UK law firm commits £1m of legal support to social enterprises and charities

A London-based law firm has committed £1m of legal support for charities and social enterprises through its new ‘Get Legal’ initiative.

Bates Wells Braithwaite (BWB), which was one of the UK’s founding B Corps, has launched Get Legal to allow more not-for-profits – including start-ups and small organisations – access to high quality legal services. The law firm has made bespoke legal documents accessible and affordable for charities and social enterprises.

Thea Longley, partner in BWB’s Charity and Social Enterprise team said: “Time and again insight has revealed that charities are under pressure to keep admin costs as low as possible and we know that many small charities cannot afford to take any legal advice at all.

“Our message to charities and social enterprises is that Get Legal is part of our commitment to the sector and has been designed to help you access more straightforward legal documents at a much lower cost. We encourage organisations to embrace this new, digital tool to ensure you’re up to date with duties and regulatory requirements on a range of issues from employment to governance and beyond.”

Many small charities cannot afford to take any legal advice at all.

BWB is working closely with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and Social Enterprise UK (SEUK) to ensure that charities and social enterprises are aware of the service on offer.

Head of enterprise & membership at NCVO Gillen Knight said: “We know from our members that many of them would feel more confident with the opportunity to check that their legal procedures are robust and up to date. We are really pleased to be able to provide access to Get Legal content, drafted by charity law experts at BWB.”

Documents on the site, which cover a wide range of legal issues including charity registration and a guide to English employment law, are available for charities and social enterprises to purchase, priced at about one-tenth of what it would cost to commission a solicitor to draft them. The documents are kept up-to-date through regular reviews and are supplemented by detailed guidance and notes from BWB solicitors.

Nick Temple, deputy CEO at SEUK, said: “Social entrepreneurs are driven to make positive changes in peoples' lives and the communities they work in, but many do not have legal expertise in-house, or time and money to spend addressing legal issues.

“BWB has come up with a solution for the sector, which makes legal services affordable even to small organisations. We hope and expect to see many social enterprises taking advantage of this, and getting the advice and support they need.”

To find out more about Get Legal, please click here.


Photo credit: Kaushik Narasimhan