The world of business is changing.

The market is increasingly demanding accountability and transparency from organisations around their environmental, social and governance commitments. If you are focusing on ESG, we are here to help.

We understand your priorities because we share them. ESG is in our DNA. We were the first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp, cementing our commitment to go beyond profit to have a positive impact on our people, our communities and the environment.

We bring that commitment and expertise to all of our legal advice.

Using the law as a force for good

We believe that law can be a powerful lever to drive positive behaviours. We have a long history of using the law to make a difference. We registered the first charity to have sustainable development recognised as their charitable purpose and collaborated with government to create the Community Interest Company (CIC), a legal structure now used by over 14,000 organisations operating for the public good.

Today, we’re taking that idea even further. The Bates Wells team provided nearly five years of pro bono support to the challengers of Uber culminating in a Supreme Court decision that drivers for the app should be considered workers. We drafted the Better Business Act, promoting a statutory requirement for all companies to have, as a minimum, a corporate purpose and we’re working to establish the legal precedent that trustees have a duty to divest in fossil fuels, because the alternative harms the planet – and the charity’s beneficiaries.

When it comes to your environmental strategy, we can help you to minimise your impact at every level of your operations and throughout your supply chain, from climate-friendly clauses in contracts through to advising on your divestment strategy. We’ve been a net zero firm ourselves since 2019, so in working with us, you’re reducing your supply chain carbon emissions.

Supporting you in delivering social impact is core to our expertise. We’re the leading firm for purposeful businesses, charities and social enterprises. We also advise countless businesses on setting up foundations, charitable partnerships and corporate philanthropy. Our impact investment experts can also help you to amplify your social impact through your financial strategy.

Good governance is key to the successful delivery of any ESG strategy. You may be considering the best legal structure for your purposeful organisation. Perhaps you want to embed a commitment to a triple bottom line in your governing documents. Or maybe you’re looking to implement policies and procedures that will push your values throughout your organisation – and down your supply chain. We have the legal and regulatory expertise to guide you through.

Get in touch to find out how we can help you.


Purpose & Impact: Your roundup

Welcome to your roundup – a monthly selection of news hand-picked to keep you up to date with what’s going …
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Impact Focus: A purpose-driven approach to managing workforce disputes and supporting harmonious culture

Bates Wells convenes a regular Impact Counsels’ Forum for senior counsel working within impact investors, B Corps, and other purpose-driven …
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Resources and guides for B Corps

We’ve been instrumental in the establishment of B Corporations in the UK and invite you to tap into our experience …
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Understanding the Purpose & Impact landscape: The Impact Economy Policy Mapping Initiative

In 2020, an initiative began to trial a new approach to understanding what policy activity is happening across the ‘Impact …
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Bates Wells attends Better Business Day in Westminster

The 20th April marked a year since the launch of the Better Business campaign, which calls for the introduction of …
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