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Thea Longley

Work 020 7551 7831
Bates Wells

Work Department

Charities and not-for-profit; sport.


Partner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the sports group and membership organisations group. Work includes: advising charities, social enterprises, membership organisations, sports clubs and sports governing bodies. Work for charities and social enterprises includes: formation, registration of new charities, constitutional advice, including restructuring, mergers and spin-outs; as well as advice on funding, grant and fundraising agreements. Work for sports clubs and sports governing bodies includes: advising on charitable status and Inland Revenue CASC status – registration, restructuring, constitutional issues, contract work and advice on funding.  Thea has recently launched BWB Get Legal, a new low cost legal document service for charities and social enterprises


Trained Bates Well Braithwaite; qualified 2001; charity and social enterprise department 2001-08; partner 2008 to date. Seconded to the Cabinet Office Strategy Unit working as the only lawyer on the team that wrote ‘Private Action, Public Benefit’, the review that led to the Charities Act 2006 and the introduction of community interest companies. Current directorships: Multiple Sclerosis Trust, Multiple Sclerosis Trust (Education) Ltd. Publications of note: Consultant editor for the charity section of the leading legal text book Halsbury’s Laws of England, .co-wrote ‘Keeping it Legal: Legal Forms for Social Enterprise’ with Social Enterprise Coalition and edition 1 of ‘Charities – The New Law 2006: A Practical Guide to the Charities Act’ (Jordans). 


Charity Law Association, executive committee member; Sport and Recreation Alliance member.


Bruton School for Girls; University of St Andrews (1996 MA English and Modern History); College of Law, London (1999).


Wild swimming, camping, yoga.

London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Leading individuals

Thea Longley - Bates Wells

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Bates Wells  ‘takes the times to understand its clients’ values and priorities and then gives advice that is accurate and practical’. The ‘very industriousPhilip Kirkpatrick heads the department and is an ‘imaginative and resourceful thinker’. Thea Longley  ‘attracts high-profile clients and retains their confidence’. Rosamund McCarthy provides ‘clear and sensible advice and works within deadlines’ and Stephanie Biden  provides a ‘consistently excellent service’. Luke Fletcher  gives ‘excellent advice and guidance’ and Laura Soley  is ‘very experienced and level-headed’. Lawrence Simanowitz  is praised for his ‘excellent communication skills and knowledge’. Abbie Rumbold  has particular expertise in the social enterprise sector and associate Lucy Rhodes ‘tenaciously digs away through historical documents to come up with highly useable advice and solutions’. Augustus Della-Porta  is now a partner and Julian Blake  joined Stone King LLP  Clients include Oxfam and the RNIB. The group continues to advise the Royal Albert Hall on various high profile and complex governance and constitutional issues relating to the Hall’s constitution – the constitution was created by Royal Charter and several acts of parliament dating back to 1876. The Samaritans, National Federation of Women’s Institutes and BBC Children in Need are also clients.

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London: TMT (technology, media and telecoms)


Within: Sport

With sports charities and governing bodies featuring highly on its client roster, the team at Bates Wells is known for its strength in the charity sector; it also acts for individual sportspeople and assists the Commonwealth Games Federation with restructuring and governance matters, event-hosting agreements and commercial contracts. Thea Longley continued to advise Football Foundation on its sports funding programme Parklife, which aims to better co-ordinate the provision of high-quality football facilities. Other clients include the Rugby Football Union, the Lawn Tennis Association, Table Tennis England and the Premier League Charitable Fund. Martin Gunson is particularly strong in advising sports bodies on obtaining security for grants; associate Lucas Atkin is recommended for sports-related data protection. Of counsel Jane Lougher is highly active in the sports sector.

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