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Herbert Smith has worked on a pro bono basis to help Barnardo's set up a social enterprise arm, enabling the children's charity to generate revenue independent of donations.
Barnardo's Social Enterprise Ltd (BSEL) will enable the charity to sell services to other organisations to generate funds.
BSEL has already completed an IT fit-out project for another charity hoping to lease space in its London offices and is piloting other initiatives, including providing training in specialised childcare for local authorities, selling specialised insurance, and publishing. Barnardo's estimates that the value of BSEL to the charity will be more than £1.8m over a five-year period.
The Herbert Smith team was led by technology, media and telecoms (TMT) partner Mark Turner. The team assisted Barnardo's with the VAT and covenant issues for the new venture, as well as on its registration and data protection.
"Barnardo's is sifting through all sorts of ideas to see how it can develop its new arm," Turner says. "The Government has encouraged charities and other notfor-profit organisations to develop social enterprise initiatives and it's exciting to be involved with one that's taken up the challenge so enthusiastically."
As well as advising the charity on setting up BSEL over the last nine months, Herbert Smith also advised BSEL on heads of terms for its conference business, reviewing a joint venture to deliver insurance products for those considered at high risk, and reviewing and redrafting the terms of business for a new training and consultancy service.
Evan Edwards, social enterprise director at Barnardo's, says: "The work that the social enterprise team is undertaking at Barnardo's is important to the long-term future of the organisation. Currently our income is heavily reliant on securing funding from local authorities and traditional methods of fundraising, and while both sources are valuable, they also carry risk."