Recommendations

  • Recognised as a Key Lawyer in charity law

    Legal 500 2020

  • Luke Fletcher is 'Genuinely excellent'

    Legal 500 2020

  • Luke is 'pragmatic and reasoned and particularly likeable'

    Legal 500 2020

  • Luke gives 'excellent advice and guidance'

    Legal 500 2018

  • Luke ‘provides straightforward advice on the most complex matters’

    Legal 500 2017

  • Luke Fletcher is a key contact for social finance and charities investing.

    Legal 500 2016

  • Developed the test for B Corp certification in the UK

    The Times Best Law Firms 2020

Experience

I co-lead the firm’s multi-disciplinary Impact Economy practice, which advises clients seeking to have a positive social impact through their business and other activities.

Within the Impact Economy practice, I lead a team of lawyers whose collective practice spans charity, social enterprise, responsible business and impact investing.

I regularly advise on the boundaries and interplay between the worlds of charity and business. My work often involves structuring relationships appropriately where charities are interacting with businesses or operating in market contexts.

Clients vary from international NGOs, household name charities, Governments, major corporates and investment banks, to purpose driven businesses, impact investors, impact entrepreneurs and philanthropists.

Areas of focus include

  • Advising founders, senior executives and boards in relation to governance matters
  • Providing strategic legal advice for clients engaged in complex negotiations
  • Designing new and innovative legal and constitutional structures
  • Advising on high-profile difficult, complex or unusual charity registrations

I have worked on many of the most significant developments in the growing Impact Economy, including:

  • The structuring of key institutions such as Big Society Capital and Social Finance
  • Advising the European Commission on the law and regulation of social enterprise across Europe
  • Working in Government on the design of social investment tax relief
  • Creating governance principles for community interest companies which are endorsed by the CIC Regulator
  • Making the original argument for a new statutory social investment power for charities
  • Creating the official model documents and guidance on social impact bonds
  • Developing the legal and governance requirements for B Corps
  • Conceiving and designing Purposely to help businesses to embed purpose in different ways
  • Initiating legal action to test the contemporary court interpretation of trustee fiduciary duty when investing.

Highlights

  • I am advising a wide range of clients responding to the coronavirus pandemic

    This emergency response work has ranged from advising Social Investment Business on the formation of the Resilience and Recovery Loan Fund, developing structures to facilitate provision of funding to community level charities, advising foundations on the release of funds, advising on the making of grants to fund virus related R&D by life science businesses, forming a venture to develop coronavirus virus therapeutics, advising a community organising platform on its administration of Covid mutual aid groups, as well as advising clients on directors duties’, restructuring and insolvency and the conduct of virtual general meetings and other procedures

  • I am advising businesses and investors on transition to B Corp status and on other ways to articulate and embed purpose

    This pioneering work involves advising a wide range of firms - from iconic multinationals and high growth SMEs to ambitious start-ups - on the articulation and embedding of purpose and the different and sometimes unique ways this can be approached and documented, including advising on corporate governance implications generally and during key events, such as mergers, acquisitions and insolvency

  • I advised on the reorganisation and expansion of the Big Society Trust group

    This involved advising on the process and constitutional and governance implications of bringing two new entities - Fair4All Finance and the Youth Futures Foundation, endowed with £65m and £90m of dormant assets respectively - into the Big Society Trust group and under its ultimate constitutional oversight

  • I advised the Home Office on the structure of the £200m Youth Endowment Fund

    This included advice on choice of legal form, funding terms and protection of funds

  • I advised on the formation of Engage Britain, a prominent new think tank
  • I advised a consortium of institutional investors who are seeking a new landmark judgment on responsible investment in the light of the climate emergency
  • I advised on the formation and governance of the Grenfell Foundation to provide long term support to the survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire and those bereaved
  • I advised DCMS on the legal structure of Fair4All, a new entity which will use funds received from dormant accounts to finance businesses addressing financial inclusion
  • I advised the OECD on the legal aspects of the development of social enterprise ecosystems
  • I advised the Government Inclusive Economy Unit on governance options for inclusive and purpose driven businesses
  • I advised LifeArc on the monetisation of its royalty interest in a blockbuster drug
  • I advised on the reorganisation of the Church Investors Group and its establishment as a charity
  • I advised the Council of the Inns of Court in relation to its registration as a charity and its charitable activities
  • I advised on the reorganisation of a leading independent school subject to a complex Charity Commission statutory inquiry
  • I advised an influential think tank on a high profile Charity Commission regulatory review
  • I worked on developing the legal requirements for B Corps in the UK
  • I advised the Cabinet Office and others on the development of social impact bonds
  • I advised the City of London on its social investment strategy and approach
  • I created new financing instruments and new investment funds for social impact
  • I advised on the establishment and operations of credit unions and CDFIs
  • I advised on equity and debt capital raising by charities and social enterprises
  • I advised charitable foundations on investment activity
  • I advised on charity formation, trading and mergers
  • I advised on constitutional and governance issues

Qualifications and career

  • Clifford Chance New York, scholarship placement, 2002
  • University of Nottingham, LLB Law with American Law, 2003
  • Trainee solicitor at White & Case, 2005
  • Admitted as a solicitor at Bates Wells, 2007
  • Secondments to the Social Investment Team at the Cabinet Office, 2011-13
  • Partner at Bates Wells, 2013

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Co-founder of esela – The Legal Network for Social Impact
  • Member of the founding team of B Lab UK and currently Vice Chair
  • Co-author of the English law requirements for B Corps
  • Member of the Advisory Council of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
  • Working with Professor Colin Mayer and the British Academy on its ground-breaking Future of the Corporation project
  • Member of the Advisory Board of Resurgo Ventures
  • Member of the CIC Regulator’s Technical Panel
  • 15 years’ of board experience in a wide variety of roles
  • A founding member of The Conduit Club