Abbie is a highly regarded charity lawyer with a particular expertise in social enterprise. One of the originators of the Community Interest Company, she was seconded to the UK government to work on the legislation and drafted the model constitutions, she continues to have an active role in its development. She was a member of the CLA working party on the Companies Acts and, by ministerial appointment, a member of the Office of the Third Sector Advisory Board. She was chair of trustees of PayPal Giving Fund UK (which operates eBay for Charity) and a trustee of the Fawcett Society which campaigns for the rights of women. Abbie has particular expertise in the delivery of public services, providing strategic and legal advice to public bodies on when, whether and how to use alternative delivery models to ensure needs are met, improve outcomes and reduce subsidy. She is recommended by Legal 500 and Chambers both for her work in the charity and social enterprise sector.

Abbie heads our Public Services & Mutuals and Health & Social Care sector groups. 

Examples of recent work

  • Achieving for Children – advising on the spin out of the children’s services departments of Richmond and Kingston councils (£115m services)
  • DfE – national Social Work Practices pilot advising various local authorities on the establishment of social enterprises for children’s services
  • West Sussex County Council - transfer of adult and community learning services
  • Comic Relief – social finance, fundraising and other advice
  • Morgan Stanley – advising on a £10 million grant to Great Ormond Street Hospital
  • Social Enterprise UK – governance and other advice
  • Electoral Reform Society – governance review
  • Habitat for Humanity – governance review

Qualifications and career

  • University of Cambridge, MA Economics, 1998
  • College of Law, 1999
  • Joined Bates Wells Braithwaite, 1999
  • Admitted as a solicitor, 2001
  • Seconded to the Department of Trade and Industry and to the Home Office working on community interest companies and the Charities Act 2006

Pro bono, memberships and appointments

  • Former member of Office of the Third Sector Advisory Board
  • Former Trustee of the Fawcett Society
  • Provided pro bono advice to numerous organisations

Publications and lectures

  • Co-wrote and edited Keeping it Legal: Legal Forms for Social Enterprise, published by Social Enterprise Coalition
  • Contributes to Jordans “Charities Administration Service” and to “Charities – the New Law”
  • Provided content for the Get Legal website
  • Articles in Charity Finance, Third Sector, Social Enterprise Magazine and the Guardian
  • Lectures on legal topics including fundraising, social enterprise, intellectual property and campaigning