Who we are

Bates Wells

Bates Wells is a law firm with charities at its heart. We act for more of the top 3000 charities than any other firm and have the largest team of charity-specialised solicitors in the country, across the full range of legal services, from employment to immigration to dispute resolution and beyond. We are ranked in the top tier for charity law by independent legal directories Chambers UK and Legal 500. Chambers also recognises us in the top band for employment law for third sector organisations. We’re also the first UK law firm to certify as a B Corp, which means that making a positive impact on society, the environment and our people is central to what we do.

With decades of collective experience we are able to:

  • anticipate the common obstacles that can arise and help our clients navigate them;
  • identify our client’s key strategic goals and help them achieve them;
  • provide advice which is strategic, pragmatic and economical.

Particular support is provided by Paul Seath, Employment Department Partner, with regular employment law updates and Q&A sessions with members.

here is some useful content for members and member organisation.

Resources on key updates in 2024.

Holiday pay for irregular workers (and some positive developments for employers)

  • There are some positive developments for employers on the horizon with new legislation coming into effect at the start of the new tax year to help clarify and better manage holiday pay calculation for workers who work irregular hours. Explore what this means for your organisation including changes to calculation methods, rolled up holiday pay and accrual of annual leave during periods of sickness, absence or family leave here.

 What’s still to come in 2024? Upcoming immigration changes

  • 2024 has already been a year of rapid change for the UK’s most-used immigration routes, with the rest of the year set to be no less eventful. In this article, our Immigration team assess the upcoming immigration changes this year and the key dates to consider when looking to apply, extend or switch immigration status.

The tax treatment of settlement agreement payments for discrimination and the (expensive) dangers of getting it wrong

  • The recent Tax Tribunal judgment in Mathur v HMRC serves as a stark reminder for employers of the importance of getting things right when it comes to the tax treatment of termination payments in settlement agreements, in particular in circumstances where those payments are intended as compensation for injury to feelings in the context of alleged discrimination. You can find a full breakdown of the case here.

 New government approach to ‘extremism’

 On Monday 11 March, the government announced that it had updated its definition of ‘extremism’, specifically stating that this is in response to ‘increased extremist threat since the October 7th attacks in Israel’. This definition will apply across government’s funding of and interaction with third parties under its new engagement principles. In this article, our team discuss the new definition and how it will impact NGOs and civil society organisations.

 Face to face fundraising – Fundraising Regulator publishes market inquiry report

 On 26 March, the Fundraising Regulator reported the findings of its market inquiry into subcontracting in face-to-face fundraising. The inquiry was launched following a rapid expansion in face-to-face fundraising post-pandemic, heightened media scrutiny, and an increase in complaints and Fundraising Regulator investigations in relation to this method of fundraising. Whilst the report provides little by way of new information, it does emphasise several recurring issues in subcontracted face-to-face fundraising which the Fundraising Regulator is looking to address. You can find further details about the investigation here.

* Following the well-received programme of Bates Wells Skills Sessions in 2023, a new series of skills and governance sessions will be running in 2024-5.  Details will be advertised to members when dates have been agreed .... including another date for the invaluable Mock Employment Tribunal!

Members can visit the Reports, Resources and Research section of our website for details/presentation files on recent sessions led by Bates Wells for members.