Bates Wells

Charities Department

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What the team is known for Top-rated charities team providing a comprehensive service for several of the most prominent charities in the country across a broad range of sectors including health, child protection and animal welfare. Several of the lawyers sit on the boards of different charity-related bodies. Advises on a full range of regulatory work, including governance, fund-raising and trustee issues, as well as a broad range of commercial issues, including investments, mergers, restructurings and corporate partnerships. Also offers standout expertise assisting clients with contentious issues, including inquiries by the Charity Commission.

Strengths An impressed client describes the firm as "the frontrunners in the market," before going on to praise the lawyers for their "experience, expertise and high-quality advice."

Another client remarks: "The team demonstrates a holistic approach in providing legal services and a willingness to understand and be responsive to the client's broader needs beyond the strict legal advice sought. This means that the advice provided is properly contextualised, leading to better-informed decisions and outcomes."

Work highlights Assisted the RSPB and a coalition of other trusts and charitable bodies with an application to seek a landmark charity law judgment concerning responsible investment, which could oblige charities to divest from companies that contribute to climate change.

Notable practitioners

Abbie Rumbold frequently advises charities and social enterprises and is experienced in mutualisation, procurement and state aid matters. She possesses additional expertise in governance and fund-raising issues. "She is solution-focused and thinks through different scenarios to resolve issues," clients report.

Lawrence Simanowitz regularly assists large charities with regulatory questions and is experienced in safeguarding, governance and constitutional matters. He also advises charities on fund-raising and data protection issues. A client reports: "He was instrumental in helping us think through what was appropriate in the context of our organisation concerning our regulatory obligations."

Luke Fletcher takes on substantial charity law mandates for a variety of charity and social investment clients. His broad practice includes assisting with charity fund formations and corporate reorganisations. A client values the way that he "identifies what needs fixing and then goes about it in a very measured and insightful way."

Philip Kirkpatrick is a leading figure in the third-sector legal market. In addition to heading its charity and social enterprise department, he acts as the firm's deputy managing partner. He has asts a track record of significant mandates, advising high-profile clients on issues ranging from commercial partnerships and restructurings to inquiries by the Charity Commission. A client confirms: "Philip has an outstanding knowledge and understanding of charity law, combined with a totally pragmatic approach which cuts through the waffle and gets to the heart of the issues."

Rosamund McCarthy is a leading practitioner with experience in a wide range of charity law issues. She has notable expertise advising clients on regulatory matters and inquiries as well as assisting with corporate structuring and governance issues. Interviewees remark: "She is vastly knowledgeable, approachable and committed. She enters wholeheartedly into her client's world and is a great advocate."

Thea Longley is a well-known adviser in the charities market who is highly versed in sensitive regulatory work and fund-raising matters. Her practice also includes assisting with restructuring initiatives and providing general commercial advice. One client appreciates that "she tailors her advice and her approach to the type of organisation you are."