Bates Wells tops charity client table for fifth consecutive year

London’s Bates Wells & Braithwaite is the UK’s top firm for charity work, according to an annual league table.

The RCM Top 3000 Charities list shows that the firm acts for 220 of the UK’s top 3,000 charities – well clear of second-placed Withers, which acts for 153.

Senior Partner Stephen Lloyd, head of the charity and social enterprises group, said: “This is down to two things, specialisation and our position as a commercial firm, rather than as a firm that does charity work as an adjunct to its private client work.

“Charities these days want people who know about big contracts and commercial work, including sponsorship, licensing, brands and setting up service level agreements.”
2006 is the fifth year in a row that Bates Wells has topped the table, and sees an increase on last year’s total of 217 charity clients.

Behind Bates Wells and Withers was London firm Russell-Cooke, which works for 150 charities, Salisbury-based Wilsons, which acts for 145, and London’s Farrer & Co, which acts for 140.

Bates Wells first began practising charity law in 1971. Clients include Action Aid, the British Red Cross, Friends of the Earth and Shelter, the firm’s first charity client.

Allen & Overy (A&O), Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP), Eversheds, Linklaters and Nabarro Nathanson also appear in the top 20. Nabarros, in eighth place, has 79 charity clients, while BLP, in tenth, has 52. A&O has 46, Eversheds 35 and Linklaters, in ninteenth place, has 26.