David’s focus is on the social economy, spanning everything from how businesses can flourish whilst acting more responsibly to how the state can improve procurement of services for the public good; from how investors can achieve social as well as financial returns from their investments to how civil society organisations (whether charities or social enterprises, co-operatives or other forms of social business) can prosper. This is particularly, though not exclusively, in respect of the south west, where David is active in the vibrant social change sector and a research fellow at the University of Bristol.

Examples of recent work

  • Social impact bonds – including Rough Sleeping SIBs, Fair Chance Fund, Youth Engagement Fund, children on the edge of care and educational improvement
  • Advice to not for profit purchasers of renewable energy schemes on refinancing and introducing community ownership models
  • Advice to public sector employees looking to create independent social enterprises, including health, local authority and probation services
  • Advice to community groups creating co-operatives and community benefit societies, including community energy companies
  • Advice to civil society organisations providing public services, including payment results contracting
  • Mergers and acquisitions of civil society businesses
  • Partnership arrangements between for profit and not for profit organisations
  • Advice on international licensing and distribution agreements
  • Incorporation of charities, community interest companies and industrial and provident societies
  • Funding and refinancing of civil society organisations
  • Public procurement advice to public sector bodies wanting to strengthen local economies
  • Advice to education providers on disposal of assets

Qualifications and career

  • Oriel College, Oxford University, 1984-87
  • College of Law, Chancery Lane, 1989-91
  • Articled clerk and assistant solicitor at Freshfields, 1992- 95
  • Associate and assistant solicitor at Bevan Ashford, 1995-2001
  • Partner at Bevan Brittan LLP (formerly Bevan Ashford), 2001-11
  • MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility 2010-12
  • Consultant at Bates Wells Braithwaite from 2011

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Research Fellow, University of Bristol, 2017
  • Secretary and former Chair of The Community Farm, a community supported agriculture project in Somerset
  • Director of Bristol Pound CIC
  • Co-optee, Sustainable Future Programme, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • Former Trustee of the Ethical Property Foundation
  • Former Trustee of Self Help Community Housing Association
  • Former Director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC
  • Recent Pro bono advice to NEF, Action for Happiness, Foundation for Compassion and Wisdom, Real Farming Trust,
  • Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility at Bevan Brittan, 2008-2010
  • Member of Diversity Committee at Bevan Brittan, 2007-2010
  • Leader of Freshfields’ pro bono legal advice service at Tower Hamlets Law Centre, 1993-1994


  • ‘Mission-Led Business: CSR Reboot or Paradigm Shift’, research paper co-written with Nina Boeger
  • ‘The Arrival of B Corps in Britain: Another Milestone towards a More Nuanced Economy’, chapter in the forthcoming Shaping the Corporate Landscape, Hart Publishing, 2018
  • ‘PPP Structures: LIFT & BSF’, chapter in A Practical Guide to PPP in the UK, City & Financial Publishing, 2009
  • ‘Setting the Scene’ Chapter in Butterworth’s PFI Manual, 1998
  • Pioneers Post articles,, Social Impact Bonds are go (Feb 2017) and What’s so special about Social Investment? (Jan 2017)
  • University of Bristol blogs, Never Mind the Bake Off, here’s the Great Business Bake In (Apr 2017) and What is the point of Business? (Dec 2016)