Impact Report 2021

Community

We have an impact business model that makes us unique. This means that since we were founded in 1970, we have supported clients who want to have a wider impact on the world, including charities, social enterprises and purpose-led businesses. This 50-year focus on clients who are making a difference and doing good has given us deep sectoral knowledge, corporate memory, experience and expertise in enabling those making a positive change.

Supporting organisations whose work aligns with our values as individuals creates a working environment where our people get real enjoyment and meaning from their work while giving their best to our clients. The experience we get from this helps us drive our own impact – collectively and individually. Using our knowledge, intelligence and market position, we are able to pursue strategic litigation that has a wider impact (such as the challengers of Uber), and strategic advocacy (Better Business Act) to make positive changes in the UK’s economy. We use our expertise and values to partner with others working to make a difference (B Corps, Business Declares). Our people leverage the networks, knowledge and experience they gain from working with our clients to drive positive change outside work through volunteering and trusteeships.

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We Walk the Walk

This model helps us attract talented people and clients working to make a real difference; it gives us opportunities to work with like-minded organisations; and it means that we have an impact beyond our legal advice. We hope to be an example of what is possible and to act as an ambassador to encourage other businesses to join the movement to make business a force for good.

Background
Uber

The Bates Wells team provided nearly five years of pro bono support to the challengers of Uber. The case culminated in a Supreme Court decision that drivers for the app should be considered workers.

2.8m

are expected to be positively affected by the decision.

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All our people are entitled to take up to 2 days per year for volunteering time and are supported to take on trustee positions and provide pro bono advice in areas that interest them.

Kids Company

We acted for former trustees of Kids Company when the Official Receiver issued director disqualification claims against them. The judge dismissed the case sending a clear message to all charity trustees that they will continue to receive the protection of the court when making honest and reasonable judgments.

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Our B Corp score increases 10 points to

116.5

and we are recognised as best for the world in Governance

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Better Business Act
72%

want to see business do better.

Bates Wells lawyers have been at the centre of drafting the proposed Act which would see a commitment to wider society and the environment embedded into the DNA of every UK business.

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Blueprint for All

One of our key aspirations is to use our expertise to address social and racial injustice. Supporting our client Blueprint for All is helping us achieve this while helping them to widen their impact in a time when their work has grown exponentially.

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Practical Toolkit for Women in Law

Bates Wells and the Law Society publish the Practical Toolkit for Women in law to address equality, opportunity and representation in the profession.

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Responding to the pandemic

When the pandemic hit, we recognised that the wider charity and social enterprise sector needed support and guidance. We quickly prepared and distributed a variety of free resources to our own networks and beyond and have continued to do so as organisations adjust to the new normal.

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