Bates Wells is a purpose-driven business and the first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp. This means that we consider the impact of our decisions on our people, clients, suppliers, community, and the environment. Our commitment to creating positive impact in the world is written into our governing document, so that it is part of the firm’s DNA. Through Bates Wells’ firm-wide Purpose & Impact practice, we work with clients that operate a “triple bottom line” – integrating social and environmental impact into commercial activities. This includes many B Corps, social enterprises, impact investors, purpose-driven banks, and responsible businesses. Bates Wells uses the law as a force for good by supporting purpose-driven organisations and individuals to achieve their goals.
Bates Wells advises across a full range of practice areas, including corporate and commercial, data privacy, dispute resolution, employment, immigration, public and regulatory, real estate, finance and banking, impact investing and charity law. What makes us unique is that our Purpose & Impact practice brings together our expert lawyers from across our specialisms, to serve purpose-driven clients in a way that reflects and supports their values and impact objectives.
Bates Wells has been at the forefront of cases to bring positive change in society, and defend those bringing about that change. From winning worker status in the ground-breaking Uber Supreme Court case, potentially affecting 5.5m workers in the UK gig economy, to representing claimants in Butler-Sloss & Ors v The Charity Commission, a landmark High Court ruling that the trustees of charitable trusts are allowed to prioritise the climate change outcomes of their investments even if that risks reducing financial returns.
Bates Wells also works at the cutting edge of impact-driven business and investment. We worked with government to introduce the UK’s CIC (Community Interest Company) legal structure for social enterprise, championed the introduction of social investment tax relief, helped to bring the B Corp movement to the UK, and created tools such as Purposely to help companies put purpose-beyond-profit at the heart of business. Recently, Bates Wells was behind the drafting of the Bill proposed by the Better Business Act campaign, which seeks to change UK company law to align company objects with the interests of society and the environment.