“It has been a pleasure to work with you and thanks again for helping us turn (and keep) this dream a reality, the work you [Bates Wells] do in advising, supporting and protecting especially small charities like ours is invaluable and you should all be proud.”
Excellent in all areas of brand management
Excellent communication skills and knowledge
"He is extremely good at rapidly understanding a situation and recommending a best-fit solution"
Lawrence 'always offers a solution where we can't see one'
"Creative and flexible in his thinking, he doesn't just give you a narrow opinion."
In my experience, charities need their lawyers to see the bigger picture as well as having specialist knowledge.
Many of the clients I advise value a combination of skills including – understanding the aims of trustees and senior management; interpreting the requirements of regulators (including the Charity Commission, the Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner) as well as government departments such as DfID and DCMS; advising on and negotiating with partners and third parties (whether on grant agreements, service contracts, or mergers), and how to navigate through charity law – from establishing an organisation with (often novel) charitable objects, through to minor or fundamental constitutional or governance changes.
I chose this area of law because I value the important work being done by charities and social enterprises for the public benefit. I chose Bates Wells because we believe in combining our values and commitment to the sector with legal rigour, professionalism, and commercial expertise.
Some of the areas in which I have most experience include international organisations, the arts and creative sector, environmental and campaigning organisations, human rights bodies, philanthropy , and think-tanks.
Whilst the specifics of clients are confidential, I have had detailed and intensive experience of aggressive Charity Commission investigations and other regulatory intervention in relation to governance, safeguarding, fundraising, reputational issues and serious incident reporting. Sometimes it is necessary to push back firmnly. At other times that is not at all the right approach!
I have advised Sightsavers for more than a decade, during which time they have moved from a turnover in the mid tens of millions, to a turnover of over £300m. I have recently advised on a single contract with DfiD for nearly £100m, with multiple dimensions, including the subcontract with partner organisations, and documentation of the relationship with overseas governments.
One of the sad consequences of Brexit is the loss to the UK of outward facing internationalist organisations. Some of the fantastic clients, which I helped establish in the UK such as European Council on Foreign Relations and International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) have chosen to make this move and have sought my advice.
I am proud to have been external counsel for 12 years for this international foundation established and funded by financier-philanthropist George Soros.
On its 150 year old constitution which includes a Royal charter, several statues, and a unique membership structure.