Firm Profile > Bates Wells > London, England

Bates Wells

Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

Bates Wells has an 'unrivalled understanding of the sector'. The large and dedicated team acts for household name charities as well as smaller early-stage charities, and has recently attracted over 300 new charity clients under the leadership of Philip Kirkpatrick. The group is at the forefront of advising on the innovative financing of charities and has developed expertise in a number of areas: Stephanie Biden leads on constitutional and governance issues for churches; Erica Crump focuses on cultural charities; Thea Longley is experienced in advising charities internationally on their legal arrangements with overseas branches, as well as on trading and grant agreements; Rosamund McCarthy Etherington has a high profile in the sector, particularly for her advice on governance and complex regulatory issues; and Lawrence Simanowitz has a strong presence in the environment and arts sectors. Other noted practitioners are Abbie Rumbold and Luke Fletcher, who leads the firm’s Impact Economy practice and is particularly adept at advising on charity investment, and associates Pippa Garland and Lucy Rhodes.

Practice head(s):


‘Bates Wells has tremendous strength in depth. They are thought leaders’

‘Philip Kirkpatrick goes to the heart of the matter. He is a pleasure to deal with. He avoids inessentials, and is as close as you can get to the ideal charity legal adviser

‘It provides a seamless service in supporting in-house legal practices to achieve their intended outcomes, and adopts a can-do approach to help resolve problems and overcome hurdles to that end. The advice and approach is always strategic, pragmatic, accessible, engaged and insightful – and advice is delivered promptly’

A top-flight charity team, with the ability to navigate the fast-changing regulatory environment. Advice is always a sensible mix of practical and technical. The individuals with whom I work are able to take complex issues and explain them in practical ways to lawyers and non-lawyers alike

Rosamund McCarthy Etherington and Simon Steeden are professional, knowledgeable, proactive and approachable. They are leaders in the charity law field’

It has a massive team that has charity work is in its DNA. Luke Fletcher does a superb job on social investment work. Abbie Rumbold is highly professional, direct and honest, and has a thorough comprehension of charitable law

Thea Longley has an ability to make difficult things as straightforward as possible. Authoritative, pragmatic, reassuring, approachable and diplomatic – even fun!

Laura Soley is truly exceptional and an absolute delight to work with. A real credit to the firm. Impressive technical knowledge; constructive, pragmatic and strategic in approach; always accessible and responsive; and always instils confidence in clients with her professional competence and measured and personable approach

‘Lawrence Simanowitz is imaginative and brilliant’

‘Pippa Garland is thorough, clear, timely and helpful

Key clients

BBC Children in Need


Comic Relief

World Animal Protection

National Federation of Women’s Institutes

Christian Aid

Duke of Edinburgh’s International Awards



Scout Association

Education: schools Tier 1

Bates Wells has one of the leading education practices servicing the schools and academies landscape. Now led by Abbie Rumbold, the team handles a variety of education matters for a mix of both state and private sector clients, and is particularly skilled in restructuring mandates. The firm has a cross-practice approach and its wide-ranging offering spans charity law, real estate (which Mark Traynor is the key contact for) and regulatory expertise. Emma Dowden-Teale has experience of safeguarding and historical sexual abuse cases, while associate Jean Tsang is recommended for school mergers. Elsewhere, Caraline Johnson retired from the partnership to take up an in-house position, however, she remains affiliated as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Raine’s School Foundation

Mulberry Schools Trust

Guildhall School Trust

Pen Green Children’s Centre

The Charter Schools Education Trust

Core Education Trust

Electoral Tier 1

Bates Wells has a well-established reputation for advising prominent political figures, and has advised many key players in the major elections and referendums of recent years. The team also provides advice on non-party campaigns, and is known for its expertise with regards to the complex relationship between electoral law and digital campaign organisations, as well as the establishment of new political parties and groups. Practice co-head Simon Steeden works with the Green Party and many other high-profile political actors, while practice co-head Rosamund McCarthy Etherington advises non-party campaigns such as charities, public benefit organisations,and foundations on election law, as well as on matters relating to regulatory investigations by the Electoral Commission. Head of the public and regulatory group Melanie Carter also offers expertise on all issues related to non-party campaigning, while lead associate Jessica Collings advises on a broad range of matters, including lobbying regulation, defamation, and charity law related to political activity.

Other key lawyers:


‘Approachability, friendliness, understanding of the charity sector – the team offers political thinking as well as legal expertise and the ability to explain complex legal issues to non-lawyers.’

Key clients

The Green Party

Compliance Officer for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

38 Degrees


Thomson Reuters

Campaign Academy (t/a Campaign Bootcamp)


Wales Audit Office


Professional discipline Tier 1

Bates Wells' team 'takes a very efficient and effective approach to disciplinary matters'. The multidisciplinary practice covers the entire depth and breadth of the professional disciplines, including health and social care, veterinary surgeons, registered veterinary nurses and farriers, architecture, and accountancy. Many of the firm's partners litigate at the highest level, including proceedings before the Privy Council and Court of Appeal. The practice also has a particular strength in acting for representative bodies with professional discipline functions, as well as for statutory regulators. Nicole Curtis has a particular focus on healthcare, veterinary and equine matters. Former General Optical Council (GOC) deputy registrar Melanie Carter has a wide-ranging practice in the professional regulation space, which includes MPs and accountants. Emma Dowden-Teale is the head of the firm’s safeguarding practice. At consultant level, Geoffrey Hudson is a veterinary and pharmacy sector specialist. Katrina Wingfield, has specialised in professional discipline for over 40 years. Additional support is provided by senior associate Claire Whittle and associate Neil Wilks.

Practice head(s):


The team provides a real personal service, with senior team members maintaining hands-on involvement in case management, developing a detailed understanding of particular clients’ needs and ways of working, always being accessible and communicating with clients themselves directly, so as to establish relationships that involve long term client loyalty to an extent I have not experienced with any other firm of solicitors.’

Very responsive, collaborative approach to work.’

Professional discipline work has, in recent years, come to be very much driven by cost – essentially driven by regulators looking to get a job done at the lowest possible price (almost regardless of the quality of process and outcome). Bates Wells Braithwaite’s team manages to square the circle, and take a very efficient but also very effective approach to disciplinary matters.

Melanie Carter is an experienced and excellent partner – her experience as an advocate and also as a professional disciplinary decision-maker allows her to have a very well rounded view of matters.

Claire Whittle is a very good assistant solicitor.’

I have considerable experience of the work of Melanie Carter who heads up the practice. Rigorous, clever, committed and engaged. I certainly would recommend her.

We work primarily with two interlocutors. Nicole Curtis is a consummate professional, never fazed by a challenge, comfortable with complexity and able get to the heart of the matter, and quickly. Her advocacy is impressive, she is able to present a case such that the key evidence is readily digestible to a panel of lay and professional members of varying experience. Neil Wilks is highly competent and supports Nicole with case preparation, including taking statements often from young and vulnerable complainants and witnesses. Neil quickly gains the confidence of such individuals and his work is hallmarked by being thorough and incisive.’

Key clients

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

General Dental Council

General Osteopathic Council

Farriers Registration Council

Architects Registration Board

General Pharmaceutical Council

Council of the Inns of Court (The Bar Adjudicatory Tribunal Services)

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

Insolvency Practitioners Association (IPA)

Royal Institute of British Architects

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)

British Association of Social Workers (BASW)

The Compliance Officer of Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

British Psychoanalytical Society (incorporating the Institute of Psychoanalysis)

Royal College of Nursing

British Psychotherapy Federation

Administrative and public law Tier 2

The public and regulatory department at Bates Wells is preeminent in the third sector, evidenced by senior associate Claire Whittle’s representation of global NGOs in sensitive public inquiries. Emma Dowden-Teale recently brought new charity clients in the education sector to the firm's roster, while practice head Melanie Carter is handling novel public law challenges to the Secretary of State’s policy on public rights of way. Prestigious central government departments, public authorities and regulators also retain the team to handle judicial review litigation and policy and governance advice, ranging from Brexit-related issues to safeguarding practices and the regulation of qualifications bodies. Carter is also engaged by the National Audit Office to advise on the auditing of local authorities and NHS bodies.

Practice head(s):


Real expertise and experience, very good client care.

The team comprises excellent senior lawyers. They have wide experience and are particularly strong on regulatory and health care issues. They are probably the strongest third sector team in England.

The team’s major strength is the leadership provided by Melanie Carter, who is a powerhouse of the public law world. She brings valuable experience, including from her previous life as a central Government lawyer, and harnesses a real love for the law to drive and deliver for her clients. I consider this team to be one of the few competitors which has a genuine, dedicated and talented public law offering.

A very well-established team with a range of skills and areas of expertise.

Melanie Carter really understands issues from the client’s perspective, tremendously hard working and excellent at communicating issues at senior/board level.

Melanie is extremely able, hugely experienced and very calm under pressure. She has an extremely broad public law background and is very strong local government law, particularly local government auditing work.

Emma Dowden-Teale is a very effective public law litigator.

Alistair Williams is an up-and-comer. Diligent and bright, he will go far.

Key clients

National Audit Office

Advertising Standards Authority

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority Compliance Officer

Wales Audit Office


The Ramblers Association

Canal & River Trust


Portman Group

National Council of Voluntary Organisations

Architects Registration Board

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux

Britain Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers)

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

Education: institutions Tier 2

Bates Wells advises university clients on a wide range of disciplines, including employment, charity law, and corporate and compliance issues post mergers. Following the departure of former practice head Caraline Johnson, specialist charity lawyer Abbie Rumbold now leads the team, which advises clients on establishing new operations, mergers and sensitive disposals. Lucy Mclynn, who leads the employment group, acts for further education colleges. William Garnett is also a key contact. Public sector litigator and regulatory partner Emma Dowden-Teale is experienced in acting for clients in the First-Tier Tribunal.

Practice head(s):


‘The team is really excellent at client handling, in terms of managing the difficulties of engaging in unexpected and unwanted litigation. The team is very good at providing pragmatic and efficient advice. From what I have seen, they are very accessible to their clients.’

‘Emma Dowden-Teale – partner, very knowledgeable and experienced. Very good at devising a pragmatic way forward in a difficult situation.’

Key clients

Unified Seevic Palmer’s College

Barking and Dagenham College

Trinity College

The London Interdisciplinary School

Urdang Academy

West Herts College

Fashion Retail Academy

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx)

M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m Tier 2

Bates Wells is particularly active within the technology sector; much of the firm's work has an international element, and the team has worked on several M&A transactions across multiple jurisdictions. The firm has a strategic focus in advising investors and business within the impact economy and has also developed a reputation for its work with start-ups. Mark Tasker heads up the corporate and commercial department, and specialises in corporate finance, international and domestic M&A and equity capital markets work. Other areas where the group has expertise includes the construction materials sector and natural resources industry. Stephen Callender leads on these and his main practice areas include cross-border M&A, joint ventures and corporate reorganisations .

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Good, solidly pragmatic advice combined with very fast, responsive and efficient legal representation.

Mark Tasker is very good.  He takes a very pragmatic and fast moving approach. I have been working with him for years on over a dozen transactions and I have always had a positive experience with him. I recommend him without reservation.

Strong knowledge in the mid-tier market including in relation to smaller, regional deals. The firm is able to quickly bring together a multi-disciplinary team to execute deals quickly.

Mark Tasker is pragmatic and understands the sector well meaning that he is able to provide advice that is suitable for getting smaller deals done quickly and efficiently. Mark is easily accessible and very responsive with quick turnaround times.

Bates Wells have an excellent corporate team. Their strengths are client service, technical ability and excellent project management on deals.

Stephen Callender is excellent in adapting to the business needs and sometimes working with a low amount of guidance. He is a trusted and ideal partner for our in-house legal team.

Key clients

Activate Solutions Group Limited

Aggregate Industries UK Limited

BGF Group Plc

CentralNic Group Plc

Elecosoft Plc

Element Materials Technology Holding UK Ltd

Eyoto Group Limited

F M Conway Limited

Haag-Streit Holding AG

HanmiGlobal Co

Hinds LTD

National Landlords Association


P2i Ltd

SigmaRoc Plc

Trinity College London

Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

With 'an outstanding breadth of knowledge', Bates Wells is highlighted for its strength in marketing and advertising regulations as well as the art and entertainment industries, where it excels in advising established and emerging theatre and performance companies, film and TV production companies and not-for-profit organisations. Erica Crump leads the culture and creative practice and, alongside Tom Pratt and Molly Waiting, advises on a range of commercial, intellectual property and governance issues, while head of advertising and marketing Rupert Earle counts the UK’s leading regulatory bodies including the Advertising Standards Authority among his clients. The team also draws upon the expertise of colleagues in other departments to advise on the full range of issues such as immigration, real estate and corporate mandates.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


Bates Wells are excellent in making their work accessible to a creative industries audience and keeping people with all levels of experience engaged in the workshops they have conducted for us. They always provided significant resources resulting in one of the smoothest services we have experienced in organising such events. Their expertise on IP and immigration is comprehensive and considerable attention is paid to the practical implications of the law for creative organisations as well as the latest developments.

Wonderfully supportive, always timely with an outstanding breadth of knowledge.

Erica Crump has been fantastic – she is personable as well as being sharp as a tack and dedicated to what she does, clearly having a passion in the arts.

Key clients

British Film Institute

Shakespeare’s Globe

Royal Albert Hall

Booker Prize Foundation

Science Museum Group

South London Gallery

English National Opera

Advertising Standards Authority

Committee of Advertising Practice

Senior executives Tier 2

Bates Wells‘ employment practice has a strong profile acting for both employers and senior executives. Department head Lucy McLynn is known for her litigation experience for employers, including recent cases involving sensitive topics such as #MeToo and transgender rights. Two other key team members are William Garnett and Paul Jennings, who lead on senior executive disputes and are often pitted against the biggest names in tech and financial services. On the employers side, Garnett is also known for his expertise in handling contentious work for political and campaigning entities. Paul Seath is another notable junior partner, whose practice includes specialist advice on employment data protection issues. The team also performs well in the not-for-profit/charities sector. An associate with a noteworthy senior executives practice is Rachel Mathieson.

Practice head(s):


‘Well balanced, experienced and capable team. Always available and prompt responses.’

‘William Garnett was exceptional and provided a great level of pragmatism, challenge and support. Regardless of seniority it is always daunting to be dealing with a very large PLC. William displayed a huge degree of confidence and experience when negotiating with them. At all times I felt as if my case was important to him and he was seeking to achieve the best outcome for me. He also considered the broader situation to ensure there were no loopholes which could impact on me in the future. He had the skill and experience to recognise when to challenge very hard and when to be very cordial during the negotiations. He kept me fully informed at all times. Ultimately I got the outcome I was seeking, without jeopardising my relationship with the company.’

‘A dedicated friendly team.’

‘William Garnett is a proven, renowned expert in employment law. He is able to see the issues surrounding the application of the law in the context of a client’s circumstances and therefore provide very clear purposeful advice. Employment issues are invariably complex so this skill is key attribute. It enables client to act and make decisions in a purposeful and informed manner. This in turn leads to good outcomes.’


Key clients

People’s Vote Campaign staff

James Farrar and Yaseen Aslam in the Court of Appeal case of Uber BV and ors v Aslam, Farrar and ors

Chris Johnson – MyTaxi/FreeNow

Helen Rudge – Microsoft Ltd

Alex Chamming’s – BaxterStory

Local government Tier 3

The 'exceptional' team at Bates Wells is primarily known for its work on public services and mutuals, as well as local government audits. It has additional expertise in finance and specialises in public procurement and state aid for music services. In 2019, the head of public services and mutuals practice Abbie Rumbold helped develop The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport's strategy on public services mutuals; she has also worked on Achieving for Children, a £115m joint venture between Richmond and Kingston Councils. Head of public and regulatory Melanie Carter is a 'well-informed expert' in local government finance. She recently worked on the Northampton deficit budget and the Tower Hamlets electoral ruling. Additionally, Emma Dowden-Teale specialises in education and healthcare, particularly in safeguarding, the Care Act, and inquests; Augustus Della-Porta focuses on both charity and social enterprise matters.

Practice head(s):


Bates Wells has the best understanding of local government of any law firm I have encountered in my 20-plus years in the sector. The depth of the teams’ specific industry knowledge is exceptional.’

The team brought to the table an amazing amount of experience and breadth of knowledge. The team was friendly, patient, and efficient and always had someone to ask if they were unsure of a particular point.’

Each individual team member had their own specialist area and brought that experience to the table, having the experience of actually transforming a council team into a public service mutual gave us confidence. Individuals knew the pitfalls to look out for and were able to guide us through this complex process.’

They have unparalleled knowledge of the local government legal environment and insight on Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the application of the related regulations.’

Melanie Carter provided an excellent service and was readily accessible for discussing issues and help with scoping to minimise the call on the public purse.’

Melanie Carter is very well-informed and steeped in the sector.’

The team are the sector experts in local government and the go-to firm for all our queries. Their work is something that you can rely upon! I would highly recommend them.’

Melanie Carter is an expert in her field. She is extremely approachable, her work is easy to understand and her advice is always robust and insightful. Her team is dependable, accessible and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Hertfordshire County Council and Libraries for Life

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Brighton and Hove County Council / Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation

Worthing Borough Council

Bath and North East Somerset Council / Youth Connect South West

Wandsworth Borough Council

London Borough of Waltham Forest

The Marlowe Trust

National Audit Office

Wales Audit Office

Public Audit Appointments Ltd



Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd


Reputation management Tier 3

Bates Wells advises charities, newspaper publishers, student unions, politicians, regulators and faith-based broadcasters on reputation management issues pertaining to harassment, data protection, and freedom of information requests. Defamation via social media is a key area of expertise, evidenced by its credentials acting on disclosure actions to identify anonymous online posts. Head of media litigation Rupert Earle is 'very good at ensuring that his advice is tuned to how the client thinks'. Commercial litigator Alex de Jongh is a name to note for defamation involving campaigning groups.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Rupert Earle has been consistently excellent. He has always been available to advise fully regardless of the hour or the day. This is an area where specialised advice from someone who also knows how the press operate (not just the law) is of paramount importance. Rupert’s advice is practical  and strategic – focusing on the end game and guiding a client on how to work with and not necessarily against the media. It’s particularly helpful that he knows the players in media and thus can adapt advice accordingly, including when an investigative journalist is involved – it’s certainly not a case of one size fits all.’

‘Rupert has provided rock solid advice on handling disputes with investigative journalists that reach the Information Commissioner’s Office, including candid views on the strength of a case and how to position cases depending on their strength. In an area in which few of us possess serious experience and there are so many traps for the unwary, it’s invaluable to have Rupert on your side. Rupert is very good at ensuring that his advice is tuned to how the client thinks and would be prepared to act, as well as explaining alternatives and the consequences of each.’

Key clients

Times Newspapers Limited

National Union of Students

Muslim Charities Forum

Church Times


38 Degrees


Faber & Faber


Advertising Standards Authority

Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 4

The ‘extremely approachable and friendly’ team at Bates Wells is hailed for its ‘exceptional level of service’. Led by the ‘super-efficient and knowledgeable’ Mark Traynor, the practice is well-regarded for its particular focus on the not for profit sector in addition to its distinguished expertise of assets in the social enterprise, sports, education and retail sectors. The group handles the full array of development, investment and corporate occupier activities which it complements through noteworthy experience in finance and secured lending matters. The ‘excellentKarli Hiscock can be relied upon for headquarter moves and acquisitions of retail premises.

Practice head(s):


‘I have worked with Mark Traynor on a number of complicated charity transactions over more than a decade and wholeheartedly recommend him. His abiilty to understand and simplify issues and find practical, simple solutions is outstanding.’

‘Malcolm Headley is very experienced and avsafe pair of hands. He has a really effective non-confrontational style when negotiating with the other side.’

‘When you engage the real estate commercial property team at Bates Wells you know that the individual assigned to your case will deliver work that is second to none. Additionally, you know that there is a whole team of other partners and associates who can provide additional support as required.’

‘Mark Traynor is super-efficient, very knowledgeable and great to work alongside.’

‘Jamie Huard is extremely helpful and supportive, he takes time to understand what we are doing as a charity and takes an interest in our work, and not just the legal side of things, and he is proactive in his approach and doesn’t just wait for us to contact him.’

‘Tony Cartmell and Jamie Huard are approachable engaging partners; they are not afraid to go beyond mere legal expertise and “tell it like it is” which only industry experience and knowledge can provide.’

‘Karli Hiscock was excellent in dealing with our lease.’

‘Maisie Ireland,  Jamie Huard and Karli Hiscock have all made our commercial property experience a positive one. It feels like the team has the same ethos and approach – which is to be accessible, to carefully and fully explain things, to make recommendations based on both best practice and our specific context, and most importantly to listen.’

Key clients

HCT Group

YMCA Thames Gateway

Charles Darwin House Limited

Nikon UK Limited


The Advertising Standards Authority

Everybody Sport and Recreation

World Cancer Research Fund

Dogs Trust

FM Conway Limited

Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 4

Bates Wells possesses an 'excellent understanding of data protection and security that it is able to translate in to practical and proportionate advice'. The team is led by Victoria Hordern, who represents public and private sector clients in the UK and globally on a host of data protection and privacy matters, with a particular focus on the charities sector. Melanie Carter is also recommended, with experience advising clients on data requests and GDPR compliance.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Victoria Hordern and her team fully understand the context in which professional regulatory and public sector bodies operate. The team are quick to respond to queries and are excellent at providing advice on short notice, when required. From a management perspective they stick to estimates in terms of costs and times and consistently meet deadlines. As a client you feel that they are very much alongside you in the handling of a matter, not just an external adviser.’

‘The BW team have an excellent understanding of data protection and security that they are able to translate in to practical and proportionate advice. Very reliable and down to earth.’

‘Data privacy laws are extensive and complex, this team is extremely well informed and willing to remain practical about the applicability of the law while ensuring that the policies are appropriately adjusted for the organisation with which they are working.’

‘They have excellent knowledge of FoIA and its application, completing a detailed analysis of an organisational structure to identify whether FoIA applied to us.’

‘Victoria Hordern, Partner, is an exceptional data protection and privacy lawyer, who consistently provides solution focused, pragmatic advice which is nuanced to the specific circumstances of the client. She is responsive, helpful, professional – a true trusted adviser and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Victorian Hordern is extremely knowledgeable of the GDPR requirements and how each measure should be applied within an global company.’

Key clients


Cruelty Free International

Stroke Association

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

In Kind Direct

London & Partners


Times Newspapers

National Audit Office

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)

IT and telecoms Tier 4

The ‘very business-oriented and pragmaticBates Wells advises suppliers and customers on a range of matters, with particular experience acting for start-ups and early stage IT companies. The ‘excellent team’ provides expertise in data licensing, as well as international issues. Practice head Richard Marke has expertise, which covers SaaS providers, data wholesalers, technology-enabled B2C platforms, technology-enabled outsourcings and high-tech devices.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘Experts, very quick and target oriented.’

‘Available and strongly appreciated by clients.’

‘Knows how to identify the real issue, sees beyond the issue and offers an well-adapted and long-lasting solution.’

‘The team is very responsive, focused on my questions and issues with a collaborative approach, very efficient.’

Key clients

Perkbox Limited


Mark Roberts Motion Control

118 Data Resource

dc-square GmbH


Operis Group Plc

Virtuoso IT

Thomson Local

CentralNic Group Plc

Partnership Tier 4

The team at Bates Wells advises on all aspects of partnership and LLP law, including corporate governance, structuring and regulatory issues. It also specialises in the use of LLPs investment and charity joint venture structures. Department head William Garnett is regularly instructed to negotiate partnership deeds. Another name to note is Luke Fletcher, who advises on partnership structures involving charity law issues.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


We have had a long and fruitful relationship with the team, which is responsive, communicative and very professional. We can always rely on the accuracy and thoughtfulness of the advice.’

It is a large practice offering a wide range of legal services but at the same time it is friendly and accessible, with easy and direct access to the partners and all the staff.’

William Garnett demonstrated a complete desire to comprehend the technical as well as the moral reasoning behind my need for legal advice.’

William Garnett is exceptional. He is very knowledgeable, helpful and robust; he clearly keeps abreast of the changing legal environment and provides up to the minute analysis and advice.’

Key clients

Eos Deal Advisory

Carter Back Winter

Trustees Unlimited LLP

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Project X Global

PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 4

Bates Wells stands out through its focus on assisting clients with strong social responsility credentials, for example well-known non-profit organisations. The practice is experienced in domestic and international brand management matters and certification and assurance marks, and is able to provide the full range of trade mark prosecution services, including trade mark clearance searches, portfolio management, and IPO and IPEC contentious matters. Transactional and licensing matters complete the firm's trade mark offering. Mathew Healey directs the practice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The trade mark team works as a responsive and cohesive unit in support of our varied needs. They are very experienced in international affairs and have a broad reach through their extended network in overseas territories.’

‘Catharina Waller and Mat Healey are our go-to trade mark attorneys. They are very experienced and knowledgeable and, importantly, they condense and communicate complicated subject matters so that we, as lay people to this specialism, can make sensible and well-informed decisions.’

‘The team at Bates Wells provided a very thorough trade mark service. They were also proactive and diligent in staying in touch and seeing our various trade mark applications through to the end.’

‘Catharina Waller was very thorough in her work and her advice on which trade marks to secure and how to surmount hurdles was clear and accurate. Furthermore, Catharina explained complex information clearly and was easy to speak to on the phone.’

‘I have worked mainly with Catharina Waller and her team for the past year and there hasn’t been a time where I had to chase for updates/outcomes. The services provided are consistent and timely. Great client service.’

‘The PATMA team is unique in that the team are able to appreciate the subleties of trade marks and when no action is the best action. I feel confident that I can talk through the options and that all aspects are being considered, not just those that will incur more fees.’

‘Mathew Healey is particularly strong. He is technically very knowledgeable but also has a sense of humour which is a big help.’

‘They understand our brand and our business and have tailored their service approach to us accordingly – they actively engage with us.’

‘Courteous, professional, considered and supportive.’

‘The team are reputable, professional and knowledgeable.’

‘Catharina is very responsive, flexible and clear in her communications.’

‘We find that Bates Wells are very practical, respond quickly, and are experts in their respective fields.’

‘Mat Healy understands our needs and tailors his advice accordingly. He doesn’t just advise on the law but on what steps to take in given situations.’

Key clients

FM Conway


The Alan Turing Institute

Freud Communications

38 Degrees


The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

Cruelty Free International

Fair FX

Voluntary Service Overseas

Trinity College London

International Paralympic Committee

WaterAid International

Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind (‘Sightsavers’)

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Girl Effect

Guide Association

Institute of Masters of Wine

The National Gallery

Disasters Emergency Committee

Football Foundation

National Schizophrenia Fellowship (‘Rethink Mental Illness’)

The Market Research Society

Sport Tier 4

With a client roster including the Commonwealth Games Federation, Football Foundation and the Rugby Football Union, Bates Wells  is an established name for representing not-for-profit sporting bodies, particularly in areas such as governance, charity incorporation, tax, funding arrangements and immigration. Thea Longley leads the practice and has acted for nationwide sports governing bodies, sports-related charities, as well as professional and amateur sports clubs. Senior counsel Jane Lougher  is another key name and focuses specifically on grant funding for sports bodies. Associate Rebecca Rider is a promising name at junior level.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The team are extremely knowledgeable in working with sports bodies and clubs on real estate matters. They are well balanced in terms of the expert areas and distribute the work accordingly. Each lawyer I have dealt with is accessible and always willing to dedicate the necessary time to a matter, in a cost effective way.’

‘Jane Lougher is a fantastic lawyer with great attention to detail. Jane also provides a real commercial understanding to her advice, providing solutions rather than questions.’

‘Rebecca Rider is a diligent lawyer who provides timely and accurate advice on often complex matters. Rebecca is a pleasure to work with and always makes the time to understand the full facts of a matter to be able to provide the best advice.’

‘Thea Longley is compassionate and motivated to support charitable sectors, and is an excellent sounding board on governance.’

Key clients

Football Foundation

England and Wales Cricket Board

Rugby Football Union

Albion in the Community

Lawn Tennis Association

Amateur Swimming Association (Swim England)

Commonwealth Games Federation

TMT Tier 4

Bates Wells advises in the media and technology sectors, with particular expertise in outsourcing matters. The firm specialises in advice to TMT clients in setting up charitable corporate foundations. Practice head Richard Marke has experience acting for a range of technology clients, as well as advising IT customers acquiring technology products.

Practice head(s):

Key clients

Elecosoft Plc

Element Materials Technology Holding UK Ltd

118 Data Resource

Alight Solutions


Virtuoso IT

dc-square GmbH

Ethos Group Holdings Limited

Rockar Limited

OSISoft (UK) Limited

Mark Robert Motion Control



Employers Tier 5

Bates Wells‘ employment practice has a strong profile acting for both employers and senior executives. Department head Lucy McLynn is known for her litigation experience for employers, including recent cases involving sensitive topics such as #MeToo and transgender rights. Two other key team members are William Garnett and Paul Jennings, who lead on senior executive disputes and are often pitted against the biggest names in tech and financial services. On the employers side, Garnett is also known for his expertise in handling contentious work for political and campaigning entities. Paul Seath is another notable junior partner, whose practice includes specialist advice on employment data protection issues. The team also performs well in the not-for-profit/charities sector. An associate with a noteworthy senior executives practice is Rachel Mathieson.

Practice head(s):


‘William Garnett and his employment law team at Bates Wells have consistently delivered pragmatic advice that takes a balanced view between the strict letter of the law and the practical realities of business situations. The team have helped me with a number of contentious issues for the last 10 years and the outcomes have always been satisfactory. They are accessible and available at (virtually!) any time, which is particularly helpful given that events often develop a timetable of their own!’

‘All of the lawyers, from partner to associate, have provided excelled support to my business. If I had to single out one member of the team it would be William Garnett – he has consistently provided first class advice, and has always been available at short notice as events have unfolded. His predictions of how things may end up have been unerringly consistent – he provides advice with an eye to the endgame and business needs.’

‘They are very willing to work in a collaborative matter and help us understand the nuances of the law, while remaining practical to what makes sense for a small organization.’

‘They are extremely well prepared and knowledgeable, but can also acknowledge when anything is outside of their scope of expertise and are able to quickly liaise with colleagues internally to gather perspective on the best approach forward.’

‘A very quick turnaround on all work which in a lot of employment cases is required. The advice is always very commercial which helps your make decisions .’

‘William Garnett is an employment lawyer who can very quickly understand the situation you have within your firm. He is very sensible and practical with his advice in the commercial world versus the law.’

‘The team provides very pragmatic advice and is very strong technically. They go the extra mile to really understand their client, how they work and what they care about to provide practical and tailored advice. Very nice people too!’

‘Paul Seath is excellent. He combines a wealth of experience with keen pragmatism.’

‘William Garnett is always available and very responsive, giving clear pragmatic and robust advice. He assimilates information exceptionally quickly and understands the business context of both the problem and the solution. William effectively removes any emotion from challenging situations, and is my ‘go to solicitor’ for any senior and complex employment issue. my secret weapon!’

‘There is definitely something special about this firm. Extremely pleasant and well rounded lawyers with a bit of personality, not just a bunch of City lawyer cadavers. They really care about your mission and the cause and have been a pleasure to work with. Really responsive for litigation and advisory work – highly recommended.’

‘Paul Jennings is a complete rock-star. Lightning quick mind, commercially astute, very responsive and definitely the person you want in your corner.’

Key clients

Center for Global Development and CGD Europe

Science Museum

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

Angel Trains Limited

Hamni Global Co

British Lung Foundation

Alight Solutions

The British Red Cross Society

The Financial Ombudsman Service

Leonard Cheshire Disability


The immigration team at Bates Wells is well-regarded for its work at the intersection of business immigration and personal immigration issues, offering strategic advice to commercial clients. The department has a strong offering for charities and creatives; Chetal Patel advises charities on sector-specific immigration issues. For human rights work, practice head Tim Barnden is particularly known for his work on behalf of families and couples and in representing LGBT+ appellants. Other key strengths include expertise in complex Article 8 claims and a judicial review practice.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


‘The Bates Wells team is well recognised as being at the forefront of immigration law and practice. The firm’s immigration practitioners are highly knowledgeable about the law and apply their practical skills and experience to achieve unrivalled results for their clients. The team’s legal expertise and efficiency is coupled with an approachable style and tactical savvy that is the envy of other firms in the sector. If I had an immigration matter I would go to Bates Wells.’

‘The immigration team at Bates Wells is simply the best in the UK. Top notch.’

‘I have found working with Chetal Patel particularly refreshing – she is proactive and responsive and provided the necessary support to complete our exercise.’

‘Tim Barnden’s reputation as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in this specialist area is well deserved. He is a pleasure to work with and achieves results that elude many other practitioners.’

Key clients

Atlas Merchant Capital Holdings UK Limited

Chalegrove Properties Limited

Mastercontrol Global Limited

Nardello & Co LLP

Talent Beyond Boundaries

Tyrus Capital

Bates Wells Braithwaite is a unique firm, combining a strong commercial and charity practice with a general emphasis on public interest work, media, education and working with mission-led businesses. The firm is renowned for its expertise in advising charities. The firm also has great strength in the areas of corporate law and employment law, as well as real estate, immigration, litigation, and public and regulatory law (with a particular emphasis on administrative law). The firm prides itself on its diversity of practice areas, its clientele and its staff.

The firm: Founded in 1970, BWB is based in London, with clients across the UK and internationally. BWP’s alternative business structure means that in addition to its legal services BWB provides advisory and impact advice, as well as a compliance and financial regulatory services consultancy. BWB is proud to be the first UK law firm to achieve B Corporation certification, underlining its commitment to its people, the environment and doing socially valuable work.

Bates Wells Braithwaite has a significant international practice across all specialisations, reflecting the international scope of many of the firm’s clients.

Types of work undertaken: The charity and social enterprise team is recognised as one of the leading charity law practices in the country. It acts for numerous household names, international charities and NGOs. It has particular expertise in obtaining charitable status for innovative organisations and for initiatives within the sector. As well as having initiated the idea of the Community Interest Company, the firm has been responsible through the years for many books, articles and other publications. Particularly notable has been the department’s cutting-edge advice on social enterprise; its close liaison with the Cabinet Office on social impact bonds; its innovative work in advising charities and the government on the developing area of mutualisation; and the consolidation of its role as a market leader in the field of social finance.

The corporate/commercial team has expanded significantly in recent years and undertakes work for a wide range of businesses. The team has developed considerable expertise in M&A, joint ventures, management buyouts, commercial contracts and partnership advice. This team has a strong presence in the technology sector and specialises in the small to mid-cap market, acting for many AIM listings.

The employment team advises both employers and employees on all aspects of contentious and non-contentious employment law, including dismissals and redundancies, restrictive covenants, TUPE, service agreements and injunctions. The team has particular interest and expertise in all areas of discrimination. The team undertakes most representative work in-house, both in the Employment Tribunals and the Employment Appeal Tribunal. It also offers a full range of employment training services.

The extensively experienced public and regulatory law team acts for regulators, charities, not-for-profit and private sector organisations. The team has a particular focus on work with educational establishments and central and local government (including audit). It also acts for businesses, campaign groups and individuals who wish to challenge the decisions of public authorities.

The firm’s education team is fast becoming a market leader, advising the full spectrum of schools, higher and further educational institutions, regulators and professional bodies.

The immigration team handles all aspects of immigration and nationality law, including work permits, highly-skilled migrant applications, residency, asylum work and human rights.

The litigation team is broad-based, with particular specialisations in commercial litigation, property litigation, administrative law, civil liberty law, social work law, intellectual property law, insolvency and defamation. The media disputes team recently represented The Times in a ground breaking Supreme Court appeal, in which the judge established a common law right to information from public authorities where it is in the public interest for such information to be released.

The real estate team handles all types of commercial property work with related specialist expertise in financing and borrowing, planning and construction, and insolvency work, both for property companies, and also a wide range of businesses and individuals, both as landlords and tenants.

The sports team acts for regulatory and governing bodies, amateur and professional sports teams, sports charities and individual sportsmen and women. A broad variety of work ranges from the establishment of the Football Foundation to advising leading international athletes on their immigration status.

The culture and creative team advises a wide range of arts organisations and venues across the creative industries, from theatre, dance and opera, to artists and companies in the digital sphere.

Department Name Email Telephone
Managing partner Martin Bunch
Advertising and marketing law Rupert Earle
Charity and social enterprise Philip Kirkpatrick
Corporate and commercial Mark Tasker
Culture and creative Lawrence Simanowitz
Dispute resolution Robert Oakley
Education Caraline Johnson
Employment Lucy McLynn
Environment Simon Steeden
Faith-based organisations Stephanie Biden
Finance Luke Fletcher
Health and social care Abbie Rumbold
Immigration Tim Barnden
Insolvency Malcolm Robson
IP/IT and information law Lawrence Simanowitz
Legacies and probate disputes Robert Oakley
Litigation Robert Oakley
Media disputes Rupert Earle
Public and regulatory law Melanie Carter
Public services and mutuals Abbie Rumbold
Real estate Anthony Cartmell
Real estate disputes Lesley Robinson
Social finance Luke Fletcher
Sports Thea Longley
Trade associations and membership bodies Thea Longley
Trade marks Lawrence Simanowitz
Photo Name Position Profile
Ms Rosamund  McCarthy Etherington photo Ms Rosamund McCarthy Etherington Partner. Areas of expertise include: charity registrations (local, national and international); philanthropy…
 Tim Barnden  photo Tim Barnden Tim is a Partner in the Immigration Department advising clients across the…
 Stephanie Biden  photo Stephanie Biden Partner. Advises on establishing new charities and social enterprises, and assists charities…
 Martin Bunch  photo Martin Bunch Managing partner dealing with employment law; CEDR accredited mediator.
 Stephen Callender  photo Stephen Callender Stephen has extensive experience of advising issuers, nomads, brokers and financial advisers…
 Melanie Carter  photo Melanie Carter Head of public and regulatory department. Melanie has been a specialist in…
 Anthony Cartmell  photo Anthony Cartmell Partner and head of real estate department
 Erica Crump  photo Erica Crump Erica is a Partner and has been with BWB since 2006. Her…
 David Davies  photo David Davies Partner covering all aspects of small to mid-cap corporate work, including private…
 Emma Dowden-Teale  photo Emma Dowden-Teale Emma advises on all aspects of regulatory and public law, both contentious…
 Rupert Earle  photo Rupert Earle Public law: numerous cases for the Advertising Standards Authority, including Sainsburys v…
 Luke Fletcher  photo Luke Fletcher Partner. Luke specialises in charity law and social enterprise. As well as…
 Pippa Garland  photo Pippa Garland Pippa has experience of working with a wide range of charities and…
 William Garnett  photo William Garnett Partner leading the employment team (12 lawyers of which four are partners).…
 Martin Gunson  photo Martin Gunson Real estate and related finance partner dealing with all aspects of commercial…
 Mathew Healey  photo Mathew Healey Mat is a chartered trade mark attorney and heads up our IP…
 Karli Hiscock  photo Karli Hiscock Karli has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of commercial property…
 Paul Jennings  photo Paul Jennings Paul is a specialist employment and discrimination lawyer. He advises employers and…
 Caraline Johnson  photo Caraline Johnson Caraline has over 20 years’ experience in education law and has worked…
 Patrick Keown  photo Patrick Keown Partner
 Philip Kirkpatrick  photo Philip Kirkpatrick Deputy managing partner and joint head of charity and social enterprise team,…
 Thea Longley  photo Thea Longley Partner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the…
 Richard Marke  photo Richard Marke Partner, commercial team. Richard has a broad range of commercial contract and…
 Lucy Mclynn  photo Lucy Mclynn Contentious employment work with particular emphasis on discrimination and status issues; reported…
 Robert Oakley  photo Robert Oakley Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution / Litigation Department. Case load includes…
 Chetal Patel  photo Chetal Patel Chetal advises individuals on securing leave to enter and remain in the…
 Tom Pratt  photo Tom Pratt Tom provides a wide range of contractual, commercial and governance advice to…
 Lesley Robinson  photo Lesley Robinson Partner and head of property dispute resolution main areas of practice: property…
 Malcolm Robson  photo Malcolm Robson Partner specialising in commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, including general corporate litigation,…
 Abbie Rumbold  photo Abbie Rumbold Partner in charity and social enterprise team. Recent work includes: Spin-out of…
 Paul Seath  photo Paul Seath Contentious and non-contentious employment work, including transactional advice. Particular interest in disability…
 Lawrence Simanowitz  photo Lawrence Simanowitz Specialist in advising UK and international charities, arts and media organisations, not-for-profits…
 Laura Soley  photo Laura Soley Partner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the…
 Simon Steeden  photo Simon Steeden Partner in charity and social enterprise department. Provide corporate and commercial, financial,…
 Mark Tasker  photo Mark Tasker Partner and head of corporate and commercial team. Specialist in corporate finance,…
 Mark Traynor  photo Mark Traynor Partner in the property team acting for commercial, charity and private clients…
 Molly Waiting  photo Molly Waiting Molly joined the Corporate and Commercial team after completing her training contract…
 Claire Whittle  photo Claire Whittle Claire has experience in a wide range of public and regulatory work. …
Number of UK partners : 39
Number of other UK fee-earners : 111