Liz Brownsell > Birketts LLP > Ipswich, England > Lawyer Profile

Birketts LLP
Providence House
141-145 Princes Street

Work Department

Charities and Social Enterprise


Senior Associate, Co-Head of Charities and Social Enterprise


Liz is a Senior Associate and Co-Head of our Charities and Social Enterprise Team. She also specialises in Education (in particular academy conversions).

Liz leads on non-contentious work within the firm-wide charities and social enterprise group. Her expertise covers a wide range of matters affecting charities, including setting up and incorporation, mergers, corporate structuring and restructuring, governance (including constitutional and membership issues), commercial arrangements and contracts (including joint ventures and collaborative agreements), trading and charity retail (in particular Gift Aid for charity shops), fundraising, matters involving the Charity Commission (including investigations), releasing permanent endowment and other restricted funds, and general charity law.

Liz has further specific expertise advising on academy conversions, covering every type of conversion, including primary and secondary schools, special needs schools, sponsored conversions, Catholic schools, and Church of England schools. Liz also provides post-conversion support to academy schools on matters such as compliance with DfE and EFA requirements, governance, mergers with other academy trust companies and other commercial issues.

Liz leads the firm’s in-house training offering to our charity clients through Birketts’ Shaping Excellence Programme, and regularly delivers seminars on a variety of topics. Liz also delivers the firm’s rolling programme of Charity Trustee Induction and Refresher Training, which provides charity trustees and senior managers with essential training on the role and responsibilities of charity trustees.


Liz is a member of the Charity Law Association and has an active interest in the development of the sector. She has been involved in a number of CLA Working Parties, including Lord Hodgson’s review of the Charities Act 2006, the Law Commission’s consultation on technical issues in charity law, and the new Charity Governance Code. Liz is also a member of the CLA Standing Committee on Model Documents for Charities.

Liz is also a member of the Education Law Association and the Charity Retail Association.

Liz regularly writes for sector media and has published a number of articles in publications such as Charities Management Magazine.

Lawyer Rankings

East Anglia > Private client > Charities and not-for-profit

(Next Generation Partners)

Liz BrownsellBirketts LLP

The responsiveness of this team is outstanding and unsurpassed ‘, says a client of Birketts LLP. The firm advises on the incorporation of new charities, as well as handling mergers, fundraisings, employment issues, property work, disputes and regulatory matters for a host of well-established charitable organisations. Liz Brownsell in Ipswich leads the practice and is a key adviser to major clients including Amnesty International and The Royal Academy of Arts. Clients appreciate the ‘tenacity and honesty‘ of legal director Erika Clarke in Norwich, who handles charity law and procurement matters. Senior associate Frances Godden is recommended for matters of ecclesiastical law.

East Anglia > Public sector > Public sector

(Rising stars)

Liz BrownsellBirketts LLP

Birketts LLP has ‘in-depth knowledge, experience and expertise in state and boarding education and safeguarding issues‘ . Beyond the education sector, it also has a broad skill set, advising on health and local government matters in a ‘responsive and effective way, with first-rate knowledge‘. Ruth Neave, who works across all four of the firm’s office, is head of the firm’s public sector and local government practice, with head of education Abigail Trencher in Cambridge and lead health partner Matthew Newnham in Norwich also heavily involved. They call upon Cambridge-based litigation partner Sara Sayer and Ipswich-based senior associate Claire Jones, who advises on grant funding arrangements and the exercise of statutory duties. In Ipswich, corporate expert Liz Brownsell, who focuses on education work, and planning senior associate Nicky Doole are core members of the practice.