Partner

Experience

Luke co-leads the firm’s Impact Economy practice and advises clients seeking to have a positive social impact through their business and other activities.

Luke is an expert on the boundaries and interplay between the worlds of charity and business - his work often involves structuring relationships correctly and appropriately where charities are interacting with businesses or operating in market contexts. His team’s practice therefore spans charity, social enterprise, responsible business and impact investing.

Clients vary from international NGOs, household name charities, Governments, major corporates and investment banks, to purpose driven businesses, impact investors, entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Many clients need strategic, tailored and practical advice.

Areas of focus include:

  • Advising boards and senior executives in relation to governance matters
  • Providing strategic legal advice for clients engaged in complex negotiations
  • Designing new and innovative legal and constitutional structures
  • Advising on difficult, complex or unusual charity registrations

Luke has worked on many of the most significant developments in the growing ‘Impact Economy’, including:

  • The structuring of key institutions such as Big Society Capital and Social Finance
  • Advising the European Commission on the law and regulation of social enterprise across Europe
  • Working in Government on the design of social investment tax relief
  • Creating governance principles for community interest companies which are endorsed by the CIC Regulator
  • Making the argument for the new statutory social investment power for charities
  • Creating the official model documents and guidance on social impact bonds
  • Developing the legal and governance requirements for B Corps
  • Designing and launching Purposely to help businesses to embed purpose in different ways

Examples of recent work

  • Advising the OECD on the legal and regulatory aspects of the development of social enterprise ecosystems
  • Advising the Government Inclusive Economy Unit on governance options for inclusive and purpose driven businesses
  • Advising LifeArc on the monetisation of its royalty interest in a blockbuster immuno-oncology drug 
  • Advising Global Innovation Fund on the structuring of its investment activities
  • Advising multinational firms and SMEs on the adoption of profit with purpose governance structures
  • Advising on the reorganisation of the Church Investors Group and its establishment as a charity
  • Advising the Council of the Inns of Court in relation to its registration as a charity and its charitable activities
  • Advising a leading independent school subject to a complex Charity Commission statutory inquiry
  • Advising an influential think tank on a high profile Charity Commission regulatory review of its activities
  • Developing the legal requirements for B Corps in the UK
  • Advising the Cabinet Office and others on the development of social impact bonds
  • Advising the City of London on its social investment strategy and approach
  • Creating new financing instruments and new investment funds intended to create social impact
  • Advising on the establishment and operations of credit unions and CDFIs
  • Advising on equity and debt capital raising by charities and social enterprises
  • Advising charitable foundations on investment activity
  • Advising on charity formation, trading and mergers
  • Advising on constitutional and governance issues

Qualifications and career

  • Clifford Chance New York, scholarship placement, 2002
  • University of Nottingham, LLB Law with American Law, 2003
  • Trainee solicitor at White & Case, 2005
  • Admitted as a solicitor at Bates Wells Braithwaite, 2007
  • Secondments to the Social Investment Team at the Cabinet Office, 2011-13
  • Partner at BWB, 2013

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Co-founder and President of ESELA – The Legal Network for Social Impact
  • Board Member of B Lab UK and co-author of the English law requirements for B Corps
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
  • Member of the British Academy’s Steering Group on ‘The Future of the Corporation’
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Resurgo Ventures
  • Member of the CIC Regulator’s Technical Panel
  • 15 years’ of board experience in a wide variety of roles