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Laura Soley

Work 020 7551 7768
Bates Wells Braithwaite

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 Braithwaite

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Bates Wells Braithwaite  ‘takes the times to understand its clients’ values and priorities and then gives advice that is accurate and practical’. The ‘very industriousPhilip Kirkpatrick heads the department and is an ‘imaginative and resourceful thinker’. Thea Longley  ‘attracts high-profile clients and retains their confidence’. Rosamund McCarthy provides ‘clear and sensible advice and works within deadlines’ and Stephanie Biden  provides a ‘consistently excellent service’. Luke Fletcher  gives ‘excellent advice and guidance’ and Laura Soley  is ‘very experienced and level-headed’. Lawrence Simanowitz  is praised for his ‘excellent communication skills and knowledge’. Abbie Rumbold  has particular expertise in the social enterprise sector and associate Lucy Rhodes ‘tenaciously digs away through historical documents to come up with highly useable advice and solutions’. Augustus Della-Porta  is now a partner and Julian Blake  joined Stone King LLP  Clients include Oxfam and the RNIB. The group continues to advise the Royal Albert Hall on various high profile and complex governance and constitutional issues relating to the Hall’s constitution – the constitution was created by Royal Charter and several acts of parliament dating back to 1876. The Samaritans, National Federation of Women’s Institutes and BBC Children in Need are also clients.

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