BWB believes that as a firm we have a responsibility to play a positive role in our community and to make a meaningful contribution in a wider social context.
We are committed to working with our local communities and charities through pro bono work, fundraising and volunteering.
BWB is proud to be the first UK law firm to achieve B Corporation certification. Becoming a certified B Corp has provided us with a framework that challenges us to further implement and apply our founding principles into a fast changing world. It has also provided us with the opportunity to become part of an innovative movement where we can join others with whom we share similar commitments.
To maintain our status as a B Corp, a re-assessment will take place every two years. We have set ourselves on a journey with B Corp to continually find ways to improve our performance.
Internal ‘B Corp Champions’ have been established to have an increased awareness of what the firm is doing as part of its B Corp journey to become even more socially responsible and to feed back to colleagues on the B Corp journey and inviting new ideas for change/improvement.
Pro Bono Legal Work
BWB provides 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.
Please see our Pro Bono page for further details.
BWB regard it as a high priority for our staff to take on charity trusteeships and between us we currently hold over 70 voluntary trusteeships, school governorships and similar positions.
Charity Fee Discount
BWB offers discounted fees to charity and social enterprise clients, who account for a significant proportion of BWB’s work.
BWB 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, BWB is able to draw on our experience to initiate significant developments in the law which benefits many charities and social enterprises.
As part of our commitment to our clients, we also spearhead legal reforms that impact on the whole charitable sector, including:
- The rewriting of guidance on political campaigning;
- The negotiation of sustainable development as a charitable purpose; and
- The right for most charities to buy trustee indemnity insurance for their trustees.
We are also known for our innovation in developing new and improved legal forms, such as
- The Charitable Incorporated Organisation;
- The Community Amateur Sports Club; and
- The Community Interest Company, among others.
We have made a formal commitment to favour suppliers who have B-Corp certification or are registered on the ‘Buy Social’ directory.
An exercise has been undertaken to review all existing suppliers to ascertain any socially responsible credentials/values via a short questionnaire. This is being used to create a baseline to work towards increasing the percentage of suppliers we utilise who are socially responsible.
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.
BWB operates a volunteering programme for all staff which allows volunteers to take two days (14 hours) of paid firm time each year to carry out volunteering activities.
The BWB Foundation and Fundraising
BWB has a staff fundraising team who organise participation in fundraising activities. The team’s main aim is to help and assist partners and staff within the organisation to take part in fundraising events coordinated by various charities.
The firm has also established the BWB Foundation, to co-ordinate firm-wide giving and pro bono activity.
Additionally BWB operates a payroll giving scheme to promote charitable donations by staff.