Bristol-Based Law Firm Ranked in Top 3 Legal Advisers to Charities for Fifth Year Running
Leading sector publication Charity Finance has once again named VWV in the top three legal firms for the UK’s 350 leading charities in its latest survey, a position held by the firm since 2014.
Conducted independently, the Charity Finance Law Firm Survey assesses the size and effectiveness of the sector’s top charity teams in a range of areas.
VWV acts for more than 1,000 charities, from smaller charities working in local communities through to much larger national and international organisations, and advises on a wide range of challenging and commercially-sensitive work, including mergers and insolvencies, major capital projects, group reorganisations and staff restructuring.
VWV’s Charities team is made up of 17 specialist charity lawyers and a wider team of 45 lawyers who advise charities on all aspects of what they do based in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham. The team advises charities across the sector, with particular expertise in charities involved in health and social care, the arts and education. Clients include the Soil Association, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Society and College of Radiographers.
Con Alexander, who leads VWV’s Charities team, recently spoke to Charity Finance about the latest trends in the sector, including a rise in “mergers of necessity”. “For charities with a secure asset base, Con said, this presents an opportunity to grow and find new ways to serve the people they support.”
Similarly, faith-based charities have faced a number of issues over the last 12 months, with Con recognising the “the governance issues that arise when running complex religious organisations in which the trustees are accountable to a large congregation that includes people from many different backgrounds.”
Joined by expert on faith charities Shivaji Shiva in our Birmingham office last year, VWV’s Charities team also advises a range of faith charities, including Church of England Diocese, a nationally recognised mosque and Islamic education centre, several Synods of the United Reformed Church and one of the largest Hindu temples in Europe.
This success comes on the back of last month’s release of the two leading legal directories, Chambers & Partners and Legal 500, which recognised VWV amongst the best in the charity sector nationally but also in Bristol and Birmingham.
Con Alexander commented:
“Achieving this accolade for the fifth year is a testament to the commitment our clients have given us and we are very grateful for that trust.
Charities are in need of more support than ever before, with the current climate bringing about issues of safeguarding and funding, as well as technical legal changes, Brexit uncertainty and growth challenges. Our team are determined to support charities in this changeable time and we are proud that our hard work is being recognised. “
Bristol-Based Law Firm Strengthens Its Partnership with Six Partner Promotions
Six lawyers have recently celebrated their promotion to Partner at award-winning law firm VWV.
The six individuals are Property Litigation lawyer Dan Hall, Robin Rajanah in Commercial Property, our Trade Marks specialist Paula Williams, Commercial Litigator and part-time tribunal judge Nick Martindale, Fiona Lawrence in the Contentious Probate team, and Bob Fahy, whose promotion makes him the second Employment Partner in the London team, further strengthening the firm’s practice in the city.
In addition to the five Partner promotions in Bristol, nine more of the firm’s legal staff have achieved promotions to Associate or Senior Associate roles, as a result of the firm’s continued growth.
Recent months have seen other significant developments across the firm, with new Partner hires including Daniel Church in Watford, and Nigel Mears in Birmingham – who both joined the Private Client team. The addition of Daniel and Nigel, together with the new wave of promotions, now brings the firm’s total number of partners to nearly 90.
VWV Managing Partner Simon Heald commented:
“The firm’s growth continues apace with this latest round of promotions, after another period of strong development for the firm. Dan, Robin, Paula, Nick, Fiona and Bob have all contributed significantly to the success of the firm throughout their time with us. I am glad to be able to recognise their efforts and welcome them to the partnership.”
VWV’s Commercial Team Grows Further with New Partner Hire
The partnership at award-winning law firm VWV continues to grow even stronger, with the addition of new Partner Matthew Wolton.
Specialising in supporting academies and independent schools, Matthew joins the firm’s 36-strong Commercial Law team in Bristol. The team advises on a full range of commercial law issues, from data protection and standard terms, to resolving disputes and preparing commercial contracts, and is based across the firm’s offices in London, Watford, Bristol and Birmingham.
Matthew has advised school governors, directors, and trusts on a myriad of issues throughout his legal career. In addition to working with academy trusts for over 12 years, he has significant experience in public procurement and wider commercial law, from day-to-day problem solving through to high-level, strategic support for education clients. Matthew acts for organisations such as The White Horse Federation, River Learning Trust, Tudor Grange Academies Trust, and Prospere Learning Trust.
With his wealth of experience, Matthew is a frequent speaker and panellist at academy events, and also contributes to the Times Educational Supplement. He has spoken on a number of topics including how to grow a multi-academy trust and academy trust governance.
Dr Nicholas Capstick OBE, Chief Executive Officer of The White Horse Federation, commented:
“The support that Matthew offers the WHF is immeasurable. His pragmatic and sensitive approach shows that as well as knowing the organisation inside out, he also understands me and my needs, which not only helps me to grow the organisation but also to sleep easier in my bed at night.”
Doug Locke, Head of Corporate, Commercial and Charities, commented:
“Our Education team has achieved great success over the past year, maintaining its position in the first tier of UK law firms advising schools according to leading legal directories Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. We are delighted to welcome Matthew. His 12 years of experience advising clients in the education sector, particularly multi-academy trusts, will enhance our ability to provide a first tier service to education clients.”