Bates Wells Braithwaite is a professional services consultancy, combining a top legal practice with services in impact measurement, outcomes-based planning and strategy, and financial services regulatory compliance. The firm works with a wide range of clients, large and small, across a variety of sectors – from established businesses, charities and social enterprises to innovative start-ups and high-profile individuals.
We stand out as a law firm – combining practical, commercial legal expertise with the deep understanding of the third sector that comes from working with more charities and social enterprises than any other UK firm. We are not only recognised as the leading charity law firm in the UK; we are also ranked in the major UK legal directories for our excellence across many of our specialist practice areas. We are proud to be the first UK law firm to achieve B Corporation certification.
In 2014, BWB became an ABS (alternative business structure) – the first City-based firm to do so specifically to provide a unified service to our clients. Jim Clifford, a chartered accountant and leading force in social finance, joined BWB along with his Impact and Advisory team. This division provides two complementary service lines to BWB clients: helping to plan, measure and deliver impact, and creating and realising value through strategic projects including service development, mergers, acquisitions, fundraising, disposals and restructuring.
The firm has grown consistently over the years both organically and through lateral hires. In particular, our corporate and commercial team has expanded significantly over the last few years and we still have the largest team of charity and social enterprise lawyers.
With over 200 staff and 33 partners, we are large enough to provide a complete range of commercial legal services yet small enough to be able to provide a personal service to every client. We are rated by Chambers UK as one of the best law firms in the UK for our client service, which we take extremely seriously.
BWB was founded in 1970 by Andrew Phillips (Lord Phillips of Sudbury) and has always been based in London, with clients across the UK and internationally. We are co-founders of a well-established international network of trusted law firms - Parlex - giving our clients easy access to consistently high quality commercial legal services across Europe and further afield,
The firm was founded on a very distinct set of values - our ethos - which are as strong as ever today and make us unique. BWB is proud to have been the first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp. Certification ratifies our commitment to doing business in the best way possible for our people, our community and the environment.