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Stephanie Biden

Work 020 7551 7750
Bates Wells

Work Department

Charity and social enterprise.


Partner. Advises on establishing new charities and social enterprises, and assists charities with mergers, reorganisations and constitutional reviews. Regularly advises on governance, grant-making, fundraising, equality and discrimination issues, corporate philanthropy and regulatory action by the Charity Commission, with a particular interest in advising faith-based charities and international non-profit organisations. Recent work includes advising on two mergers each involving two charities in the health and medical research sector; advising CAFOD the official international development agency of the Catholic Church in England and Wales on its incorporation; advising the McCall MacBain Foundation, a grant-making organisation, on a £75m donation to the Rhodes Trust; advising on the registration of the Marriage Foundation as a charity and the conversion of StreetBank CIC to a charity (both of which had previously were initially refused charitable status); and acting as specialist advisor to the pre-legislative scrutiny committee (a joint committee of both Houses of Parliament) on what became the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016.


Trained BWB; qualified 2005; partner 2013. Previously worked as a legal fellow with International Justice Mission in Thailand, 2003. Voluntary work experience in the UK, Ukraine, China and Thailand. Contributor to Jordan’s ‘Charities – The New Law 2006 – A Practical Guide to the Charities Acts’.


Charity Law Association (including its working group on the Equality Act); Trustee of Breaking Barriers; Trustee of Stewardship; Trustee of Tearfund; former secretary and founding committee member of the Solicitors’ International Human Rights Group (2005-07), co-ordinating its work on human trafficking, including evidence to Joint Committee on Human Rights inquiry; The House of St Barnabas.


Travel, theatre, film, hosting an occasional supperclub raising funds for small charities, skiing.

London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Leading individuals

Stephanie Biden - 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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