Sophie previously practiced as a private client lawyer before transitioning to Bates Wells in March 2018 where she is a Solicitor in the Charity & Social Enterprise team and advises charities, social enterprises and individuals across a broad range of sectors.

Sophie’s practice includes charity establishment, trust law, philanthropy advice, governance and constitutional reviews, regulatory compliance, grant funding arrangements and restructures including mergers and incorporations.

Sophie regularly advises on technical charity law issues and structures including trusts, endowment funds and schemes, and Royal Charter bodies.

Examples of recent work

  • Advising on the terms of a permanent endowment and obtaining Charity Commission consent to a section 282 resolution to release the restriction
  • Advising on the application of the School Sites Act 1841 to land held for the benefit of a parish school
  • Advising a charitable residuary beneficiary under a will in challenging actions of an executor
  • Acting for the trustees of a charity subject to a statutory inquiry and appointment of an interim manager
  • Advising a large donor-advised fund on an international grant to an NGO
  • Advising a local community group on challenging a trustee’s application to the Charity Commission for a scheme to dispose of charitable property
  • Advising a grant-making charitable trust on the scope of its charitable objects and the benefits of restructuring as a CIO
  • Advising an unincorporated association on a complex incorporation as a charitable company limited by guarantee and merger involving ten associated and subsidiary entities
  • Trusts law advice including establishment of charitable trusts, amending trust deed and advice on trustee issues
  • Cy-près schemes
  • Ex gratia payments

Qualifications and Career

  • University of Oxford (Corpus Christi college), BA in Jurisprudence, 2012
  • BPP Law School, Legal Practice Course (Distinction), 2013
  • Trainee solicitor at Boodle Hatfield, 2013 – 2015
  • Associate solicitor at Collyer Bristow, Private Client department, September 2015 – February 2018
  • STEP Diploma in Trusts and Estates (England and Wales), November 2017

Pro Bono, Memberships and Appointments

  • Member of STEP (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners)
  • Member of the Charity Law Association
  • Girlguiding leader and county administrator