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Mills & Reeve LLP

Work 0344 880 2666
122891 CAMBRIDGE 4

Neil Burton

Work 01223 222455
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.

East Anglia: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Leading individuals

Neil Burton - Mills & Reeve LLP

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for 'very prompt response times and it can be relied on to meet deadlines and produce high-quality and considered input that balances depth of expertise and pragmatism'. Practice head Neil Burton 'rates very highly and is very helpful'. With senior associate and charity law specialist Mark Ashton he assisted Francis Crick Institute with setting up a trading subsidiary, as well as advising on endowments and fundraising. Sarah Seed leads a charity fundraising group that handles high-value bond issues and smaller schemes for schools and other charities. Caroline Dean and principal associate Lucy Whipps are recommended for property matters and clients praise their 'excellent experience and ability to ensure that transactions are progressed as expediently as possible'. Dean provided early-stage advice to John Innes Centre on a proposed £250m building at Norwich Research Park. Principal associate Dona Ardeman in the corporate team is 'a valuable partner - very able, thorough, pragmatic and responsive'. 'Very approachable and clear' principal associate Patrick Gass in Cambridge is recommended for employment law matters. He worked with partner Nicola Brown on a commercial agreement for an international science and education charity. Contested legacy specialists David Catchpole and Lucy Howard, and property partner Nick Finlayson-Brown are among the other lawyers who contribute to the practice.

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London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Cambridge-based Neil Burton heads the team at Mills & Reeve LLP. Burton ‘inspires confidence with his mixture of technical knowledge and pragmatism’. Senior associate Mark Ashton is ‘approachable and responsive’. The team has been busy advising on various matters. Highlights included UK Sport instructing the team to carry out governance reviews for a number of UK Sport and Sport England funded organisations. These organisations included  British Amateur Boxing Association, British Rowing and the British Paralympic Association. The team had to ensure that these organisations' articles of association met the requirements of the new Code of Sports Governance. The team’s remit also included recommending appropriate constitutional amendments as necessary. In other matters on a complex deal it acted for Christian Blind Mission (CRM) in the merger of CRM UK and BasicNeeds. CRM is a major international charity that works in 59 countries, Other important clients include Sainsbury Laboratory, Big Issue Invest, Francis Crick Institute and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

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West Midlands: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Mills & Reeve LLP is headed by Neil Burton who specialises commercial, governance and constitutional work. Principal associate Adam Williams  focuses on governance work and recently assisted Stratford Town Trust with restructuring its separate charitable entity the Arts House. Social finance expert Neil Pearson worked with Resonance on developing a new social funding model. Also recommended is pensions expert Clare Grice, who advised RSPB on its pension scheme.

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