Sophie Pughe
Senior Associate

Sophie is a senior associate in the Charity and Social Enterprise Team and advises charities and social enterprises on a wide range of issues. She enjoys the variety and broad scope of her work, and has particular expertise in working with clients with an educational focus and those that support children young people in other ways.

Sophie is a senior associate in the Charity and Social Enterprise Team and advises charities and social enterprises on a wide range of issues. She enjoys the variety and broad scope of her work, and has particular expertise in working with clients with an educational focus and those that support children young people in other ways, as well as organisations involved in advocacy and campaigning, particularly with a humanitarian focus. Sophie is a member of Stone King’s specialist Education sector which draws on expertise across the firm for educational clients and is a member of the firm’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion team.  She is also a member of the Charity Law Association.

Before joining Stone King, Sophie worked in-house in the European headquarters of an international telecoms company in Amsterdam and as an adjudicator for the Financial Ombudsman Service, experience which allows her to bring a strong, well-rounded commercial perspective to her work.

Sophie is a trustee of Pure Leapfrog, a sustainability and decarbonisation charity that supports disadvantaged communities, having previously been a director of its social financing arm. She is an initial shareholder of London’s first community owned pub (co-operative) and is actively involved in her local community. She finds this practical experience invaluable in seeing things from the client’s perspective to provide pragmatic and balanced advice.

Sophie advises charities and social enterprises on a wide range of issues, including:

  • governance and effective operations;
  • regulatory requirements and applications to the Charity Commission;
  • collaborations and mergers;
  • constitutional and group structures;
  • advice on legal forms, conversions and incorporations;
  • setting up new charities and social enterprises, and Charity Commission registrations;
  • grant funding and fundraising arrangements (including commercial participation agreements); and
  • service provision arrangements and advice on contracts.

Education and young people

Sophie works with a wide range of educational charities, including schools, academy trusts and other community based charities and social enterprises, and particularly enjoys working with those that support children and young people with disadvantage through special educational needs, disability or socio-economic circumstances.

Campaigning

Sophie advises charities on the legal and regulatory constraints on campaigning, including restructuring to allow greater freedoms.

Sophie studied Psychology at university and later took the Graduate Diploma in Law with the University of Law by distance learning, achieving the course’s first distinction, followed by the Legal Practice Course, also with distinction.

Recent work includes:

  • advising on an intricate and intensely negotiated hive-off of an independent school from a higher education institution;
  • advising on the merger of two large sector bodies, involving an application for the Charity Commission to exercise a seldom used power due to the exceptional circumstances of the deal;
  • advising a refugee support charity on its responsibilities and options at a time when frontline services were particularly fraught and circumstances were extremely difficult;
  • supporting a multi academy trust and linked independent school group to interlace their governance structure and functions to share best practice and know how across the group’s schools and achieve greater efficiencies, while maintaining sufficient separation;
  • leading on the removal of the Catholic status of a further education college, which has not been done before; and
  • assisting an arts centre to access £7.3m of COVID recovery funding from DCMS and the Arts Council.