Bates Wells > London, England > Firm Profile

Bates Wells

Employment > Immigration

Bates Wells has a well-established reputation at the top end of the immigration market, with considerable expertise in both personal and business matters - the firm is known for being 'extremely client focused', with the ability to 'explain complex legal terminology in a very clear and concise way'. Tim Barnden heads up the overall practice; his focus is on personal and human rights cases and he is a former chair of the UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group. Chetal Patel leads on the business side, and is also a race, ethnicity and cultural heritage ambassador at the firm. While long-serving partner and senior counsel Philip Trott left the firm in spring 2021, the team includes a strong pipeline of junior talent, including associates Aisha Choudhry and Matthew James.

Practice head(s):

Tim Barnden


‘Tim Barnden was an excellent lawyer to work with. What sets Tim apart from others in the field is his genuineness and experience. He has an extremely friendly, calming presence that makes you feel secure and confident in asking for and following his advice. He takes the time to understand your personal circumstance and explore all sides of the situation. I would 100% recommend Tim Barnden and Bates Wells and would definitely use them again in the future.’

‘Chetal Patel is brilliant. She is a leading voice in her area and is so knowledgeable and experienced in all things immigration. She always gives practical and balanced advice that suits our company and our culture and response to all queries in a timely manner.’

‘I had the pleasure of working with Chetal Patel. While she was incredibly diligent and professional, she was equally kind and understanding. She always listened to my concerns and needs and understood that the visa process can cause a great deal of stress. She was incredibly knowledgeable in her particular expertise and was also very prompt and timely with anything that was needed.’

‘Matthew James was responsive, diligent and provided excellent expert guidance throughout my engagement with Bates Wells. He was friendly and a pleasure to work with – I would highly recommend him.’

‘Tim Barnden’s professionalism, approachability, problem solving and clarity of approach was second to none. It was a joy to work with him to get our immigration status addressed and we felt confident throughout that he could help us achieve.’

‘Aisha Choudhry is extremely thorough, helpful and very patient.’

‘Tim Barnden is extremely knowledgeable and approachable. He delivers advice in a clear and understandable manner, and stays on top of all legislative and regulatory changes. His manner was reassuring, and all our applications were successful.’

‘Chetal Patel is absolutely phenomenal. Her advice is clear and to the point without any ambiguity, making it easy to follow and make the necessary decisions.

Key clients


The Alan Turing Institute

Exeter Pharma Consultancy, Ltd T/A CBPartners

Make Limited

Work highlights

  • Provided strategic advice to The Alan Turing Institute in respect of the immigration options for bringing individuals to the UK to take part in various programmes, sponsorship matters and the impact of remote working.
  • Provided advice and assistance to Exeter Pharma Consultancy Ltd in relation to sponsorship matters, including the sponsorship of key workers and immigration compliance.
  • Advised Make Limited on matters including managing its sponsor licence, recruitment practices in light of Home Office guidance and managing the effects of Brexit.

Private client > Charities and not-for-profit Tier 1

Thea Longley now heads the large and specialist team at Bates Wells that acts for a sizeable number of household names. Recent highlights included acting in two of the largest charity law cases. Due to the strength and depth in the team, it has built up niche expertise in diverse areas. Stephanie Biden leads on constitutional and governance issues relating to churches. Augustus Della-Porta leads the firm’s work with Muslim charities and Erica Crump heads a thriving practice that focuses on cultural charities. Philip Kirkpatrick routinely advises on some of the most complex and high-profile matters for major name charities. Lawrence Simanowitz advises key international clients and has particular strength in issues such as charity formations and governance. Laura Soley is a known name for her work on statutory charities, royal charter bodies and trusts. Rosamund McCarthy Etherington excels at advising on difficulty governance and complex regulatory matters. The ‘responsive‘ team provides ‘considered advice and delivers on time‘.

Practice head(s):

Thea Longley

Other key lawyers:

Stephanie Biden; Augustus Della-Porta; Erica Crump; Philip Kirkpatrick; Lawrence Simanowitz; Laura Soley; Rosamund McCarthy Etherington; Luke Fletcher; Hannah Lyons; Suhan Rajkumar; Oliver Scutt; Lucy Rhodes


Bates Wells is unique in its comprehensive expertise and offerings in charity law. As well as providing a huge range of advice, the lawyers keep consistently up to date with developments in charity law and the Charity Commission’s activities and share those learnings with in-house legal teams through newsletters, articles and free or reasonably priced training sessions. We have relied on their knowledge in areas such as safeguarding, social investment, governance, data protection, and various other areas. Their advice is always coloured by a deep understanding of the charity context. Charity law is not a tack-on at Bates Wells; it is integral to the firm’s ethos and existence‘.

‘The Firm has a reputation for working with the charitable sector which means it is familiar with the issues we are facing‘.

Bates Wells is very thorough, prompt in responding and always ensures it fully understands our requirements. The lawyers have got to know our charity governance very well which means that we can get informed advice from them quickly’.

Bates Wells provides personal advice, very much Partner led. One feels that the lawyers seek to gain an understanding of the culture of the organisation and provide pragmatic advice accordingly. The advice is easy to understand and not bound up in legal technicalities. Laura Soley is highly approachable and has an understanding of both the legal matters and the cultural environment of the Charity, with advice delivered that is appropriate to us. Hannah Lyons has provided good practical advice on fundraising and data issues, offering solutions rather than merely advice‘.

‘The team has been responsive. Luke Fletcher has been incredibly helpful sharing his expertise to navigate through challenging circumstances‘.

The team is very responsive to clients and goes out of its way to help.  The team was particularly helpful even during Covid, which shows its ability to be flexible during challenging times.  Suhan Rajkumar has been very helpful to us‘.

‘The team allowed us, as clients, to manage our expectations, the lawyers clearly set out, pricing, delivery timings and information updates, as well as warnings of any potential delays. The team provided consistent and timely updates through the process. Oliver Scutt has been a pleasure to work with. He is very clear in setting out the plan of work and always gave a timely turnaround with agreed dates. He also has the great strength of explaining legal areas to us non legal people‘.

‘Attention to detail. Reliable and thoughtful advice. Sensible solutions to what appear to be complex issues‘.

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

Black Lives Matter

Work highlights

  • Advised former trustees of Kids Company in High Court win against being disqualified from other organisations – a hugely significant case for the charity sector.
  • In Cooper -v- Lehtimäki (Supreme Court 2020).- it advised Ms Cooper in a landmark case relating to the establishment of her charity, Big Win Philanthropy, and the negotiation of a grant of $360m from the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.
  • Advised the Royal Foundation of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on matters including the launch of the Earthshot prize.

Public sector > Electoral Tier 1

Bates Wells advises well-known parties including the Green Party, as well as more newly-established parties, in relation to the law around election and referendum campaigns. The team is also a leading adviser on non-party campaigning for charities and non-profits and, assisted by its strong data privacy team, is able to provide full GDPR compliance to political parties. Co-head of the politics, elections and campaigning team, Simon Steeden  is a longstanding adviser to political parties, while fellow co-head  Rosamund McCarthy Etherington advises a range of organisations including charities, foundations and public benefit organisations in relation to matters such as social media, data, and the relationships between charity law and election law. Additionally, associate Jessica Collings deals primarily with regulatory issues and dispute resolution matters for political parties, while Suhan Rajkumar advises on election and referendum law, as well as campaign finance.

Practice head(s):

Simon Steeden

Other key lawyers:


‘Suhan Rajkumar and Simon Steeden were our contacts and they worked as a tight-knit team to give exemplary help and advice. They were always very prompt to respond to any inquiry from us. They even came back more than once to ask for updates. They gave us excellent service.’

‘Simon Steeden – warm initial point of contact who grasped what we needed.’

‘Jessica Collings stands out because of her brilliant work ethic. She never fails to engage and always recognises the urgency of certain issues at hand. Even when our case was wrapped up from the pro bono perspective, she has always been happy to engage for smaller matters or refer us promptly to other appropriate members of staff who can help us. She even dropped us a wellbeing email to ask after us. So human, and yet so professional – big thumbs up!’

‘This practice is unusual in that it offers real pro bono help. The service offered is polite, professional and goes beyond what we expected.’

‘The whole practice, from reception to legal advisers were polite, efficient and caring. They helped us enormously with our case.’

‘The team were exemplary and went above and beyond for our charity. For one, they were willing to hold calls in the evening to suit our schedules. They were incredibly knowledgeable and dependable when we encountered issues with our application. The manner in which they advise their clients showed just how important it is to have the right lawyers with years of industry experience. They are well positioned to provide this minefield of charity law to develop the right expertise and incredibly well-trained staff to help us pull through with our application. This certainly gave us confidence working with them.’

Key clients

The Green Party

Labour Campaign for Human Rights

38 Degrees


Thomson Reuters



Wales Audit Office

Citizens UK

Work highlights

  • Primary legal advisers to a leading candidate for the London Mayoral campaign in 2020.
  • Advising the Green Party on matters including the Party’s restructuring and incorporation workstream.

Dispute resolution > Professional discipline Tier 2

Bates Wells‘ multi-disciplinary team covers the entire gamut of professional discipline. The practice consistently acts for leading health and social care bodies, The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and the Farriers Registration Council, and accountancy-related regulators; and it has notable strength in acting for representative bodies and membership organisations with professional discipline functions. Key names include Claire Whittle, a public and regulatory lawyer whose specialisms include professional discipline. In 2021, former partner Nicole Curtis, consultants Katrina Wingfield and Geoffrey Hudson, and associate Neil Wilks joined Capsticks LLP. Emma Dowden-Teale has moved to DLA Piper.

Other key lawyers:


The team is accessible, efficient, and works within agreed timescales.

They were able to assimilate a great deal of information before formulating the legal response, and I was impressed with the professionalism, efficiency and service I received – would recommend them highly.

They are very approachable and engaged, and just as happy to let you bounce ideas off them as much as produce formal advice.

Great at understanding our values and culture, along with expertise in all the areas where we need advice.

All the individuals who’ve worked for us are knowledgeable, courteous and professional, and they provide a good service and good advice whenever we need it.

Key clients

Social Work England

Architects Registration Board

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

General Osteopathic Council

General Pharmaceutical Council

General Optical Council

Farriers Registration Council

Council of the Inns of Court

Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Insolvency Practitioners Association

Royal Institute of British Architects

Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales

The Compliance Officer of Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority

British Psychoanalytical Society (incorporating the Institute of Psychoanalysis)

Royal College of Nursing

British Psychotherapy Federation

Royal College of Psychiatrists

Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists

The Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council

International Psychoanalytical Association

Work highlights

  • Rewriting the Architects Registration Board’s investigation and disciplinary practice rules.
  • Acting for Social Work England in a number of High Court challenges involving fitness to practise matters.
  • Acts for The British Psychoanalytic Council, a professional association for the psychoanalytic profession, on an ongoing basis.

Public sector > Administrative and public law Tier 2

Bates Wells advises the full spectrum of third sector clients in relation to policy developments, inquiries, safeguarding issues, advertising standards and various other facets of operations. Claire Whittle's work encompasses public law challenges, including judicial reviews, and has been advising on the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse and the Infected Blood Inquiry. Associate Alistair Williams has a strong track record in investigations and judicial reviews targeting the audit industry. Emma Dowden-Teale has moved to DLA Piper.


The team members have gone the extra mile to assist us with a large project, working at pace and delivering on time. The team is approachable, offers quality advice and has a real understanding of the nature of our business.’

‘Bates Wells’ team is responsive, flexible and committed to giving high quality advice on public law matters.’

‘Claire Whittle is focused and able to separate key issues from lower impact risks.’ 

Key clients

Birmingham Children’s Trust

Architects Registration Board

Royal Parks

Catholic Insurance Services


Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

National Audit Office

Wales Audit Office

Advertising Standards Authority


Airport Coordination Ltd

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Compliance Officer

The Ramblers Association

Canal & River Trust

National Council of Voluntary Organisations

National Association of Citizens Advice Bureaux

Social Work England

Work highlights

  • Advising the National Audit Office in relation to its new statutory Code of Audit Practice.
  • Advising AQA in relation to the fast-moving developments in respect of the GCSE and A-level exam series in Summers 2020 and 2021.
  • Advising ARB on the implications of Brexit for its functions, particularly in relation to the recognition of foreign qualifications and the need for new domestic legislation.

Public sector > Education: institutions Tier 2

Bates Wells advises a broad client base, comprising FE and HE institutions, education sector bodies in adult education and professional education, education support services and umbrella bodies. FE college mergers are a stand-out strength, and the group’s HE work includes advising on Office for Students regulations, acquisitions and demerges, and handling fundraising and real estate issues for newly established institutions. The group has significant employment experience, advising on industrial relations, and  advises the NUS and 25 student unions on relationships with host institutions, governance issues and transitions from exempt to registered charity status. Jean Tsang focuses on governance, charity and commercial law. Emma Dowden-Teale has moved to DLA Piper.

Practice head(s):

Jean Tsang

Key clients

London Interdisciplinary School

Year Here

BPP University

Richmond and Hillcroft Adult and Community College

West Herts College

Capital City College Group

Greater Brighton Metropolitan College

Council of the Inns of Court



Urdang Academy

Work highlights

  • Advised on the establishment of the Year Here Foundation, which provides bursary support to financially disadvantaged fellows on the Year Here course.
  • Completed a restructure of the National Union of Students group, resulting in its separation into charitable and non-charitable arms.
  • Provided the London Interdisciplinary School with commercial and real estate advice as well as advising on the establishment of a charity.

Public sector > Education: schools Tier 2

Bates Wells has significant expertise in advising on the effects of school reform, and has particular experience in academy conversions, the development of multi-academy trusts and the increasing focus and accountability required of academy sponsors. Of note for independent schools is the practice’s capabilities in immigration and domestic and international charity law. The team also has a growing area of focus in advising on independent school sales and purchases, and also assists with broader work by the real estate and corporate and commercial practices. Commercial lead Jean Tsang advises on school M&A and MAT issues. Emma Dowden-Teale has moved to DLA Piper.

Practice head(s):

Jean Tsang

Other key lawyers:

Mark Traynor


‘The Bates Wells team as a whole have a superb knowledge of law and practice in the charities sector. Individuals’ areas of expertise are grounded in up-to-date wider understanding of legal regulatory and commercial issues that charities face.’

‘They are not afraid to give clear, decisive practical advice.’

‘They work very closely as a team, well aware of whose special expertise is required when trying to resolve complex and changing circumstances.’

‘We were impressed with Jean Tsang. Jean has great attention to detail and is very precise in her answers, which come quickly and well thought out.’

‘Their skill in understanding both the detail and the bigger picture allows them to provide an exceptionally efficient, holistic and effective service.’

Key clients

Aston Foundation

Walsingham College Trust Association and Walsingham College (Affiliated Schools) Limited

Hatching Dragons

City of London Academies Trust (COLAT)

Dolphin School

Central Foundation Schools of London

Raine’s School Foundation

Shaftesbury Young People

Mulberry Schools Trust

Olive Academies

Quaggy Development Trust

Brightside Educational Trust

Charlotte Sharman Primary School

Work highlights

  • Advised St. Bede’s Foundation on the acquisition of St. Bede’s College, Manchester, a charitable Catholic independent school, founded in 1876 for pupils aged 3-18.
  • Supported AQA in relation to the fast-moving developments in respect of the GCSE and A-level exam series in summer 2020 and 2021.
  • Provided Central Foundation Schools of London with advice relating to designated land held under trust dating back to the 19th Century.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Media and entertainment (including media finance) Tier 2

The ‘knowledgeable, strategic and efficient’ media team at Bates Wells is noted for its strength and regulatory expertise in the advertising and marketing space. The practice also excels in acting for clients in the art and entertainment industries, including well-known theatre and performance companies, film and TV production companies, and not-for-profit organisations. ‘Well-informed and engaging’ partner Erica Crump heads up the culture and creative team. She works with Molly Carew-Jones and Tom Pratt to advise charities and creative businesses on commercial contracts, IP, media and governance issues. Rupert Earle, who leads the firm’s advertising and marketing practice, advises the UK’s leading regulatory bodies, including the Advertising Standards Authority. The practice frequently collaborates with other teams across the firm to advise on a range of issues, such as employment, real estate and corporate matters.

Practice head(s):

Erica Crump; Rupert Earle

Other key lawyers:


‘We work closely with Erica Crump who has shown genuine interest in, and concern for our organisation. She is well-informed and engaging, and provides very clear support to the organisation.’

‘Highly knowledgeable, strategic and efficient.’

‘Very collaborative and approachable. The team deliver professional advice in a clear and understandable and non-jargon way which works well for our organisation.’

‘Always respond in a helpful way.’

Key clients

Advertising Standards Authority

Committee of Advertising Practice and Broadcasting Committee of Advertising Practice

English National Opera

Royal Albert Hall

Shakespeare’s Globe

Science Museum Group

The Horniman Museum

Booker Prize Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising the UK’s advertising regulator industry body on a vast range of matters and advertising law issues.
  • Advising Shakespeare’s Globe on high-value, strategic contractual and structuring work.
  • Advising the Booker Prize Foundation on commercial, media, charity, sponsorship and general legal matters.

Employment > Senior executives Tier 3

Clients report that the Bates Wells team, led by Lucy Mclynn, inspires confidence with its 'clear and precise advice'.  In addition to the range of work it undertakes for senior executives, it also acts for employers, and has a reputation regarding running test cases and 'gig economy' challenges (it acted in the high-profile Uber case which went to the Supreme Court.) It is also known for its roster of third sector clients. William Garnett has a track record in acting on senior executive and boardroom disputes; working with senior associate Rachel Mathieson, they handle discrimination cases, senior exits and post-employment settlement packages. Paul Jennings acts for both senior executives and employers as does Paul Seath.

Practice head(s):

Lucy McLynn

Other key lawyers:

William Garnett; Paul Jennings; Rachel Mathieson; Shadia El Dardiry; Paul Seath; Robert Turner


‘I have to assume that the team behind the partner I dealt with is very good, as he was always well briefed. Available 24/7 and with a refreshing brevity if a simple enquiry, whilst a phenomenally detailed and quick response when required.’

‘I cannot find fault with any of the work carried out for me by the partner, William Garnett.’

What makes Bates Wells unique is their clear and precise advice, attention to detail and responsiveness. Compared to other firms I have used in the past I find that given the no nonsense approach you can be confident of the advice given and the billing to be accurate for the work provided.’

‘I have mainly worked with Lucy McLynn on employment matters – the advice given is clear and concise. Lucy will not sugar coat her advice and will clearly layout your options without bias or prejudice. I am confident in the attention to detail and accuracy in the interpretation of the law by Lucy.’

I would recommend Bates Wells particularly the individuals that helped me. It warrants the excellent reputation the firm has. The team were very hard working, diligent, incredibly adaptable and responsive to changing deadlines and work loads/time pressures. The case has been overseen by Paul Seath but the majority of the work has been done by Shadia El Dardiry. Both really were stand out in my case. Both provided expert guidance to me.  I would certainly use this company again and cannot recommend the individuals that helped me highly enough.’

I have worked with solicitors Rachel Mathieson, Paul Jennings and Robert Turner over the past 24 months on bringing a claim. Rachel and Paul Jennings are truly world-class professionals in employment law, but even more important than their knowledge and professionalism is their compassion and understanding when dealing with complex employment problems.’

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented the two test claimants taking on Uber in the landmark Supreme Court about whether Uber drivers were ‘workers’.
  • Acting for the former Chief Executive of the People’s Vote campaign in relation to his high-profile removal.
  • Representing a black cab driver in his appeal relating to his worker status claim against taxi app, MyTaxi.

Public sector > Local government Tier 3

The local government team at Bates Wells sits within the firm’s charity and social enterprise department to provide advice to external auditors and local authority services on public and regulatory law, spin-outs, local government finance, as well as judicial reviews. Augustus Della-Porta is an expert in structuring spin-outs from local authorities, while senior associate Suhan Rajkumar deals primarily with public procurement and state aid work, while associate Alistair Williams advises on major local government audit work. Notably, highly regarded partner Abbie Rumbold retired in January 2021. Emma Dowden-Teale has moved to DLA Piper.

Practice head(s):

Augustus Della-Porta


Key strengths are in-depth knowledge of the local government sector and the implications/application of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 in relation to public rights in respect of local government accounts.’

Stand out qualities are the responsiveness of individuals, clarity of communication, and attention to detail.’

Their knowledge of our sector area is unrivalled.’

Key clients

National Audit Office

Wales Audit Office

Public Audit Appointments Ltd



Smaller Authorities Audit Appointments Ltd

Grant Thornton

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council


Ernst & Young

Sturts Community Trust

Wandsworth Music Service

Brighton and Hove County Council / Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation

Hertfordshire County Council and Libraries for Life


Work highlights

  • Advised Grant Thornton on local government law and on its powers and duties as statutory auditor for a large number of principal local government bodies in England, including in relation to Gloucestershire County Council, external audit and the related state aid High Court proceedings.
  • Advised KPMG, as statutory auditor on the finances of Spelthorne District Council and, particularly, its campaign of large-scale property investment, which resulted in purchases in 2016-2018 of £914m.
  • Advised on the transfer of Brighton’s treasured Royal Pavilion and other museums into a new independent charitable trust involving the transfer of employees under TUPE, pensions liabilities, a significant property portfolio as well as extensive museum collections.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Reputation management Tier 3

Bates Wells advises a wide range of clients, including newspaper publishers, charities, politicians, student unions, foreign royalty and faith-based broadcasters. The group continues to grow its expertise in the area of defamation via social media, in addition to its existing expertise in harassment and data protection advice. Rupert Earle heads the practice and is supported by litigator Alex de Jongh who advises campaigning groups on the risks of defamation in their materials.

Practice head(s):

Rupert Earle

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Times Newspapers Limited

Work highlights

  • Representing Times Newspapers on the successful resolution of its European Court of Human Rights case on whether success fees should be recoverable from publishers in defamation and privacy cases.

Corporate and commercial > Partnership Tier 4

In innovative highlights for Bates Wells’ partnerships practice, Luke Fletcher and senior associate Oliver Hunt work closely with Certified B Corporations structured as LLPs with a core focus on social and environmental causes. Practice head William Garnett advises on the structuring of modern partnership agreements and associated exit entitlements as well as contentious discrimination claims.

Practice head(s):

William Garnett

Other key lawyers:


William Garnett is highly proactive and looks for solutions.

Unique expertise to be able to deal with any partnership issue, particularly those in the charities, social enterprises and now the increasingly important and legally complex B Corp sectors, where they have preeminent expertise.

Luke Fletcher is just the dominant lawyer in the B Corp/Impact Assessment organisation space and he combines that knowledge with superb legal skills. A very smooth operator in every area.

Key clients

Eos Deal Advisory

Carter Backer Winter

Trustees Unlimited LLP

Hughes Fowler Carruthers

Project X Global

Work highlights

  • Advised Carter Backer Winter LLP on the review, amendment and updating of the firm’s LLP agreement.

Industry focus > TMT Tier 4

Bates Wells is known for handling various outsourcing agreements in the technology sector for domestic and international clients. Additionally, the team has a strong contentious practice, spanning employment, defamation and trade mark litigation. In a recent highlight, Paul Jennings represented two test claimants in a Supreme Court Case against Uber, resulting in the landmark judgment determining that Uber drivers are workers rather than self-employed individuals. Team head Richard Marke advises technology clients and IT customers in relation to all aspects of their operations, including procurement processes and software agreements. Rupert Earle is singled out for his track record in media litigation.

Practice head(s):

Richard Marke

Other key lawyers:


‘Great team with broad knowledge of the industry.’

‘Richard Marke is my go-to lawyer for commercial issues, particularly anything relating to outsourcing.’

‘They are efficient, focused, trustworthy, smart and very nice to work with.’

‘Responsive, very smart and they know the market very well. Our discussions are always useful.’ 

Key clients

Advertising Standards Authority

Elecosoft Plc

Element Materials Technology Holding UK Ltd

Royal Albert Hall

118 Data Resource

Shakespeare’s Globe

ENO – English National Opera

Alight Solutions


Virtuoso IT

dc-square GmbH

Ethos Group Holdings Limited

Rockar Limited

OSISoft (UK) Limited

Mark Robert Motion Control



Work highlights

  • Advised Reliance Bank on the procurement and development of a client-facing web-based banking platform to facilitate clients accessing banking services.
  • Successfully represented two test claimants taking on Uber in the Supreme Court in a landmark case concerning the employment rights of an estimated 45,000 drivers across London.
  • Advised the shareholders of DPO Group in relation to its sale to Network International Holdings Plc, a FTSE 250 company listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Real estate > Commercial property: corporate occupiers Tier 4

Bates Wells' commercial property department has notable prowess in the sports, education, charities, social enterprise and retail sectors. It is engaged in a broad array of finance and secured lending transactions, development projects, property disposals and investment acquisitions. The team is also particularly strong in headquarter relocations and site acquisitions. Practice head Mark Traynor is noted for his expertise in the property aspects of hydro-electric and solar panel systems. Also recommended is Jamie Huard, who focuses on charity, social enterprise and heritage property matters. In addition, another key individual is Karli Hiscock, who supports the firm's real estate clients on sustainability and wellness matters as part of the firm’s Impact Economy service.

Practice head(s):

Mark Traynor

Other key lawyers:

Karli Hiscock; Malcolm Headley; Tony Cartmell; Jamie Huard


‘Thorough, easy to work with, practical and pragmatic when dealing with the other side.’

‘The uniqueness is the in-depth knowledge of the charity sector and ability to advise across teams, if something unusual arises. Their e-signature platform for signing off deeds and other documents works well and is much better than getting hard copies executed, as was the case pre-pandemic.’   

‘They are reliable and give sensible, commercial advice that is concise, which I like.’

‘Malcolm Headley and the team are readily available, willing to put in the hours as needed, are commercially realistic on fees, give clear advice and have good technical and commercial knowledge and instincts.’

‘They are direct and provide advice that can be relied upon. Their experience in the sector has been an asset to our transaction. The partner Jamie Huard is available when there is an urgent issue.’

‘Karli Hiscock is very clear in her communications and explains legalistic language for the layperson and explains options well.’

Key clients

JM Finn

YMCA Thames Gateway

Lely Atlantic Limited

Nikon UK Limited


The Advertising Standards Authority

Everybody Sport and Recreation

World Cancer Research Fund

Council of Inns of Court

FM Conway Limited

The Charity Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising JM Finn in relation to its new HQ at 25 Copthall Avenue.
  • Advising ClientEarth on moving its international headquarters to Drayton Park, London, by taking a lease for a term of ten years.
  • Advising Lely Atlantic on their relocation to office premises at a Birmingham business park.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > IT and telecoms Tier 4

Bates Wells focuses primarily on the technology sector, advising both suppliers and customers of IT services on the corporate and regulatory facets of their operations. It is particularly invested in the fintech sector, supporting start-ups and growth stage companies with their business critical transactions. Richard Marke leads the practice, using his wealth of experience in technology law to act for a wide range of clients in the sector, including software/SAAS providers, data wholesalers and hi-tech businesses.

Practice head(s):

Richard Marke


‘They are efficient, focused, trustworthy, smart and very nice.’


Key clients

118 Data


Mark Roberts Motion Control

Scanmar MarketingQED

DC Square GmbH

Sutherland Global Services

Reliance Bank


Virtuoso IT

Work highlights

  • Acted for CentralNic Group Plc on the acquisition of 6 TLD Companies from Financial Domains Registry Holdings Limited.
  • Advised Reliance Bank on the procurement and development of a client-facing web-based banking platform.
  • Assisted geo-data company Signalbox to develop a licence agreement to use with various third parties and supported their negotiations with a major rail transport booking service.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > PATMA: Trade mark attorneys Tier 4

Bates Wells' distinguishing feature is its extensive experience in advising charities and other third sector clients. The expertise of practice head Mathew Healey and his team has attracted some of the UK's largest charities as well as a diverse list of commercial clients which the practice assists with clearance, registration and portfolio management matters, contentious proceedings before the UKIPO and IPEC, as well as transactional and licensing matters. The group also handles certification and assurance mark matters.

Practice head(s):

Mathew Healey

Other key lawyers:

Catharina Waller; Wendy Grey


Exceptional knowledge of how charities work enabling the team to provide relevant, pragmatic, cost-effective advice.

They have been brilliant to work with – communicate really effectively, are kind, smart and really work hard for you as a client. They literally achieved everything we asked of them with absolutely no issues at any stage and went above and beyond.

A real staunch team to assist us in both routine and complex matters. They are also proactive  and great communicators.

Mathew Healey is a hugely talented individual. He combines an impressive breadth of knowledge, with a refreshingly pragmatic and sensible approach to trade mark law. He gives really useful advice and working with him is a pleasurable experience.

Mathew Healey runs a strong team; Wendy Grey provides excellent, clear, pragmatic advice. All of the team have a nice manner and are easy to work with. They are responsive and provide an appropriate level of detail; they are also proactive in recommending approaches to specific challenges.’

They not only provide all we need to develop and defend our trade marks, but they also offer really thought-provoking and tailored advice based on our needs. I have absolute confidence and trust in their expertise and judgement and appreciate their readiness to explain things and help us explore new areas.

We have found the entire team to be brilliant individuals to work with, but Catharina Waller in particular I would want to highlight as demonstrating complete dedication to reaching a positive outcome in situations that would try the patience of a saint! She was calm, patient with the questions we had as client, and unruffled by tactics of the opposing side. We loved working with her.

Catharina Waller and Mathew Healey offer friendly in-depth knowledge and experience that they use to generate advice that we trust implicitly. Their track record in our eyes is second to none, and they offer affordable strategies and practical technical support to ensure that our IP remains adequately protected. In a fast-moving world of competing deadlines, we often have the need to move quickly as we respond to emerging challenges, and Catharina and Mat have always shown the flexibility to help us at short notice to get the job done.

Key clients

The Woodland Trust

International Planned Parenthood Federation

CDP (formerly ‘Carbon Disclosure Project’) Ltd



Charlie Mackesy (author)


The Copper Mark

The Trussell Trust


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 (formerly Battersea Dogs and Cats Home)

Girl Effect

Guide Association

Institute of Masters of Wine

The National Gallery

Football Foundation

National Schizophrenia Fellowship (‘Rethink Mental Illness’)

The Market Research Society

London & Partners Limited

National Deaf Children’s society

FM Conway

Emilia Clarke (actor)

Work highlights

  • Assisted award-winning writer and artist Charlie Mackesy with the protection of various brands and other intellectual property relating to his bestselling book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse.
  • Assisted food bank charity The Trussell Trust with all aspects of its brand protection in the UK, which includes advice relating to its ‘Network Foodbank’ branding which is licenced to over 1200 food banks in the UK.
  • Advised international NGO WaterAid International on extensive worldwide trade mark clearance, registration and other management work across the world.

TMT (technology, media and telecoms) > Sport Tier 4

London firm Bates Wells is acclaimed for its capacity to ‘convey and overcome complex legal issues in an easy, streamlined manner’. Department lead Thea Longley is an ‘excellent critical thinker’ with a track record in governance reviews, restructurings, contractual and funding matters; her team includes Jane Lougher who uniquely specialises in grants and loans to improve grassroots facilities, as well as Robert Oakley who is the go-to for contentious matters, particularly funding and contractual disputes. The team, which also includes immigration expert Chetal Patel, counts football and grassroots clubs, national governing bodies, sportspeople among its clients, and, in line with the firm's wider sector expertise, is extremely active in the charities field.

Practice head(s):

Thea Longley

Other key lawyers:


‘The team is reliable, with excellent advice in our specific sub-sector that our in-house legal team cannot provide.’

‘Thea Longley is an excellent critical thinker, able to spot potential problems and issues before they occur and helps you to work through those issues if necessary. She gives options as to how best to proceed, not settling on one fixed option unless that is the only way, and it never is! I have worked with Thea as a charity board member too and her advice is consistently reliable. She is rightly seen as an expert in the field and I would not want to ever not have her available to us.’

‘The team at Bates Wells are brilliant. They are friendly and approachable but also, most importantly, are able to convey and overcome complex legal issues in in an easy, streamlined manner. They are always quick to respond, efficient and approach the work we ask them to do with professionalism.’

‘I find our main contacts very easy to work with. They always respond quickly and comprehensively. They have excellent knowledge in their field and are quick to understand any issues we encounter. Their friendly and approachable manner also helps make them our preferred choice in this area.’

‘The team are extremely knowledgeable, diligent and thorough. The quality of service that they provide is very high, and no matter the challenge, I always feel reassured by the approach that they are taking.’

‘Jane Lougher is extremely knowledgeable, professional and patient in her approach – particularly when dealing with non-legal clients. She endeavours to ensure that complex matters are broken down into manageable, understandable components, and the implications of any decision are always clearly explained.’

‘Rebecca Rider has always provide an extremely high level of customer service, being prepared to go the extra mile to achieve the desired outcome, despite the tight timescales that she is often faced with.’

Key clients

Football Foundation

England and Wales Cricket Board

England and Wales Cricket Trust

Rugby Football Union

Albion in the Community

Lawn Tennis Association

Amateur Swimming Association (Swim England)

Commonwealth Games Federation

Work highlights

  • Working with the Football Foundation in connection with their grant investment into a multimillion-pound community hub in Newcastle which will be the new home of the Newcastle United Foundation.
  • Working with The National League Trust (the charitable arm of football’s National League) to offer advice to clubs in the National League on setting up charitable foundations.
  • Advised the England and Wales Cricket Trust on an emergency loan scheme arising from Covid-19 related financial issues faced by clubs.

Employment > Employers Tier 5

Bates Wells is best known for its work in the charity and not for profit sector, in which it advises a wide range of national and international organisations. At ‘the top of her field’, Lucy Mclynn spearheads the litigation-focused group, which is particularly active in sensitive Employment Tribunal cases and board-level disputes but also handles corporate support. Paul Seath specialises in data protection issues, while Paul Jennings  and William Garnett  regularly act for employers in complex claims.

Practice head(s):

Lucy McLynn


Very good, in-depth, practical knowledge of all areas of law, they adapt for big and small and NFP organisations.’

Bates Wells have provided me with support for many years. They provide consistently expert, pragmatic, proportionate advice in a way that represents value for money, which has meant that I have never felt the need to look elsewhere for employment law advice.

Lucy McLynn is an exceptional lawyer and I understand why she is the Head of Employment at BatesWells. She is at top of her field; superb advice, pragmatic, reliable and provides clarity and a route through very challenging situations.’

‘I have used Bates Wells for employment advice for several years. Their advice is excellent: practical and responsive. They help me to achieve my objectives.’

Paul Seath is exceptionally responsive. His advice is always sound and straightforward.’

Excellent support – collaborative way of working, practical advice, solution orientated, highly knowledgeable.’

Lucy McLynn is excellent all round. The team understand our business and flex their advice and risk analysis perfectly.’

Key clients

Centre for Global Development Europe

Tenon FM Limited

Royal College of Nursing of the United Kingdom

The Alan Turing Institute

Capital City College Group


English National Ballet

Green Party

Perkbox Limited

Architects Registration Board

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Center for Global Development in a leading and very high profile case establishing whether gender critical views are protected under the Equality Act as a philosophical belief.
  • Advised Unicef in relation to the high-profile resignation of its executive director and associated allegations made against the (former) Chair concerning bullying.
  • Defending the Green Party in proceedings brought by a Board Member on the grounds of race discrimination.

Risk advisory > Data protection, privacy and cybersecurity Tier 5

Bates Wells provides a ‘first-class service’ to a range of clients, with particular experience in advising public sector bodies and charity organisations. It is well versed in compliance issues, international data transfers, FOIA matters and has recently been handling Covid-19-related data protection issues. Victoria Hordern heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Victoria Hordern

Other key lawyers:

Hannah Lyons


‘I am consistently impressed with Bates Wells’.

‘They provide thorough and risk-based advice, and are able to work to urgent timelines where needed’.

‘Victoria Hordern is excellent to work with – she provides timely and clear advice which takes our business needs into consideration as well as all relevant laws’.

‘I find the firm’s advice to be practical and delivered in a way that is understandable by the recipient’.

‘Victoria Hordern is top notch’.                                                                    

‘Victoria Hordern, in the privacy law area, provides easily digestible, practical advice in an efficient manner’.           

‘Hannah Lyons work has been fantastic’.

‘Hannah Lyons is our go to person if we need clarity on any data protection aspect’.

Key clients

World Animal Protection

The Trussell Trust


Creative Lynx

Canal and River Trust

Architects Registration Board

National Audit Office

Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Compliance Officer

Work highlights

  • Advising World Animal Protection on the lawfulness of its intra-group international data transfers.
  • Advised the Trussell Trust on a request for disclosure of personal data received from a third party and the implications under UK data protection law, including the available arguments to withhold personal data and the related impact on food banks.
  • Worked closely with C40 on a number of its campaign initiatives, in particular on the development of its youth initiative.

Real estate > Property finance Tier 7

Alongside its core real estate finance offering, the team at Bates Wells has considerable expertise in acting for lenders in the charity and social enterprise sectors. Mark Traynor leads the team, which also includes Malcolm Headley and Patrick Keown.

Practice head(s):

Mark Traynor

Other key lawyers:


‘We have been able to develop an excellent working relationship. The individuals we work with are very knowledgeable and experienced lawyers who have taken the time to understand our business.’

‘Well-structured team that highlights key risks and provides suggestions to mitigate them. There is a good understanding of our requirements – we rarely have to go back and ask follow-up questions or query what has been documented as it is clear and concise and in layman’s terms. The property team collaborates well with other teams such as banking and is very responsive.’

‘Very efficient service with very capable members of the real estate team able to advise on a range of property issues. Large firm expertise at a midsize firm.’

‘Bates Wells have a holistic approach to all issues, taking the time to consider the broader context and objectives. They provide a professional and knowledgeable service. On any matter we refer to Bates Wells they work collaboratively with our staff to tackle the problem, remaining focused on the central issues and working across specialisms as required. The real estate team have been tenacious in dealing with matters and have brought to bear significant expertise in the specific charity law requirements when it comes to the sale and mortgaging of property.’

‘An engaged and committed team with a good in-depth knowledge of property and finance matters, as well as factors relevant to certain specialist sectors – notably charity, healthcare and real estate. The team are responsive and strive to drive a transaction forward. They are always available and are sufficiently resourced that response times are quick.’

‘Malcolm Headley is sensible, doesn’t over or underplay issues and will help provide solutions rather than purely present problems.’

‘Patrick Keown and Malcolm Headley and the wider team have always proved to be knowledgeable, commercial and solution focused.’

Key clients

Architects Heritage Fund

Arbuthnot Latham

Big Issue Invest

The Charity Bank










People Potential Possibilities

UK Sailing Association

GMS Estates Limited

FM Conway

Work highlights

  • Advising People Potential Possibilities on three facility agreements totalling £8m and a grant funding agreement worth £1.5m.
  • Acting for Handelsbanken regarding a £20m facility being secured over various investment properties.
  • Advising Metro Bank on a £9m advance to Glendower School Trust Limited to finance the acquisition and redevelopment of a property adjoining the existing Glendower school building.

Bates Wells is a City firm with a difference.

The firm believes in making a positive impact, whether that’s achieving legislative and regulatory change around sustainability, or working on a landmark case with wide-ranging implications. It is not afraid to challenge the status-quo. As a values-driven firm, Bates Wells shows commitment to its clients, people, the environment and society. It was the first UK firm to achieve B Corporation certification.

The firm’s clients are diverse – from global household names, to public bodies, to start-ups. It is also the firm of choice for thousands of charities and social enterprises.

Bates Wells has excellent strength in corporate and commercial law, as well as employment, real estate, arts and media, immigration, litigation and public and regulatory law. The firm is based in London, but it has a significant international practice across all specialisations, reflecting the international scope of many of its clients.

Principal areas of practice
Charity and social enterprise: The charity and social enterprise department is recognised as one of the leading 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 developing new initiatives within the sector. The firm, as well as having initiated the idea of the ‘Community Interest Company’, has been responsible through the years for many books and other publications. Particularly noted has been the department’s cutting-edge advice on social enterprise; its close liaison with the Cabinet Office on social impact bonds; its ground-breaking work in advising charities and the government on the developing area of mutualisation and public service delivery; and the consolidation of its role as a market leader in the field of social finance.

Corporate and commercial: The corporate/commercial team has developed considerable expertise in M&A, company take-overs, joint ventures, management buyouts, commercial contracts and partnership advice. This team is increasingly involved in the technology sector and specialises in the small to mid-cap market, acting on many AIM listings.

Impact economy: A key area of focus for the firm is businesses who are dedicated to achieving profit alongside purpose. Bates Wells’ own values-driven ethos underpins its advice in this sector.

Culture and creative: 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.

Employment: 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, including mock tribunal training.

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

Litigation: The litigation department is broad-based, with particular specialisations in commercial litigation, real estate litigation, administrative law, civil liberty law, social work law, intellectual property law, insolvency and defamation. The media disputes team’s notable matters include representing 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.

Politics, elections and campaigning law: The team has advised on some of the biggest political issues of our time, including advising Britain Stronger in Europe on their role as the designated lead campaigner on the ‘Remain’ side of the EU referendum debate; advising the largest non-party campaigners and the Green Party in the run-up to the 2015 General Election and the 2016 devolved national elections in Scotland and Wales; and advising one of the prospective Labour Party candidates in relation to the 2016 London Mayoral campaign.

Public and regulatory: This 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.

Real estate: 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.

International: Bates Wells has a significant international practice across all specialisations, reflecting the international scope of many of its clients. Bates Wells is a founder member of the esela – The legal network for social impact, as well as the Parlex Group, an extensive network of European firms bringing together practices specialising in commercial law, with affiliates in the US, China and Israel.

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
Employment Lucy McLynn
Environment Simon Steeden
Faith-based organisations Stephanie Biden
Finance Luke Fletcher
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
Social finance Luke Fletcher
Sports Thea Longley
Trade associations and membership bodies Thea Longley
Trade marks Mathew Healey
Tim Barnden photo Tim BarndenTim is a Partner in the Immigration Department advising clients across the…
Stephanie Biden photo Stephanie BidenPartner. Advises on establishing new charities and social enterprises, and assists charities…
Martin Bunch photo Martin BunchManaging partner dealing with employment law; CEDR accredited mediator.
Stephen Callender photo Stephen CallenderStephen has extensive experience of advising issuers, nomads, brokers and financial advisers…
Anthony Cartmell photo Anthony CartmellPartner and head of real estate department
Erica Crump photo Erica CrumpErica is a Partner and has been with BWB since 2006. Her…
David Davies photo David DaviesPartner covering all aspects of small to mid-cap corporate work, including private…
Augustus Della-Porta photo Augustus Della-PortaPartner.  Advises acharities and not-for profits on a range of commercial and charity…
Emma Dowden-Teale photo Emma Dowden-TealeEmma advises on all aspects of regulatory and public law, both contentious…
Rupert Earle photo Rupert EarlePublic law: numerous cases for the Advertising Standards Authority, including Sainsburys v…
Luke Fletcher photo Luke FletcherPartner. Luke specialises in charity law and social enterprise. As well as…
William Garnett photo William GarnettPartner leading the employment team (12 lawyers of which four are partners).…
Martin Gunson photo Martin GunsonReal estate and related finance partner dealing with all aspects of commercial…
Mathew Healey photo Mathew HealeyMat is a chartered trade mark attorney and heads up our IP…
Karli Hiscock photo Karli HiscockKarli has over 10 years’ experience in all aspects of commercial property…
Paul Jennings photo Paul JenningsPaul is a specialist employment and discrimination lawyer. He advises employers and…
Caraline Johnson photo Caraline JohnsonCaraline has over 20 years’ experience in education law and has worked…
Patrick Keown photo Patrick KeownPartner
Philip Kirkpatrick photo Philip KirkpatrickDeputy managing partner and joint head of charity and social enterprise team,…
Thea Longley photo Thea LongleyPartner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the…
Richard Marke photo Richard MarkePartner, commercial team. Richard has a broad range of commercial contract and…
Rosamund McCarthy Etherington photo Rosamund McCarthy EtheringtonPartner. Areas of expertise include: charity registrations (local, national and international); philanthropy…
Lucy Mclynn photo Lucy MclynnContentious employment work with particular emphasis on discrimination and status issues; reported…
Robert Oakley photo Robert OakleyPartner and Head of Dispute Resolution / Litigation Department. Case load includes…
Chetal Patel photo Chetal PatelChetal advises individuals on securing leave to enter and remain in the…
Tom Pratt photo Tom PrattTom provides a wide range of contractual, commercial and governance advice to…
Lesley Robinson photo Lesley RobinsonPartner and head of property dispute resolution main areas of practice: property…
Malcolm Robson photo Malcolm RobsonPartner specialising in commercial litigation, arbitration and mediation, including general corporate litigation,…
Abbie Rumbold photo Abbie RumboldPartner in charity and social enterprise team. Recent work includes: Spin-out of…
Paul Seath photo Paul SeathContentious and non-contentious employment work, including transactional advice. Particular interest in disability…
Lawrence Simanowitz photo Lawrence SimanowitzSpecialist in advising UK and international charities, arts and media organisations, not-for-profits…
Laura Soley photo Laura SoleyPartner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the…
Simon Steeden photo Simon SteedenPartner in charity and social enterprise department. Provide corporate and commercial, financial,…
Mark Tasker photo Mark TaskerPartner and head of corporate and commercial team. Specialist in corporate finance,…
Mark Traynor photo Mark TraynorPartner in the property team acting for commercial, charity and private clients…
Molly Waiting photo Molly WaitingMolly joined the Corporate and Commercial team after completing her training contract…
Claire Whittle photo Claire WhittleClaire has experience in a wide range of public and regulatory work. …
Number of UK partners : 37
Number of other UK fee-earners : 115

Promoting diversity and inclusion is a key priority for us. It is weaved throughout everything we do. Our engagement ranges from the pro bono work of our volunteers through to the core work of the firm.

We take action, including through our Diversity & Inclusion Forum (DIF), to bring about positive change. Some of our achievements include:

  • Regularly welcoming school age children to the firm and providing work-based experience through our Social Mobility and Schools Outreach programme.
  • Using contextual recruitment processes (including working with Rare Recruitment to calibrate academic results in the context of an average school performance, caring responsibilities and/or having been in care etc) and specific diversity-focused agencies to recruit to meet our diversity goals.
  • Working with Breaking Barriers, to offer placements to refugees in our legal and business teams to support integration through employment.
  • Co-authoring the Practical Toolkit for Women in Law with the Law Society as a guide to help female lawyers throughout the world.
  • Becoming the first law firm to adopt The Halo Code, which explicitly protects employees with natural hairstyles associated with their racial, ethnic, and cultural identities.
  • Publicly committing to the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter.
  • Partaking in the Law Society women in the profession centenary work – holding separate roundtable meetings for women and for men, internally and with clients and in-house lawyers, to consider barriers and solutions to career advancement of women lawyers, and to feed in the outcomes to our Management Board and the Law Society.
  • Signing The Race at Work Charter – an initiative designed to improve outcomes for BAME employees in the UK.
  • Organising regular activities and speakers for Black History Month, Holocaust Day and Mental Health Awareness Week.
  • Preparing gender and ethnicity pay gap reports, in particular formulating the action points designed to close the gap, including family friendly policies, encouraging flexible and adaptable working for all employees and partners, and improving inclusion and unconscious bias training.
  • Being an accredited Living Wage Employer and being a founder member of London Citizens’ Living Wage Campaign.
  • Partnering with Sutton Trust on their Pathways to Law programme for disadvantaged people.
  • Creating a list of resources to increase understanding about disabilities, caring responsibilities and neurodiversity.
  • Receiving the Belief at Work Award from Savanta ComRes, for commitment to creating a workplace through which our staff and clients of all faiths and none can flourish (in part through our Faith at Work group).

We have HR functions which monitor the development of staff through promotion ensuring appropriate training and work opportunities to maximise potential.

Many of our lawyers are leaders in equality law and we bring this to bear in seeking the development equalities law. Our Head of Public and Regulatory was previously an in-house lawyer for the Commission for Racial Equality (a predecessor of the Equality and Human Rights Commission). Our Head of Employment was, for many years, on the government’s Advisory Panel of the Equal Opportunities Review. Moreover, a great many of Bates Wells’ clients, for whom we do discounted work, are pioneers in positive action, advancement and allyship, such as Black Lives Matter.

As the first law firm to be certified as a B Corporation (a business that meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance), our commitment in this area is routinely scrutinised to maintain our certification.