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Laura Soley

Work 020 7551 7768
Bates Wells

Work Department

Charity and social enterprise.


Partner in the charity and social enterprise team and head of the firm’s expert charitable trusts special interest group and joint head of the firm’s Legacies Trusts and Probate Disputes cross-departmental team. Advises charities on charity law, governance and structuring issues, with particular specialism in advising on technical charity law issues and structures including complex charitable trusts, major gifts and endowments, schemes and property holding structures. Laura was a member of the Charity Law Association working party which responded to the Law Commission’s paper on “Technical Issues in Charity Law” and lead BWB’s own submission to the consultation. Recent work includes advising a charity governed by Acts of Parliament on amending its Acts and scope of powers, review and rationalisation of restricted funds and endowments for a royal charter body and advising a University on Equality Act issues in relation to grants.


Trained Allen & Overy; qualified March 1999 into Allen & Overy’s private client team, 1999 to 2001. Solicitor, RadcliffesLeBrasseur, 2002. Joined BWB, 2002 to 2004. Worked at the National Pro Bono Resource Centre in Sydney, Australia in 2004. Re-joined BWB in 2005. Partner in charity and social enterprise team since 2012,. Contributor to new edition of “The Charities Acts Handbook: A Practical Guide” (Jordans)


Charity Law Association (including its working group on the Law Commission consultation and participated in its working group on the draft Charities (Total Return) Regulations). Member of the Living Legacies group lead by Philanthropy Impact. Former trustee of LawWorks.


Nonsuch High School for Girls; Exeter University, LLB Hons (1st) 1995, Guildford College of Law (Distinction) 1996.


Yoga, hiking and cycling

London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Leading individuals

Laura Soley - Bates Wells

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Bates Wells has a large and dedicated charities practice that handles the full array of matters. The first-class team has recently been advising on various safeguarding matters as well as on some of the most complex and high-profile matters for household name organisations. The department also continues to advise many important charities on highly confidential pre-investigation compliance cases as well as investigations by the Charity Commission. The well-regarded Philip Kirkpatrick heads the charities and social enterprises department which includes: Rosamund McCarthy, who has a high profile in the charity sector acting for top 100 charities on governance and complex regulatory matters; Lawrence Simanowitz, who has a strong presence in the environment sector; newly-promoted senior partner Stephanie Biden, who is 'thorough, hardworking and efficient'; Thea Longley, who covers start-ups, constitutional advice (including restructuring), and governance reviews; Abbie Rumbold, who specialises in establishing charities created as spin-outs from the public sector; 'bright and astute' Laura Soley, who leads the firm’s expert trusts and legacies group; Erica Crump, who leads the culture and creative cross-departmental team; senior associate Pippa Garland; and associate Lucy Rhodes. Louise Haran, Victoria Schneider and Mathew Healey were all promoted to the partnership.

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