What’s your Bailiwick?

Bailiwick is an old English 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 firm of modern legal minds yet with traditional client values) we thought it perfectly applied to our area of knowledge and specialty hence Bailiwick Legal!

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