Partner and Head of Membership Organisations


Thea works with a broad range of not-for-profit organisations. Her work for charities and social enterprises includes: start-ups, constitutional advice including restructuring, and governance reviews. She also advises charities working internationally on legal arrangements with overseas branches, as well as advising on contracts, grant agreements and fundraising contracts.

Examples of recent work

  • Thea has been appointed as the consultant editor for the charity section of the leading legal text book Halsbury’s Laws of England
  • Advice to an international NGO about the legal status of its overseas operations, and appropriate documentation to put in place between the UK Charity and overseas subsidiaries
  • Advice to the Football Foundation on its grant-making activity, including its award winning £60 million Barclays Spaces for Sport facility funding programme
  • Governance review of a medium-sized charity looking to update its articles of association to comply with the Companies Act 2006
  • Formation of various corporate foundations and advising on structuring the relationship and appropriate activities
  • Advice to sports governing bodies and professional sports clubs on funding grass roots activities through an associated charity, including setting up charities for the Football League, RFU, ECB, Newcastle United FC and Ipswich Town FC
  • Advising on various mergers, including the transfer of Knowhow Non profit from Cass Business School to NCVO and an eight-way merger of infrastructure charities in Suffolk
  • Advising on governance reviews and constitutional updates for charities, royal charter bodies, trade associations, sports clubs, national governing bodies and membership organisations including British Council, Football Foundation, National Childbirth Trust, Girlguiding UK and British Menopause Society

Qualifications and career

  • University of St Andrews, MA English and Modern History, 1996
  • Taught English in China, 1996
  • College of Law, London, 1999
  • Joined Bates Wells Braithwaite, 1999
  • Admitted as a solicitor in 2001
  • Partner at BWB in 2008
  • Secondment to the Strategy Unit at the Cabinet Office, working as the only lawyer on the team that wrote 'Private Action, Public Benefit', the review which led to the Charities Act 2006 and the introduction of community interest companies

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Charity Law Association
  • Charity Commission approved practitioner for interim manager services
  • Member of Sports and Recreation Alliance
  • Co-wrote 'Charities - The New Law 2006: A Practical Guide to the Charities Acts.'
  • Lectures on legal topics including constitutional issues, charity legislation, outsourcing, registering as a CASC, fundraising and governance
  • Co-wrote 'Keeping it Legal: Legal Forms for Social Enterprise with Social Enterprise Coalition'
  • Contributed to Jordans 'Charities Administration Service'
  • Trustee of two charities including The Multiple Sclerosis Trust