Experience

I began the first ten years of my career working as a banking lawyer, advising banks, private equity funds and companies on a wide range of local and international financings. During this stage, I came across the inspiring work of charities and social enterprises through my pro bono legal work, which led me to Bates Wells as I wanted to apply my professional skills, experience and commitment to support charities, social enterprises and others seeking to have a positive impact through their business and other activities.

I now help a wide range of organisations – all of which actively seek to have a positive social or environmental impact – by providing legal advice which aims to be pragmatic and always mindful of their wider goals. This includes advice relating to formation and registration, governance, capital-raising and general charity and commercial law issues. Given my background, I have a particular interest in innovative impact investment and capital-raising structures, which seek to apply the “best of all worlds” from the expertise and experience of the private, public and non-profit sectors.

Recent projects

  • Advising Access – the Foundation for Social Investment (Access) on the Growth Fund

    The Growth Fund is a partnership between Access, the National Lottery Community Fund and Big Society Capital. It provides flexible finance for growing charities and social enterprises by offering blended grants and unsecured loans of up to £150,000. We created the model template grant and loan documents for the Growth Fund; these are now published on Access’s website as a free, publicly available resource, particularly for the benefit of smaller impact organisations which may not always have easy access to full legal services.

  • Helping girls in the world’s poorest countries to get a quality education

    The Girls’ Education Challenge (GEC) was launched by the UK Department for International Development (DfID) in 2012 to reach the most marginalised girls in the world, and is the largest global fund dedicated to girls’ education. I advised PwC - in its role as fund manager to DfID - in relation to a £130 million funding extension to the GEC. This involved preparing the key GEC funding extension documents, and negotiating these on behalf of PwC with a number of commercial and not-for-profit GEC funding recipients.

  • Supporting Obviam in its emerging markets loan investments

    Obviam is the fund manager for SIFEM (the Swiss Investment Fund for Emerging Markets) and seeks to contribute to sustainable economic growth by investing in high impact investments in emerging and frontier markets. I advised Obviam in relation to a £12 million loan investment to a Costa Rican bank, and also supported Obviam by creating their term sheet and loan agreement templates, which they now use for their direct loan investments in frontier markets.

  • Advising Impact Ventures UK on the key investment documents (by way of equity, debt and/or convertible loans) for a number of their new and existing investee organisations, all of which are high-growth mission-driven companies.
  • Establishing the Grenfell Foundation – set up to provide independent support to the former residents of Grenfell Tower, their families and the local community – as a registered charity.
  • Advising the Bridges Impact Foundation on its social investment powers to provide working capital to Village Enterprise in connection with its development impact bond (DIB), the first ever outcomes-based DIB for poverty alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Advising the Home Office on the structure of the £200m Youth Endowment Fund, including advice on choice of legal form, funding terms and protection of funds.
  • Advising Charity Bank and Big Society Capital as senior lenders in relation to the refinancing of The Foundry, a former shoe-polish factory in central London that has been redeveloped into a cutting-edge Centre for Social Justice and Human Rights organisations.
  • Advising a family foundation on its WASH-focused impact investments in South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, including by way of revenue royalty arrangements, loans and patient capital.
  • Advising on the merger (by acquisition) between a mental health charity and a mental health-focused social business.
  • Advising a renewable energy co-operative on a number of loan note offers to retail investors.

Qualifications and career

  • London School of Economics and Political Science, LLB Law (First Class), 2005
  • BPP Law School, Legal Practice Course, 2006
  • Trainee Solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP, 2006
  • Secondment to Clifford Chance Amsterdam, 2007
  • Admitted as a solicitor at Clifford Chance LLP, 2008
  • Secondment to the legal team of EMEA Loan Origination, Citigroup, 2010
  • Secondment to the legal team of GSO Capital Partners LP, 2015
  • Joined Bates Wells, 2016

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Trustee of the Social Mission Institute
  • Member of the Charity Law Association
  • Member of the British Korean Law Association and the International Association of Korean Lawyers
  • Pro bono support to a range of organisations, including the Lawyers Against Poverty ‘Refugee Legal Confidence Sessions’ initiative and the South West London Law Centre