2021

The recent Farming Community Network (FCN) charity auction at the Exeter Livestock Centre was a great success with lots of money being raised for this invaluable cause.  The FCN charity auction is an annual event that raises money to support farming families in times of need. They do vital work in the community, providing much-needed support to farmers and their families who are going through difficult times.

We hope whoever won the sit on tractor we donated will have hours and hours of fun riding around!

Below is a post from the FCN Facebook page featuring an article in Farmers Weekly about the FCN. This post and article demonstrate the invaluable work the FCN do for the local farming community:


This is a fantastic feature from Farmers Weekly about FCN and the importance of finding a healthy work-life balance on the farm.

The article draws attention to our new research with the University of Exeter’s Centre for Rural Policy Research into loneliness and isolation in farming communities ( and our ‘Who’s Your Julie?’ campaign to increase feelings of connectivity in the farm community and recognise support networks (

Winter can be a cold and isolating period for some. If you are feeling lonely this Christmas, FCN and other charities are here to listen, empathise and support you, and walk with you on the journey ahead and through the changes on the horizon.

Call 03000 111 999 (open 7am-11pm every day of the year) or email…/farm-charity-gives-advice-on…    “

Christmas Jumper Day

16th December 2021

Staff across all our offices donned their sparkly colourful Christmas jumpers to raise funds for FORCE Cancer Charity last Friday! We decided to focus our fundraising efforts on a local charity who have supported many people we know over the years in one form or another.

Goodies were also provided and enjoyed to help boost the fundraising efforts!

A big thank you to everyone who donated and helped make the day fun whilst raising money for a great cause!

FORCE Cancer Charity is a Devon-based charity that supports people and families affected by cancer. They provide information, support and practical and emotional help to anyone who needs it – from those who have just been diagnosed to their families and friends. FORCE also campaigns for better cancer services in Devon.

Sidmouth Late Night Opening

15th December 2021

Our Sidmouth office stayed open last week to join in with the late night shopping Christmas fun!  Visitors to our office were offered mulled wine, mince pies and other refreshments.

We loved the opportunity to get involved with the local community and have a chat  with old and new friends alike.

Farming Community Network Charity Auction

10th December 2021

The Farming Community Network are hosting a Charity Christmas Auction this Monday 13th December at the Exeter Livestock Market. Gilbert Stephens have donated a toy sit on John Deere tractor to help raise money for this much needed charity.

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and families within the farming community through difficult times.  They continue to support around 300 farming families each year around Devon and the need for their help is greater than ever due to the social isolation covid has caused.  They have been involved in supporting those affected by suicide & illness over the last 18 months & those struggling due to the increased burden of red tape and other uncertainties including farming support payments and TB.

Managing Partner Terry Bastyan said:  “At Gilbert Stephens we are passionate about farming and our local community, which is why we have donated the John Deere Tractor to the FCN Auction, We are pleased to support the FCN and that the money raised will be going towards supporting farming families in need during these difficult times”.

Gloria! A concert of seasonal music

9th December 2021

The Exeter Bach Choir are set to offer a concert of music on Saturday, December 18th at St David’s Church, Exeter.  The event is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m and will feature a variety of seasonal works, including Vivaldi Gloria, R Vaughan Williams O be joyful in the Lord (The Hundredth Psalm); Fantasia on Christmas Carols, Adolphe Adam O Holy Night and a selection of Christmas music and carols.  We are delighted to continue to support this event and are very much looking forward to it!

The Exeter Bach Society was founded on 21 March 1995, the anniversary of J S Bach’s birth, at a meeting in The Guildhall, Exeter by Alderman Ramon Yeo, an accomplished organist and admirer of J S Bach’s many compositions.

Since its formation the Society has delved deep into J S Bach’s repertoire, hosting numerous performances of his cantatas, Lutheran masses and instrumental works. It’s choral performances over the past few years have included J S Bach’s Missa Brevis in F, Christmas Oratorio, St John Passion, St Matthew Passion, and his iconic Mass in B Minor. Major concerts and cantatas feature professional musicians and soloists from Devon and further afield.

The upcoming performance will see Stephen Tanner as conductor and Julian Rippon as Bariton.

This is set to be a wonderful concert for all in attendance!

Tickets: £12.50 in advance; £15 on the door

Find out further information and book your tickets here


Christmas Jumper Day for FORCE Cancer Charity

7th December 2021

Gilbert Stephens Solicitors are hosting a Christmas Jumper Day on 10th December to raise funds for FORCE, the local cancer charity. For just £2, participants will be able to enter into the Christmas spirit by wearing an unforgettable Christmas jumper! All monies raised will go towards providing vital support for people living with cancer in our community.

There will also be some delicious cakes available for a donation to help raise additional funds.

The event is taking place throughout Gilbert Stephens’ 6 branch offices in Exeter, Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Crediton, Budleigh Salterton and Okehampton and additionally in the Exeter and Crediton offices of Veitch Penny, who Gilbert Stephens have recently merged with.

We hope everyone has a fun day taking part in this charitable initiative and we can’t wait to see the colourful and sparkly jumpers!

If you would like to join in with our fundraising you can donate to FORCE here

Meet Abby Munday: Litigation Paralegal & LPC Student at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors

6th December 2021

We are keen to support our staff in their continued professional development and are delighted that Abby Munday is currently studying for her LPC alongside the MSc Business Masters. Abby is studying part-time at weekends with the University of Law, Exeter. The qualification will take 2 years to complete whilst Abby continues working with us at Gilbert Stephens as a Litigation Paralegal, and so building on her hands on experience at the same time.  Abby said:

“I love working in litigation because it covers such a broad area of the law. One day I will be working on a Personal Injury case then the next I could be working on a Contentious Probate case. Everyone in my department has allowed me to develop my skills and knowledge by allowing me to sit in on meetings, read through large case files and explain complex matters to me in great detail. I am enjoying my role as a Paralegal because it is giving me good understanding of what would be expected of me once I qualify.”

It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to take this educational journey and it is a testament to Abby ‘s personality that she is not only able to balance this alongside her day job but also continue with the social side of life, including hiking and learning to surf.  Abby’s biggest inspiration comes from Michelle Obama, someone who I think we’d all agree is an extremely talented, hardworking woman who has achieved great things and is a brilliant role model for women everywhere.  Abby said:

“My biggest inspiration has to be Michelle Obama. She is one of the biggest female leaders and started out in law  I hope to qualify as a Solicitor in the Southwest, though I haven’t decided what specific area of law I want to go down, I feel that it will be down the litigation route”.

We are very proud of Abby here at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors as she embarks on this next step in her career journey. We wish her the best of luck with everything and are grateful to have her on our team!