Neil Burton > Mills & Reeve LLP > Cambridge, England > Lawyer Profile

Mills & Reeve LLP

Work Department

Charities and social enterprise; corporate and commercial.


Neil is head of charities at Mills & Reeve, with responsibility for its 250+ charity clients, which include many of the largest and best-known names in the UK and internationally. Neil is a commercial specialist and is involved in much of the firm’s cutting edge work for the sector, for example around alternative fundraising and innovative deal structures for charity, NGO, university and further education clients. He works closely with specialists in IP, tax, contested legacies and procurement to deliver complete and commercial solutions to his clients’ challenges, whatever and wherever their activities are. A large part of Neil’s work is international. He is part of a team that has advised universities on collaborations and new campuses in over 50 countries. He has been seconded to leading law firms in China, India, Abu Dhabi and Qatar and is the head of firm’s Middle East desk. Neil is also a Notary Public.


Trained Mills & Reeve; qualified 2002; partner 2012. Neil is editor of Mills & Reeve’s Charity Legal Update newsletter.


Neil is a member and active contributor to: Charity Finance Group; Charity Tax Group, Charity Law Association, and the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving.


University of Cambridge (Notarial Practice); University of Leicester.

Lawyer Rankings

West Midlands > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong national offering which works for all types of charities on the full array of matters. Its dedicated practice works exclusively for charities and social enterprises and continues to advise a host of the UK’s biggest and most prominent charities. The group has specialist expertise in a variety of sectors such as working with numerous health charities and those in the sports sector. It is also skilled at advising on philanthropy and legacies and is led by Cambridge-based Neil Burton . In Birmingham, principal associate, Adam Williams specialises in governance and charity law regulation. Lucy Howard is adept at advising charities on a range of contested legacies.

Yorkshire and the Humber > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

The Leeds-based team at Mills & Reeve LLP is led by Mark Ashton, whilst Neil Burton is the national charity sector head, working across Cambridge and London. The team advises some of the UK’s most prominent charities on high-value matters. Its workload in this sector involves advising on the establishment and structuring of charities; developing philanthropy efforts; setting up international ventures; intellectual property disputes and estates work. The team has recently developed its work with health charities.

East Anglia > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

(Leading individuals)

Neil BurtonMills & Reeve LLP

The charities and social enterprise practice at Mills & Reeve LLP is ‘calm, comprehensive and reassuring‘. The Cambridge office is a key part of the national practice, which has a stellar roster of clients, among them Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the Francis Crick Institute and the Institution of Engineering & Technology. Practice head Neil Burton is ‘excellent; a great communicator and with great technical knowledge‘. The firm also has numerous clients in the education sector and Burton advised Linacre College, Oxford, on a £155m donation agreement from SOVICO Group. Principal associate Nathalie Jacoby-Danesh advises private and public clients on a broad range of corporate law, charity law, and governance, regulatory and funding issues.

London > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

Mills & Reeve LLP provides a full service to all types of charities across its six regional offices. Key types of work include advising on the establishment of charities as well as advising on people issues, estates work and intellectual property matters for charities. Neil Burton leads the team that has sector expertise in areas such as health, sport and education as well as being adept at advising on philanthropy and legacy matters. Rebecca Pallot and Andrea Newman have been recently promoted to the partnership.