The business prides itself on being one of the leading ‘full-service’ law firms in Hampshire, covering most ‘high-street’ legal services such as house purchases and sales, wills, business advice and family advice but also offering several more niche services like care and adoption, mental health, immigration, domestic abuse protection and fertility law.
With offices in Portsmouth, Gosport, Petersfield, Portchester, Waterlooville, Wickham and Ryde on the Isle of Wight, the firm has been going from strength to strength in recent years.
Biscoes takes pride in its corporate social responsibility policy and its involvement within the Portsmouth community, both through financial contributions and fundraising but also direct involvement, with many directors and staff acting as governors and trustees of local charities and schools, with such participation actively encouraged by the business.
Throughout its history, Biscoes has sponsored or otherwise supported The Rowans Hospice, Portsmouth FC and Pompey in the Community (PITC), The Kings Theatre, cancer and domestic abuse charities (such as Aurora New Dawn), the You Trust, Age Concern, Portsmouth Headway, the Girls network, and is really pleased to be patron sponsors of the CIC, Shaping the future of Portsmouth.
In addition to this, the firm has a long history in providing advice to the military. With a former partner once the Royal Navy legal aid officer, the firm continued to offer free advice at bases around Hampshire when this role was disbanded. This then developed into a collaboration around the UK with other firms who wanted to support our military service personnel, both current and retired, to form ‘Forces Law’.
Biscoes are now the official call centre for that network and deal with hundreds of enquiries a year from all three services. So determined were Biscoes to provide both legal and practical support to military personnel in 2019, it was one of 100 employers recognised by defence secretary Ben Wallace for its outstanding support for the armed forces community, being awarded an Employer Recognition Scheme Gold Award. Biscoes worked over the past three years to achieve its ‘Gold Award’ in the employer recognition scheme in 2019, being one of only 501 businesses in the UK to receive the award.
As well as its continued support of the armed forces, Biscoes also offer discounted legal fees to workers in the NHS, one of Portsmouth’s most valued institutions, particularly during these unprecedented times.
During ‘lockdown’, with rising cases of domestic abuse occurring throughout the area, Biscoes has collaborated with Aurora New Dawn, a Portsmouth-based domestic abuse charity which has received national recognition for its work. Through this partnership, Biscoes is able to offer support to victims of domestic abuse across Portsmouth, with complimentary consultations to anyone referred through the charity.
Although the event was sadly cancelled this year, Biscoes also has had a longstanding relationship with Portsmouth Pride, sponsoring the event for several years and reaching out to the city’s LGBT community with legal support. It is signed on to continue supporting the event into 2021, with great involvement from its expert fertility law team, that works with LGBT families in order to help them achieve their dreams of “adding at least two feet” to their homes.
Outside of its community outreach, Biscoes is a proud member of the Hampshire Chamber of Commerce, allowing it to network and share business acumen with other Hampshire businesses. Several of the firms’ employees, including managing director Alison Lee, are also members of BNI chapters, which enables the Biscoes team to network with other local businesses and gain knowledge and connections while supporting other businesses with work referral.
Biscoes is a keen supporter of local media and the local press, particularly the local community radio station Express FM. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis, members of the Biscoes team have been making weekly guest appearances with information on various legal topics to help local people at this difficult time.
The Biscoes’ conveyancing department maintain excellent relationships with local estate agents, mortgage brokers, lenders and surveyors in order to make what can be an extremely stressful process as seamless as possible for individuals and families in the Portsmouth area.
Biscoes maintains membership status within the Law Society’s conveyancing quality team and has the prestigious Lexcel award and ISO 9001:2105 management standard, only awarded to businesses which evidence achieving high standard levels of business management and client service across their organisations.
The renowned Biscoes commercial team work with Portsmouth businesses on all their legal needs, including commercial property transactions, mergers and acquisitions, share sales and purchases, commercial dispute resolution and employment matters.
The head of department, Graeme Quar, Portsmouth university’s resident entrepreneur, and the commercial team were due to deliver a number of seminars for local business owners, on topics such as marketing and growth. Since the Covid 19 pandemic, these seminars have been updated to online seminars in order to reach as many people as safely as possible.
Biscoes’ work within the legal sector has been recognised with various local and national awards and nominations, including being shortlisted for Large Business of the Year and Employer of the Year at Portsmouth News’ 2020 Business Excellence Awards. Biscoes also scooped the Hampshire Incorporated Law Society award for Firm of the Year (under 20 partners) and the LawNet UK 2019 Enterprise Award.
Lee said of the firm: “Biscoes Solicitors are part of the fabric of the great city of Portsmouth and we are proud to continue our work here and across Hampshire, supporting individuals and businesses throughout their triumphs and more difficult times. We care deeply about our people, and in turn our people care deeply about doing the best job for the clients we serve.”
She added: “As we like to say… ‘When it’s important to you, come to us’.”