The name Bates Wells & Braithwaite London LLP is synonomous with charity work; the firm fields the largest dedicated charity and social enterprise team in the UK, and acts for over 2,000 charity clients
Legal 500 2011
We have acted for charities for 40 years. In that time we have developed a national reputation, built upon our pioneering developments in the charity sector and the first class service we provide. Our top tier rankings in the major independent legal directories and the client feedback we receive are testimony to our reputation.
We work for, and with, more charity clients than any other law firm. These range from household name organisations to community groups, and from innovative start-ups to networks which rank amongst the largest in the world.
Our lawyers are personally committed to the charity sector – holding at least 60 trusteeships and sitting on many sector-focussed committees and commissions.
Our extensive client base includes service providers, grant-making foundations, philanthropists, public authorities and advocacy/campaigning organisations. Their diverse causes span the world of voluntary endeavour, including aid and development, human rights, animal welfare, social housing, the science, health and social care sectors, the arts, the environment, minorities, faith and worship, community development and regeneration, research and education.
Examples of our clients are available on the CaritasData Top 3000 Charities list.
We provide a full range of specialist legal services to charities including:
- Establishment and registration of new organisations including charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs)
- Fundraising and tax advice
- Internal disputes
- Advice on grants and contracts
- Restructuring – from incorporations through to mergers and group re-organisations
- Compliance and regulatory work
- Political activities and campaigning
- Public procurement and state aid
- Social finance
Charities are also at the heart of many of our other practice areas and teams, which means they are used to dealing with the specialist requirements of the sector – from an employment team which understand clients with volunteers, to a property team which is familiar with the requirements of trust law, and a dispute resolution team which knows when restrictions apply to charity litigation.
To help keep our clients up to date with key legal developments and issues, we have an extensive events programme and produce regular specialist publications for charities – full details of which can be found in our Knowledge section.