We are looking for an ambitious graduate to join us for a two-year training contract to start in September 2022, leading to a career as a qualified solicitor. This is an excellent opportunity for a motivated, aspiring solicitor to join a highly reputable firm that has a fantastic reputation for offering a first-class legal service.

The successful applicant will gain experience in a wide range of specialties, from private client to commercial, dispute resolution to employment, personal injury to clinical negligence and family to conveyancing. We will ensure that you are given a mix of contentious and non-contentious seats, aiming to provide you with a broad spectrum of experience so you can really get to know which area of law you want to specialise in. Alongside developing your technical skills, we also place emphasis on the additional skills you will need as a solicitor, such as marketing, financial knowledge and networking, ensuring you gain a strong foundation for future success in your legal career.

Beyond the 2 years, our goal is to retain our trainees as the potential future leaders of the firm, so we really invest our time in you to ensure that you emerge as a first-class solicitor, enthusiastic, confident and ready to embark on a successful legal career!

We pride ourselves on being friendly and approachable: from the senior partner to the office junior, we believe in communication and collaboration and very much working as a team. Everyone at Blythe Liggins is important and, if you are willing to give 100%, your hard work and loyalty will be re-paid.

If you would like to be considered for this exciting opportunity, please send a copy of your CV and covering letter to Jill Starkey at jms@blytheliggins.co.uk by 22nd July 2022.


Partner and Head of the Personal Injury and Medical Negligence Department, Claire Kirwan, was delighted to be invited to St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School in Warwick to take part in their ‘Aspirations Day’.

“I had to talk to the children about being a solicitor and what is involved with my day-to-day job. I explained how long it took me to qualify and what I love about the area I specialise in. The children were so well-behaved and asked some fantastic questions!”

Partners and solicitors at the firm have a long tradition of visiting schools to talk about careers in the law and have hopefully helped inspire and enthuse a future generation of lawyers!

CAPTION: Mr Gargan, Headteacher of St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School, with Claire Kirwan of Blythe Liggins.

Two long-serving leading lights at Leamington law firm Blythe Liggins will be leaving later this month.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner and head of dispute resolution, and Andrew Brooks, executive partner and head of family law, have decided to retire after jointly notching up almost 80 years with the firm.

Richard, who attended Warwick School, joined the firm in 1978, became a partner in 1984 and has been joint senior partner since 2008.  He qualified as a mediator in 2011 and is a passionate believer in the benefits of mediation.

Richard said: “I have worked with many excellent colleagues and have stayed rather longer than I could have imagined in 1978!  The firm has made two excellent appointments to the litigation and family departments and I am certain Blythe Liggins will go from strength to strength.”

Outside of work he has been secretary of Leamington Cricket Club, served on the committee of Warwick Boat Club, played real tennis at Moreton Morrell Tennis Court Club and recently retired as chairman of the Old Warwickian Trust, which provides bursaries to Warwick School. He is also a past chairman of the St Mary’s Hall charity in Warwick.

Andrew joined Blythe Liggins in 1987, having spent the previous three years travelling throughout the Far East and Australasia, including a stint working on a prawn fishing boat off Australia.

He was made a partner in 1991 and has spent the last 30 years heading the family law department specialising in divorce, finance and property matters.

“My philosophy has always been to look for reasonable, pragmatic and fair solutions and not for those problems that can and often do unnecessarily prevent a settlement from being reached. My approach is to try and reach a settlement without going to court,” he said.

Away from work he has run in London Marathons and several local Two Castles runs; an event sponsored by Blythe Liggins for almost 20 years. He is also a member of Stratford upon Avon Boat Club and is a keen sailor of dinghies and small boats.

“I will be finishing where I began – travelling,” he said. “I still have the wanderlust and will be setting off this autumn in a motorhome travelling around France, Spain, Morocco and the southern Sahara,” he said.

Joint senior partner David Lester, who will become overall senior partner, said both men had played an immense part in creating the ethos of the firm and building it into one of the highest regarded legal practices in the region.

CAPTION: Andrew Brooks and Richard Thornton

The Owen-George Cup for real tennis, played for at Moreton Morrell Tennis Court Club, has been won by Tom Lewis for the third time.

Tom, a former pupil at Warwick School who played cricket for Ashorne and lifted the trophy in 2013 and 2015, beat fellow club member Doug Holden.

The cup was presented by Richard Thornton, joint senior partner of Blythe Liggins Solicitors, who sponsor the event. It is named after Roland Owen-George, who together with His Honour James Blythe, founded Blythe Owen-George & Co solicitors in 1952, from which Blythe Liggins was formed in 1988.

“It’s a great honour for us to sponsor this event, marking the contribution made to this wonderful court by one of our founders,” said Mr Thornton.

Club chairman Simon Hobson said: “This tournament should have been held in March but we were forced to postpone it by lockdown so we are very pleased that we have been able to hold it at all this year and grateful to Blythe Liggins for their continued sponsorship and support of real tennis at Moreton Morrell.”


CAPTION: Blythe Liggins joint senior partner Richard Thornton presents the Owen-George Cup to Tom Lewis.

Casey Smith, Trainee Solicitor at Blythe Liggins LLP, reflects on the first seat of her training contract in the Employment Department.

“The first day of my training contract I felt extremely anxious, but the family feel at Blythe Liggins put me at ease straightaway. I knew that I had their complete support to guide me through this process, which will help me move forward in my legal career. It has since occurred to me that this is exactly how our clients can feel when faced with an employment situation, uneasy to begin with but once they have instructed Blythe Liggins, reassured that they have someone on their side, to help them reach a solution and move on with their lives.

“Unfortunately, the impact of Covid-19 in the workplace has left some employers with the difficult decision to reduce their workforce or restructure their businesses. This has resulted in a significant increase in the number of redundancies and settlement agreements offered to employees. This type of employment situation has made up most of my experience in the Employment Department and can be a very distressing and upsetting time for clients. However, Richard Moon (Partner at Blythe Liggins and Head of the Employment Department), provides his clients with clear employment advice and participating in meetings with him has taught me how to resolve matters in the most effective and efficient way for our clients.

“On the other hand, for certain industries, business has never been better and their thriving workload has led to the need for new recruits. This has given me the opportunity to assist with preparing employment contracts swiftly for employers and developed my drafting skills.

“It is only during my training in the Employment Department that I have realised the importance of establishing the correct employment status. The recent case of Uber has demonstrated this, when the Supreme Court upheld the Employment Tribunal’s findings that Uber drivers were in fact ‘workers’ and not self-employed contractors. This entitled Uber drivers to employment rights including National Minimum wage and paid annual leave.

“Overall, I have really enjoyed my experience in the Employment Department and I am extremely grateful to Richard Moon for the opportunities he has given me and his patience. Richard’s clients praise him on his thorough advice and during my 3 months training with him, it is not hard to see why!”

Richard Moon, has said that “Starting out on the long journey to pursue a career in the law can be a daunting experience but Casey has approached the start of her training contract with great aplomb. Her diligence, understanding and knowledge of the law will stand her in good stead for the remainder of her training contract”.

If you are facing an employment situation and you need legal advice, then please contact Richard Moon on 01926 831 231.


Myton Hospice has received a welcome boost to its funds with more than £17,000 being handed over by local law firms who took part in the charity’s Make a Will Week.

During the campaign solicitors worked hard to get the wills written, signed and witnessed under social distancing rules, sometimes in unorthodox situations such as having wills witnessed in the car park and even over the garden fence!

Donna Bothamley, head of the Wills and Probate department at Blythe Liggins, said her firm has raised more than £3,000.

“The Myton Hospice is our named charity and we have been supporters of them for more than 25 years and have taken part in their Wills Week since 2010. They have been hit very hard due to the pandemic, having to cancel their major fundraisers and close their 30 or so shops, which do so much to raise funds towards the £9 million needed each year to provide the best care and support for terminally ill people and their families across Coventry and Warwickshire,” said Mrs Bothamley.

Danielle Mooney, one of the fundraising team at Myton Hospice, said she had appreciated how challenging it had been for the law firms these last few months with lockdown restrictions and social distancing measures. “I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience, perseverance and all the effort that you have made to ensure donations have been received by us.”

Caption: Donna Bothamley at Blythe Liggins



A Radford Semele wills and probate lawyer has been celebrating 30 years with Leamington solicitors Blythe Liggins against a backdrop of surging demand for wills as a result of the pandemic.

“I can’t remember a time like it” said Paul England. “We have never been busier and are seeing a huge surge in the number of people wanting to write wills or update their existing ones.

“Coronavirus has brought us some completely new challenges. Wills have to be witnessed by two people present at the same time and this can be tricky at a time of social distancing. We had clients and witnesses signing wills on a car bonnet in our office car park or sitting on a bench that we have provided!”

Senior partner Richard Thornton, who has worked with Paul since he started at the firm said: “Paul is a real asset to Blythe Liggins. He is a first-class wills and probate lawyer with tremendous experience and knowledge but he is also very approachable and kind. He is very well liked by both his clients and his colleagues here at Edmund House.”

Paul has also organised the firm’s participation in the Two Castles run since Blythe Liggins first sponsored the event in 2006. Each year he gathers a large number of runners connected with the firm to join the Blythe Liggins team, including his two elder children Ryan and Zoe.

He is a very keen sportsman who cycles to work, takes part in local wolf runs and has completed the London and Birmingham marathons. In his youth, he swam for Leamington Amateur Swimming Club as far afield as Germany and France. He currently helps coach a junior football team in Leamington, in which both of his younger sons have played.

He also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of his beloved Coventry City Football Club, which he has followed both home and away since the days of Joe Mercer when he was first taken to Highfield Road by his grandfather.

CAPTION: Paul England celebrates 30 years at Blythe Liggins



Organisers of this summer’s Two Castles run between Warwick and Kenilworth have reluctantly had to cancel the event for the second year running.

The annual race is organised by Kenilworth Rotary and Leamington Cycling & Athletics Club and would have been run on Sunday June 13.

However, race organiser and Rotarian Philip Southwell said the pandemic had made the decision to cancel inevitable.

Richard Thornton, joint senior partner of Leamington law firm Blythe Liggins, which has been the main sponsor since 2005, said the cancellation was expected but nonetheless very disappointing. “The Two Castles is an excellent event which attracts some 4,000 runners and raises more than £100,000 a year and in these calamitous financial times for charities it was more vital than ever that the event took place. Last year’s cancellation was a serious financial blow for local charities and I know that Kenilworth Rotary has done all it could to stage the event this year, but yet again the pandemic had the final word.”


Caption: Richard Thornton (right) with Two Castles race organiser Philip Southwell

There has been some good news for local businesses who have been hit by COVID-19, as they may now be able to realistically pursue an insurance pay-out following a judgement handed down by the Supreme Court.

At a hearing on January 15, the court backed policyholders in a test case to clarify whether a variety of policy wordings cover business interruption (BI) losses resulting from the pandemic.

Proceedings were brought by the Financial Conduct Authority last year, as clarification had become vital due to the pandemic and the measures adopted by the government. Businesses that had been forced to close due to lockdown restrictions were unsure whether their insurance would cover their losses.

The FCA says the result means “many thousands of policyholders” will now receive pay-outs for coronavirus-related business interruption losses.

A typical disease clause in a business insurance policy will cover losses when a notifiable disease occurred within a geographical radius of the insured premises, typically 25 miles.

But all too often, an insurer requirement will state that a local authority must have imposed ‘prevention of access’ or similar restrictions on use of business premises before accepting any form of liability.

The Supreme Court rejected this and ruled that the disease clause may be satisfied in an emergency, if it is given in clear, mandatory terms – for example, the Prime Minister’s ‘stay at home’ instruction.

The Supreme Court also gave guidance where a business offers a mixture of ‘walk-in’ and telephone or online orders. For example, a restaurant business which provides eat-in and takeaway services which closed the eat-in arm of its businesswould be restricted to recovering loss from the eat-in service only.

The obvious note of caution is that this was a test case concerned with general points of principle and the wording of each policy will remain key. The decision was also based on facts raised in proceedings started in June 2020 and developments in the pandemic since may give rise to more novel points which have not yet been put in front of a court.

So, while this case offers hope, success cannot be viewed as a racing certainty and businesses may expect insurers to contest the amount claimed for business interruption losses. What is needed is a careful analysis of your policy wording to see whether or not this latest court decision can help you to argue your case.

Philip Morris, Dispute Resolution Lawyer