Charities and not-for-profits are incredibly diverse and interesting organisations committed to making a difference.

Charities have obligations, liabilities, operational issues and strategic plans that all have legal aspects but finding the expertise and support to navigate the issues your organisation faces can be challenging.

A law firm that understands you

At Stephens Scown our clients benefit from solicitors who have a track record of supporting clients through a wide range of issues from employment law to property leases, data protection to commercial contracts. We work with a range of clients from national charities to local community energy groups, pioneering new enterprises and social housing providers.

Cost-effective advice when charities need it most

We understand the importance to charities of receiving value for money and we always strive to ensure our clients are given the best legal advice that’s cost-effective. Our solicitors can offer an integrated approach calling on a team of experts from across the firm to advise on:

A law firm that strives to make a difference too

We genuinely care about our people, local community and the environment. We seek to take business decisions and corporately act in way that is consistent with this care and long term view. Our ‘Giving Back’ programme enables us to support our colleagues to follow their own passions for community and environment, to enrich their lives and increase the positive impact we can have. Read more about our corporate social responsibility.

We pride ourselves on doing things with purpose. We are employee owned which means everyone has a real stake in our business and our clients really benefit. We believe great people deliver great service. Find out more about employee ownership.

You don’t have to take our word for it

In an independent survey, 88% of our clients said they’d recommend Stephens Scown. And the two leading independent law guides, Chambers and Legal 500, consider us to be ‘a regional heavyweight’, singling out our lawyers for their quality, experience and reputation. In addition, we have been ranked for six consecutive years in The Sunday Times ‘100 Best Companies to work for’ list.

Our recent experience includes:

  • Advising one of the UK’s wildlife trusts on contractual arrangements, grant agreements and providing general corporate and commercial support in relation to fundraising and funding issues
  • Providing Charitable Giving advice on IT contracts, data protection compliance, governance advice and general employment advice relating to fundraising
  • Working in-house for an international disaster relief charity offering commercial, governance and data protection support
  • Advising on the payment of services to charity trustees and associated governance implications
  • Advising a number of charities in connection with trustee conduct issues
  • Preparing amendments to the governing documents of an international charity and its trading subsidiary
  • Advising on charity mergers, recently acting for a regional branch of a national mental health charity
  • Advising on charitable structures and assisting charity clients on the process of establishing a CIO
  • Support in relation to the incorporation of an innovative charity specialising in the provision of education
  • Preparation of a strategic governance review for a care charity including the preparation of a governance framework and amending the terms of reference for various individual and sub-committees
  • Advising on the set up of community interest companies (CIC) and advising on asset locks and the process for the disposal of assets
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    Terry Falcao


    Tim Walmsley

    Senior Associate

    Toby Claridge


    The relatively large size of the team in the South West means they have always been able to give us a prompt and responsive service.

    Legal 500 (2020)


    We needed help to respond to a HR issue that had gotten beyond our internal organisation…you were most sympathetic, helpful and professional…we wholeheartedly recommend you.

    Age UK, York


    Stephens Scown has been a ray of sunshine, helping us to navigate the legal concerns and giving practical advice on the wider issues. The speed of response has also been key. We know we can pick up the phone and speak with our solicitor and get an answer when we need it.

    Trevor Chalker, Treasurer of Cornwall Animal Hospital


    Sonya has been extremely helpful supporting South Dartmoor Community Energy. She has contributed ideas, shared her experiences and offered invaluable technical and legal advice in her capacity as a director of our organisation. She is able to advise on what projects might work, and what problems and challenges we may face. Sonya is 100% part of our team, and we often have to remind ourselves that we’re sharing her with several other community energy groups!

    South Dartmoor Community Energy

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