Julian has specialised, for over 30 years: in Social Enterprise; Charity; Responsible Business; Public Service Reform and Innovation; Co-operatives and Stakeholder Participation; blending business and public benefit legal disciplines. He has been especially involved in the development and maturing of Social Enterprise, Social Finance, Social Value, and Social Impact Investment and Measurement and their application to Public Policy.

He promotes public value, purpose and partnership in Public Procurement and Public Sector Contracts and State Aid and Public Sector Grants, championing the Innovation Partnership. He promotes a distinctive approach to contracts as practical working agreements (as noted in the 2020 Kruger Report to Government on Civil Society).

He works particularly in relation to: Community Transport; Education (particularly Further Education); Health and Social Care; Rehabilitation and Justice; Renewable Energy; and Employment and Youth Services

Before joining Stone King, in 2018, Julian was co-head of the Bates Wells Charity and Social Enterprise Department and led the development of the education and other cross-departmental sector groups.

Social Enterprise, Charity & Responsible Business

Julian’s areas of legal expertise include: commercial and charity law advice to social enterprises, charities, co-operatives, mission-led businesses and commercial organisations; charity, community interest company , registered society and company formations and constitutional reorganisations; Charity Commission and sectoral regulation; collaborations/ consortia/joint ventures/mergers/business transfers; private, public and third sector contracts, grants, loans and investments; public procurement and state aid; education law; financial services; competition law and intellectual property.

Public Service Reform & Innovation

Julian is especially interested in: the development of multi-sector, multi-stakeholder, ecosystem public service partnerships, integrating: social enterprise and charity providers, public authority commissioners and social finance institutions; regional, local and community place-based initiatives; outcomes contracting; social impact bonds; community wealth-building; community share issues; and the specific concept of the "innovation partnership, with its unique feature of design and delivery within a single, long-term, public service contract.

He has, since 2012, been dedicated to E3M, the Social Business International initiative, promoting the Social Enterprise model in Public Services, combining groups of pioneering leaders of mature social enterprises and an associated group of progressive “bold” commissioners. E3M projects he has worked on include: Public Service Alchemies in: Coventry, Gainsborough; Oldham (the Northern Roots Project); and Rotherham; consultancy work in: Bradford, Devon and Northern Ireland; and the 2020 “Growing the Social Economy” National Convention - see www.e3m.org.uk.


  • The Art of the Possible in Public Procurement” (E3M 2016) co-author with Frank Villeneuve-Smith of HCT Group;
    • Cited in Local Government Association; Government Outcomes Lab at Oxford University; the UK National Advisory Board on Impact Investing; and Lloyds Bank Foundation publications among others and the UK Government’s Civil Society Strategy 2018.  
    • “In nearly 10 years of trying to understand and navigate UK public procurement it is by far the most readable and positive thing I have ever seen committed to paper! A major achievement.” (Matt Robinson, Community Development Corporation).
    • Currently working on follow-up publications provisionally entitled: “Procurement to Partnership in Public Services” and “The Restoration of Grants to Public Policy”
  • Charitable Status: A practical handbook” (Directory of Social Change, 5th  & 6th Editions 2003 & 2008); “The Charities Acts Handbook: A Practical Guide” editor of core textbook (Lexis Nexis 2016);
  • UK charity law section to “Investment Law and Practice” (Oxford University Press 2010); Legal sections of “Unlocking Socially Responsible Investment" (Charity Finance Directors Group 2010);
  • Getting it Right Legally 1: Status and Structure for Community Organisations” and “Getting it Right Legally 2: contract and grant relationships between funders and community organisations” generalising earlier versions focussed on the play and childcare sector (University of Gloucestershire, 2005, 2010 & 2011).

Professional Memberships

  • The Law Society
  • Charity Law Association
  • Procurement Law Association

Trustee of Media Diversity Trust


  • Government Outcomes Lab at Oxford University Working Group on Public Procurement
  • Social Value Portal Taskforce
  • UK National Advisory Board Public Procurement Sub-group
  • NCVO Rebalancing the Relationship

Case Studies

  • Advisory support for the first, to 31/12/20 only and award-winning UK “Innovation Partnerships” – the Leicestershire Children’s Innovation Partnership and the Oldham Social Prescribing Innovation Partnership; the former’s first year independent evaluation report, in October 2020, cited the support and praised the positive approach to “risk and uncertainty”.
  • Advisory support for Regional Community Partnership Developments in: the South East; the North East; the Liverpool City Region; and the West Midlands Regional Authority;
  • Developing a mature social enterprise/legal advisor working partnership approach with Catch22 and applying it to other social enterprises
  • Social business purpose-driven commercial work, including public service, project development, social impact bonds, other outcome bond contracts, collaborations, partnerships and college mergers
  • Public procurement and State aid structuring advice to national funding bodies, public service innovation projects and Social Enterprise recipients of contracts and grants and participation in a successful tender bid team in a competitive dialogue procedure for education sector regulatory services
  • New public benefit organisation establishments, including charities, community interest companies, Registered Societies and public sector spin-outs, including innovatory cases extending Charity Law in relation to: Charitable Trading; Co-operatives; Ethical Investment; Fairtrade; and Microcredit.
  • Public investment offerings and commercial contracts for community renewable wind-farm, solar and hydro projects, particularly in partnership with the award-winning consultancy Energy4All;
  • International licensing contracts for the use of software providing ethical investment data
  • Commercial and competition law advice to health and social care business projects engaged in fair-trade
  • Strategic implementation of public policy programmes in children’s and youth services; early years; extended schools; the 14-19 agenda and leadership in schools
  • Further Education mergers in relation to the 2016 Area Review Programme Restructuring and advice in relation to promotional and support service projects for umbrella body serving London Higher Education institutions
  • Review of status, structure and organisation of a national networks of charities operating learning disability services; and the re-structuring of national networks delivering business education in schools and providing specific medical condition support across the UK
  • International charity work for US charities in relation to the establishment of UK associate charities and international grant-making, including in relation to Higher Education
Legal 500      The Legal 500 – The Clients Guide to Law Firms
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What our clients say

"Julian is a pleasure to work with. He is incredibly passionate and engaged in his work and takes a real interest to understand how best to tailor his advice."

What our clients say

‘Ann Phillips has been a great source of strength, expertise and legal brain. Equally Julian Blake. Efficient, focused, rounded and informed in their advice. Their work is pre-emptive, thoughtful and acknowledges the operating environment of their client’.

What our clients say

‘Stone King has exceptional expertise in the field of social enterprises and the wider social economy. They are highly skilled and experienced and value driven which makes them stand out from lawyers in other firms. Key people working in this area that really stand out include Julian Blake, Hannah Kubie and Nicole Reed’.

What our clients say

‘Julian Blake is the most committed, probably the most able and in my view the best charity and social enterprise solicitor. He provides exceptional client care and support and consistently achieves effective solutions whatever the complexities’

What our clients say

“He consistently delivers excellent advice and care for clients. He is one of the most able, trusted and committed solicitors in the charity and social enterprise sector.”

Chambers - 2023

What our clients say

"In a complicated matter, he went way beyond our expectations to get the transaction over the line."

Client Feedback in Chambers, 2021

What our clients say

"Renowned for exceptional expertise and client care."

Client Feedback in Chambers, 2021

What our clients say

"Julian Blake combines exceptional professional expertise with a deep commitment to clients and the charity and not-for-profit sector. He is renowned as one of the top charity solicitors practising in the UK today and for developing innovative cross-sector social enterprise structures for public services" 

Legal 500, 2021

What our clients say

"Renowned for his brilliant legal mind and exceptional client care."

Client feedback in Chambers - 2020

What our clients say

"A careful thinker and a high-quality lawyer."

Chambers - 2019