About Barbal

Co-authoring collaboration technology, Barbal, is a completely new way to reach consensus and collaborate faster when drafting complex contractual documents. With Barbal software, you free your people to be experts, give everyone a voice and capture an audit trail. It reduces risk, and – even better – saves you time, money and stress.

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Founders Tom and Dave watched far too many organisations waste time on documents as their most qualified experts trawled through complex edits and version updates. All those experts needed was a simple way to open up the discussion, propose changes and reach consensus quickly – especially with collaborators working remotely or across multiple organisations. Legal contracts, construction documentation, technical publications or standards: they all need collaboration or transparent change negotiation on the path to finalising that master version. Barbal does that and makes it easy.  

Our unique drafting and review workflow allows:

  • any number of people to work on a document simultaneously and securely
  • a progressive approach to consensus leading to faster resolution of technical issues
  • organisations to simplify how they manage approvals and document publication iteratively

Yes, there is other software for document editing, but we all know problems appear when we work across teams or multiple organisations to negotiate or co-author a document. And it causes most pain where contract terms need to be accurate and specific. We wanted an end to that pain, so we partnered up, merged our names and created Barbal.

Dr Tom Bartley, Barbal CEO

Tom Bartley

Co-founder and CEO of Barbal, Tom takes a visionary approach to solving collaboration and negotiation headaches. He focuses on aligning people and tech processes to power up productivity – to gain impressive results. His starting point is to help you reach a shared vision of what is possible for your future innovation.

From studying civil engineering at the University of Manchester, Tom stepped into WSP UK (formerly Parsons Brinckerhoff), working there alongside completing his Engineering Doctorate at University of Bristol. Tom truly is a master of systems, digitisation and building information modelling. (BIM).

After many BIM and major infrastructure projects, Tom worked on a project (where he met Dave) that involved updating 400 standards on 12,000 pages of documentation with 2,000 stakeholders and reviewers. Seeing the opportunity to help others, Tom and Dave gave into their frustrations and created Barbal. 

Dave Balderstone, Barbal CTO

Dave Balderstone

CTO and co-founder of Barbal, Dave also heads up the Operations and User Experience teams for Barbal. With his analytical approach, Dave pinpoints where change is needed and drives innovation using his vast experience in process change, application design and IT systems. Dave is the gatekeeper of the Barbal product roadmap, ensuring it is easy to use and has all the checks, balances and controls to securely support every negotiation or collaboration process. 

Dave has led software development teams in several industries, working for technical consultancy, Purple Secure Systems, the Met Office and BAE Systems. He also did a spell in the USA while with defence integrator, Raytheon Systems. 

Studying computer science at Cardiff University, for his final year project, Dave developed a learning aid for dyslexic children and completed a software engineering placement with IBM UK Labs. He’s seen what works to make software engineering more agile and firmly believes change is needed in LegalTech to make life easier for the experts.

Karl Loudon, Barbal Head of LegalTech

Karl Loudon

Barbal Head of LegalTech, Karl, focuses on complex commercial and corporate transactions where experts and stakeholders come together to draft, review and authorise documents. He is experienced in working with in-house counsel to achieve mergers and acquisitions. Karl has also built innovative digital products to support legal clients, changing how they interact with end-clients.  

Karl studied graphic design and visual communication at the University of Wales Trinity St David, where his creative background helped him bridge into designing creative technology solutions. His commercial experience has taken him in diverse directions since then, also landing him on the TEDx stage as a speaker – exploring the role of mistakes and failure in encouraging greater creativity.

Get in touch

As a team, Barbal’s aim is to deliver real value in customer relationships by working with you long term to integrate what you’ve got with what you need.

Talk to us if complex documents are eating up your time.