Experience

I have been a lawyer for over 25 years, training with a magic circle firm, being a partner of a national practice for ten years and for, eight years and counting, working with Bates Wells to support purpose led organisations.

I have never felt more keenly than in these extraordinary times the need and desire to apply my legal skills and business experience to help clients committed to social and environmental change. This includes charities, social enterprises raising, and social and impact investors offering, investment.

I work with community owned and focused organisations providing renewable energy and enterprises active in the circular economy. I advise on procurement, state aid and contracting and commercial issues for charities and social enterprises delivering public services.

Increasingly, I support commercial organisations looking to embed purpose in their governance and practice.

Recent projects

  • I acted for a charity which bought the assets of a commercial business, as it was confident it could succeed where the for profit operation had failed.

    This involved translating a thorough due diligence process into a heavily negotiated sale and purchase agreement containing suitable warranties, disclosures and price adjustment mechanisms.

  • Broadband for the Rural North is an innovative community benefit society which enables rural communities to access the fastest internet access available, work to make it happen and share in the financial returns it brings.

    It wanted to raise extra funding to extend its reach. I advised it on its public bond offering, drafting the legal document, reviewing the offer documentation and supporting on the process to be followed.

  • Big Issue Invest is one of the largest funders of social impact bonds in the UK. I have been advising it through a series of projects

    Not simply putting the funding in place but ensuring the various moving parts on each project are understood so that risk can be understood and allocated appropriately and the contractual arrangements between stakeholders are consistent and support the common objective of each SIB.

  • Social impact bonds – advising service providers and investors across multiple sectors and programmes
  • Advice to not for profit purchasers of renewable energy schemes on refinancings and introducing community ownership models
  • Structuring and governance advice around incorporation of charities, community interest companies and community benefit societies
  • Funding and refinancing of civil society organisations, including blended finance, bond and share issues and project finance
  • Public procurement and state aid advice to public sector bodies and civil society organisations
  • Advice to public sector employees looking to create independent social enterprises, including health, local authority and probation services
  • Advice to community groups creating co-operatives and community benefit societies, including land trusts and renewable energy companies
  • Advice to civil society organisations providing public services, including payment by results contracting
  • Mergers and acquisitions of civil society businesses
  • Partnership arrangements between for profit and not for profit organisations
  • Advice on international licensing and distribution agreements
  • Advice to public sector and education establishments on disposals of assets

Qualifications and career

  • Oriel College, Oxford University, 1984-87
  • College of Law, Chancery Lane, 1989-91
  • Articled clerk and assistant solicitor at Freshfields, 1992- 95
  • Associate and assistant solicitor at Bevan Ashford, 1995-2001
  • Partner at Bevan Brittan LLP (formerly Bevan Ashford), 2001-11
  • MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility 2010-12
  • Consultant at Bates Wells from 2011

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Research Fellow, University of Bristol, 2017
  • Director of Bristol Pound CIC
  • Co-optee, Sustainable Future Programme, Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust
  • Former Trustee of the Ethical Property Foundation and of Self Help Community Housing Association
  • Former Director of Bristol Green Capital Partnership CIC and Chair and Secretary of The Community Farm
  • Recent Pro bono advice to NEF, Action for Happiness, Foundation for Compassion and Wisdom, Real Farming Trust
  • Head of Corporate and Social Responsibility at Bevan Brittan, 2008-2010
  • Member of Diversity Committee at Bevan Brittan, 2007-2010
  • Leader of Freshfields’ pro bono legal advice service at Tower Hamlets Law Centre, 1993-1994

Publications & Lectures

  • ‘Mission-Led Business: CSR Reboot or Paradigm Shift’, research paper co-written with Nina Boeger
  • ‘The Arrival of B Corps in Britain: Another Milestone towards a More Nuanced Economy’, chapter in the forthcoming Shaping the Corporate Landscape, Hart Publishing, 2018
  • ‘PPP Structures: LIFT & BSF’, chapter in A Practical Guide to PPP in the UK, City & Financial Publishing, 2009
  • ‘Setting the Scene’ Chapter in Butterworth’s PFI Manual, 1998
  • Charity Finance articles, Why SIBs don’t work and why we need them (Oct 2018) and Another false dawn for social investment (Aug 2018)
  • Pioneers Post articles, Social Impact Bonds are go (Feb 2017) and What’s so special about Social Investment? (Jan 2017)
  • University of Bristol blogs, Never Mind the Bake Off, here’s the Great Business Bake In (Apr 2017) and What is the point of Business? (Dec 2016)