It is with sadness that we announce the passing of our founder, Andrew Phillips, Baron Phillips of Sudbury. Andrew died peacefully on Sunday (9 April 2023), after a short illness, with his family at his side.

Andrew founded Bates Wells in 1970 and fought tirelessly to use the law as a force for good with both clients and within the greater legal sector, founding the Legal Action group in 1971 and setting up the Solicitors Pro Bono Group in 1996.  Andrew never shied away from saying that a legal system that only served the interests of the wealthiest sections of society was no legal system at all and was adamant that Bates Wells would be different.  His first trainee recruitment advert “We do not seek to maximise profits. We realise there is a life to live outside the office. We seek to serve the public interest as well as our own” mirrors the values and culture of the firm today.

After his retirement in 1998, Andrew joined the House of Lords where he continued to campaign for the third sector and was one of six peers on the joint pre-legislative scrutiny committee of the bill that was later passed as the Charities Act 2006.  Andrew retired from the House of Lords in 2015.

Our thoughts are with his family at this time.