Charity Partner and joint head of Politics, Elections and Campaigning
Simon specialises in charity, social enterprise and political law. As head of BWB’s Politics, Elections and Campaigning team, recognised by Legal 500 as a leading individual, he has particular expertise advising on the structuring, governance, financing and operation of political and campaigning organisations, including political parties, candidates, charities and non-party campaigners.
Simon also advises a wide range of charities, social enterprises, mutuals, social purpose businesses and other civil society organisations on establishment, financing, governance, mergers, collaboration, restructuring and trading activities. His practice includes regular advice on social finance and investment, cross-border charitable activity and philanthropy. Simon also leads BWB’s Environment and Sustainability team and is a director of Friends of the Earth, reflecting his interest in advising environmental organisations on campaigning, environmental financing and community energy.
Examples of recent work
- Advising Britain Stronger In Europe, designated as the lead campaign group on the Remain side of the EU Referendum debate, on electoral and referendum law compliance and fundraising.
- Advising on the first UK listed charity bond issue by the Mencap subsidiary Golden Lane Housing, through the Retail Charity Bonds platform on the ORB market of the London Stock Exchange.
- Appointment by the Cabinet Office and Lord Hodgson to provide legal advice on his independent statutory review of non-party campaigning law and regulation, following amendment of those rules by the “Lobbying Act”.
- Advising household name charities and campaigning organisations on charity law and election law in relation to the 2015 General Election, the 2016 Scottish, Welsh and London elections and the EU Referendum, including Avaaz, 38 Degrees, Citizens Advice, the Climate Coalition, Green Alliance and Shelter.
- Advising Hackney Community Transport on its innovative revenue-linked social financing by a consortia of investors in 2010 and re-financing in 2015
- Advising Nationwide Foundation, Ecology Building Society and Charity Bank on social banking and building society law, including interaction with capital adequacy and charity law issues.
- Advising the dual-qualified US-UK charitable foundation of a global investment bank on governance, regulatory compliance, taxation issues and international grant-making
- Advising on the structuring of new charities and social enterprises and their ongoing operations, including dual charitable and non-charitable campaigning organisations.
Qualifications and career
- Oxford University, BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics, 2001
- Admitted as a solicitor at Slaughter and May, 2007
- Joined Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2008
- Secondment as acting head of legal of The Abbeyfield Society, a charitable social housing provider association, 2009
- Appointed Partner of BWB 2014
Pro bono, memberships and appointments
- Director of Friends of the Earth, England, Wales & Northern Ireland
- Active involvement in sectoral campaigns for amendment of Charity Commission EU referendum guidance, against the Lobbying Act, in support of social investment tax relief and in relation to the feed in tariff regime for community scale energy generation
- Regular lecturing, authorship, article writing and pro bono advice, including as a visiting lecturer at CASS Business School and recent articles in the Guardian, the Lawyer, the Solicitors Journal, Civil Society and Third Sector.
- Member of the Charity Law Association
- Member of the UK Environmental Law Association