Our commitment to the wider community runs through the firm. We support the public interest through initiatives ranging from financial commitment – providing free legal advice, and discounted fees for charities and social enterprises – to campaigning for legal change and firm-wide involvement in volunteering and charitable activity.
Pro Bono Legal Work
We provide free legal advice to some charities, social enterprises and to other organisations and individuals. Our pro bono work focuses on advising those who cannot afford to pay for legal advice, and on matters where there is an issue of wider public interest at stake. This includes taking referrals from LawWorks and Advocates for International Development, providing volunteers for three legal advice clinics and advising parents of children with special educational needs through our links with the charity IPSEA.
BWB is proud that its partners, solicitors, trainees and paralegals volunteer at the South West London Law Centres’ (SWLLC) drop in pro bono advice clinic in Battersea. SWLLC works across six South West London boroughs to assist thousands of people who would otherwise be unable to afford the services of a lawyer.
See our Pro Bono page for more details.
Charity Fee Discount
We offer discounted fees to charity and social enterprise clients, who account for a significant proportion of BWB’s work. In total, the fee discount is worth over £1 million each year to the charity and social enterprise sector.
Free Use of Facilities at BWB
For our charity and not-for-profit clients, we offer the use of our convenient conference room facilities overlooking St. Paul's Cathedral for trustee meetings, launches and other special events. We estimate that benefit to be worth over £30,000 per year. Please note that this is only for our clients and space is limited during normal office hours.
We regard it as a high priority for our people to take on charity trusteeships. Between us, we currently hold over 60 voluntary trusteeships, school governorships and similar positions.
If you are seeking a trustee for your charity, we suggest you use the Trustees Unlimited service or ask your usual contact at BWB for more information. We have solicitors with charity law and other relevant experience who are willing to serve as trustees. as well as serving on boards of trustees, we commit significant time to serving on committees that support the work of the charity and social enterprise sectors and other public interest bodies.
We speak at many external events and conferences to help charities and social enterprises keep up to date with the law which affects them. We also run regular training sessions for lawyers who are not charity and social enterprise law specialists. These aim to equip other lawyers to provide pro bono advice on issues relevant to those sectors.
Contributing to the Development of Charity Law
As the leading charity law firm in the UK, we are able to draw on our experience to initiate significant developments in the law, which benefit many charities and social enterprises. Our commitment to contribute to the sector through innovation of this kind has led to groundbreaking legal reforms, including:
- obtaining tax relief for amateur sport through the introduction of community amateur sports clubs,
- the creation of the community interest company for social enterprises,
- the right for most charities to buy trustee indemnity insurance for their trustees.
We regularly contribute to consultations and working parties about proposed changes in the law that affect charities and social enterprises.
Volunteering and Fundraising
We operate a payroll giving scheme to promote charitable donations by staff, and have recently formulated a volunteering programme and policy to encourage all staff to undertake volunteering.
Working with Other Organisations
We also support Poet in the City and host occasional breakfast poetry readings.
- We run work experience placements from a range of schools
- We support the London Living Wage
- Organising a 'Kids in the City' day with The Brokerage
- Sponsoring The Guardian Social Enterprise Competition in association with haysmacintyre