The Legal 500

Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Work 0345 415 0000
Fax 0344 984 1501

Emma Moody

Work 0191 230 8823
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

Work Department



Emma is a partner and head of the firm's charities team. She joined the firm eight years ago from leading London charity practice Farrer & Co. Emma’s clients are both national (Addiction, Masonic Samaritan Fund, Alcoholics Anonymous) and regional (Mental Health Matters, Gateshead College, Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle); and she has provided support to trustees and senior management on a variety of legal issues ranging from governance reviews and restructuring exercises, incorporations and mergers, in relation to fundraising trading and tax, mergers and collaborations and compliance with regulatory requirements. Emma acts as the main point of contact for the firm’s charity clients. She works very closely with others in the firm to ensure that charities benefit from comprehensive advice in areas such as employment and pensions, data protection, property and health and safety. She believes in delivering excellent advice in a straightforward and commercial manner, recognising the needs of the client and delivering so they can achieve their objectives. This year, Emma has provided legal support to: Addaction, national drug and alcohol charity, on its merger with KCA; Masonic Samaritan Fund, one of the four large central masonic charities, on its consolidation with the other three charities; Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School, the largest regional independent school, on its complete constitutional review and update; Springboard Sunderland Trust, a large regional charity, on its disassociation from its parent company, the national charity, CSV. Emma is a charity trustee. She is a regular speaker at events on issues affecting the sector, is a member of the Charity Law Association, the Association of Colleges, and the firm is a member of ACEVO and CFG.


Trained and qualified at Farrer & Co 2002-07; solicitor, Dickinson Dees 2007; associate, Dickinson Dees 2009; director Dickinson Dees 2011; (head of team from 2012); Bond Dickinson on merger 2013; partner, Bond Dickinson 2014; partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP on combination 2017. Director of trustee of Age UK North Tyneside, Springfield House (Reece) Trust, Clerk Gateshead College. Publications of note: regular contributor to Third Sector, Articles written for Private Wealth, editor of charities and independent schools newsletters.


Charity Law Association, Association of Colleges, ACEVO, CFG.

London: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP  has a ‘very responsive team that is easily accessible even out of hours. The team’s knowledge is excellent’. Head of team is Emma Moody  who ‘wins peoples’ trust quickly’. The' approachable, pragmatic and knowledgeableJo Coleman  provides ‘well explained advice and delivers to time and within estimate’. The national team has an international reach and advises a broad range of clients such as service providers, corporate and family foundations, grant makers as well as professional societies. It has particular expertise in the education, health and care as well as the religious sectors. Highlights included advising the United Synagogue on the funding and structuring arrangements that were required to develop one of the United Synagogue’s flagship synagogues. The advice included negotiating the funding arrangements with a local charitable trust as well as advising on other issues such as the transfer of land. Gateshead College and Addaction are other major clients.

[back to top]

London: Public sector

Education: institutions

Within: Education: institutions

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP offers a full service to an impressive range of universities, colleges, student unions and education support organisations. It can provide sector-specific advice in areas ranging from charities law and governance to corporate and real estate and is especially in demand for procurement matters. It is advising Durham University on the delivery of two new colleges via a long-term public-private partnership. Emma Moody  and Kevin Robertson are advising Gateshead College on its response to the government’s local area review process by developing a Career College to focus on the construction industry. Christina Tolvas-Vincent is especially noted for her expertise in employment matters and is advising the Arts University Bournemouth on the introduction of a new academic career framework for its academic staff. Craig Moore is also noted for his real estate work.

[back to top]

Education: schools

Within: Education: schools

Kevin Robertson, who heads the education practice, and Emma Moody  who specialises in charity law, are the key names at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP. The team is advising numerous governing bodies such as Waterton Trust, Carmel Education Trust and St Hilda’s Catholic Academy Trust on matters relating to academy conversions. Robertson is assisting the Education and Skills Funding Agency on its Free Schools programme and is also advising the Northern Education Trust on academy conversions and HR matters relating to its schools. Other clients include the Carmel Education Trust in Darlington, Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School and the Vision Academy Trust.

[back to top]

North: Private client

Charities and not-for-profit

Within: Charities and not-for-profit

With particular expertise in the education, health and religious charity sectors, Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is noted for its ‘excellent level of service’, providing clients with ‘timely and detailed advice’ on strategic, governance and operational charity law matters. This includes assistance with registrations with the Charity Commission and preparing governing documents for the establishment of a charity as well as advice on regulatory compliance and charitable trust matters. ‘Outstanding’ team head Emma Moody ‘is always prepared to go the extra mile’; she advised Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums on its governance structure, the establishment of a strategic board and the set-up of a trading company as a joint venture to enable the client to develop new revenue streams. In other work, Moody assisted Gateshead College with a review of the college’s complaints system, and continues to provide the Roman Catholic charity Saint John of God Hospitaller Services with on-going strategic advice. ‘Knowledgeable’ managing associate Samantha Pritchard is another key member of the team and praised for her ‘common sense approach’.

[back to top]

North: Public sector


Within: Education

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP provides a ‘very good service’ to a broad education sector client base including schools, school governing bodies, academy trusts and local authorities. Its offering is equally wide-ranging and spans contentious and non-contentious governance, health and safety and academy conversion matters alongside employment, construction and procurement issues. Team head Kevin Robertson is ‘first class’; he continues to advise the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the Department for Education on its free school programme which includes university technical colleges and studio schools. He also advised multiple governing bodies on their conversion to academy status, and assisted 12 schools with handover arrangements and other matters pertaining to the North East PF2 programme. Together with Iain Greenshields, he assisted Academy 360 with its change of sponsor. In another highlight, Greenshields advised Durham University on all aspects of the delivery of two new colleges at Mount Oswald via a long-term public private partnership. Other key individuals include the ‘outstandingEmma Moody, who is ‘always prepared to go the extra mile for the client’, Simon Rowland and Ian Atkinson. Associate Peter Cantwell is also recommended and rated for his ‘practical and timely advice’.

[back to top]

Back to index

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to