At Bailiwick Legal we are frequently asked the meaning behind our name.
Bailiwick is a noun and it’s modern use is defined as: the sphere in which one has superior knowledge or authority : a special domain (Merriam Websters Dictionary)
The first known use of bailiwick was in the 15th century deriving from traditional Middle English word for ‘bailif’ (a Sherrif) and “wik,” a Middle English word for “dwelling place” or “village.” It was used to refer to “ the person responsible or in authority for a particular area”(the Sherriff). Over time this concept of a sphere of responsibility was applied to skills and expertise rather than a physical location and by the 19th Century it’s special domain use was dominant.
Considered an old-fashioned word nowadays you will still hear it mentioned in reference to a specialist skill set and area of authority or knowledge. Here at Bailiwick Legal (being a a firm of modern legal minds yet with traditional client values) we thought it perfectly applied to our area of knowledge and speciality hence Bailiwick Legal!