Origins of Gibson & Co.

On the scaffold, minutes before he was beheaded for his part in the 1715 Rebellion, the Earl of Derwentwater turned to his lawyer and friend Jasper Gibson and asked him to draft his Last Will and Testament. Gibson, attending the rebel leader in his last hours, had nothing to write with. Taking a sharp instrument (the nature of which is not recorded), he made an incision in his skin and wrote Derwentwater’s final instructions in blood on the cuff of his shirt.

Over the ensuing 300 years, Gibson & Co. has been no less resourceful in looking after its clients. In matters of law, there is very little that the firm has not seen.

Today it operates globally, resolving disputes worth many millions of pounds and representing clients at every level of court and tribunal. The firm has a diverse list of clients and acts for many organisations, including Credit Suisse; the European Union Commission; the Arab Republic of Egypt; the Sri Lankan government and Superdrug Stores plc. It also maintains strong profiles in family, property, agriculture and regional legal matters. In 2013, the firm added a Corporate Department, headed by Peter Clark.

The Legal 500, the UK’s leading survey of law firms, which takes references from 250,000 clients, says Gibson & Co. provides an “outstanding and personal service, and its business acumen is second to none” for commercial litigation in 2014.

The firm was shortlisted for The Legal 500’s Regional Firm of the Year for Dispute Resolution. Gibson & Co. partners Jane Gibson (‘very bright and tough’) and Toby Gibson (‘a good strategist’) together make up half of only four Leading Individuals (as rated by The Legal 500) who come from the North East.

In its 2015 rankings, Chambers and Partners comment that ‘They provide excellent representation’. In the same survey, Jane Gibson is described as possessing ‘vast experience of litigation’. Toby Gibson’s ‘immaculate grasp of the key issues’ is also singled out for praise.

Since the high drama of the Derwentwater affair, Gibson & Co. has remained a quick-witted, reliable and client-focused partner for countless individuals and institutions. As Senior Partner Tony Gibson says of the firm’s 300th Anniversary, “It’s unusual but the law is what I do; it’s what my family has always done. A new client recently told me that ‘you don’t get to be in business for 300 years unless you’re pretty good at it’. I suppose he might have a point”.