The experienced team comprised of dedicated specialists remains at the forefront of significant policy and legislation developments within the sector."
BWB’s unique combination of corporate, commercial, social finance and charity law expertise makes us acknowledged leaders in the area of social enterprise. We have been at the heart of the sector for over 20 years, working with many of its most innovative companies – from the establishment of the Fairtrade Foundation in the early 1990s, to Charity Bank a decade later, and Big Society Capital a decade after that.
We are renowned for our fresh thinking and our policy work in this field, such as the creation of the Community Interest Company, which we devised and then worked with government to implement. The CIC model goes from strength to strength, with over 10,000 CICs in existence today. We advise the CIC Regulator via its technical committee and have helped develop guidance on CIC governance.
As a firm, we were deeply involved in initiating and shaping social investment tax relief. We advised the Cabinet Office on the law, regulation and tax treatment of social enterprise, which led to the case for a social investment tax relief. We later helped HM Treasury to shape the final form of the relief through our participation on its technical committee and have advised on a number of different deals and structures benefitting from the relief.
Together with our investment and impact advisory team, our social enterprise lawyers can advise on any aspect of setting up, financing and running a social enterprise, providing practical, commercial advice on:
- Establishment and structuring
- Public procurement, state aid and tendering
- Financing and investment (including equity finance, loans and grants)
- Contracts (including service level agreements)
- Intellectual property development and protection
- Business acquisition and sale
- Transfer of services (including Public Services & Mutuals)
- Real estate
- Dispute Resolution
Our commitment to the growing social enterprise sector goes wider than legal and finance advisory expertise – team members lecture widely, provide specialist training, campaign for the sector and contribute to books and publications. Many of us have extensive personal involvement as trustees and directors of charities and social enterprises.
Help for new organisations
If you are considering setting up a social enterprise, our decision tool for new organisations is free to use and will help you to decided on the best legal form for your organisation. The tool is part of our Get Legal online tool, providing a wealth of customised legal documents for social enterprises - click here for more.
We have worked with Social Enterprise UK, NCVO, ACEVO, and many others producing clear, practical guidance on how to establish and run social enterprises.
We advised the European Commission on social enterprise across Europe, as part of its Social Business Initiative, and we set up the European Social Enterprise Law Association.
We are currently supporting B Lab (UK) to promote the B Corp model in the UK.