Charity & Not For Profit

Shared values and deep expertise.

Like any organisation, not-for-profits need to achieve their purposes and be financially sustainable. It’s just that their purposes and motivations are very different.

We’ve been at the heart of the sector for decades and understand the complex structures, governance, management and commercial issues and challenges you face.

We apply our commercial skills, legal expertise and specialist sector know-how to help you set up new initiatives. To support you into, and out of, commercial deals. To help avoid disputes and guide you through them when they arise, through the thickets of regulation. To help you campaign for the outcomes you seek. We’ll also help to manage your reputation.

Working with you

Our employment lawyers have helped to define the legal position of volunteers. Our real estate lawyers are as adept with trusts for ancient buildings as they are with modern office leases. Our finance team leads on social investment. Our public law team will fight your corner in a judicial review or campaign for change.

We understand the sensitivities and pressures of reputation management when you’re under scrutiny. Our dispute resolution team can help resolve and avoid your issues sensitively. And if it comes to a complicated regulatory investigation, we have the experience to steer you through.

As a B Corporation, we believe there’s more to doing business than just making a profit. Our values and our own purpose inform our decisions as a business and they help to shape the advice we give to purpose-driven organisations like yours.


Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 20 February

Our weekly round up of news and updates from across the sector Charity Commission Statutory inquiry opened The Commission has …
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New spending limits for non-party campaigners – what you need to know

Organisations and individuals that campaign ahead of an election (but are not standing candidates themselves) are known as ‘non-party campaigners’. …
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Spotlight 2023: Real Estate law update

Daniel Farrow, a solicitor in our Real Estate team, shares practical advice on aligning your property strategy with your operational …
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Spotlight 2023: Charity campaigning law update

Suhan Rajkumar, senior associate in our Politics, Elections and Campaigning team, provides practical commentary on campaigning law for charities including …
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Borrowing the family silver… a new power for charities with permanent endowment

In the Law Commission’s consultation on technical charity law issues there were differing views on what should be done with …
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“Bates Wells have a strong team of people who are not only highly qualified and experienced but also approachable and work pragmatically to find a way forward.”

Charity, Chambers 2024

“Bates Wells break issues down, simplify, and explain complex matters. The advice is sound, professional, and solid.”

Charity, Chambers 2024

“The team are all marked by their excellent communication skills and confident knowledge of the law. You get real quality advice from friendly and understanding members of the team.”

Charity, Chambers 2024

‘Bates Wells has unrivalled knowledge of the charity sector and is the go to firm in the space of social investment and blended finance.’

Charity, Legal 500 2024

‘This team is not only excellent at understanding charities and not-for-profits, they are at the forefront of the fast evolving field of social investment and purposeful business.’

Charity, Legal 500 2024
Meet our team

Our charity solicitors give practical advice on the full spectrum of charity and commercial law – from drafting commercial contracts, to advising on grants, to handling the most complex, high profile and sensitive cases.

View our charity services

Visit our Spotlight hub to watch our panels on demand, and explore our resources.

Spotlight – the annual Bates Wells charity conference