We are one of the leading firms advising social enterprises, by which Stone King means a venture with a social or environmental mission at its heart. This can encompass many charities, but also includes numerous other entities that we work with, such as community interest companies, community benefit societies, co-operatives and also, increasingly, normal share companies which want to make a difference in a social space.

We are widely regarded as experts advising in the field of social enterprise. We have been instructed, for instance, by The University of Cambridge in relation to their Cambridge Social Ventures programme to guide award winners on establishment and related matters. We also carry out the training introducing the social sector to all OnPurpose associates and the social finance intermediaries carrying out the Big Society Capital induction programme.

Our recent work includes:

  • Advising many start-ups on establishment. See our table summarising the different social enterprise forms here and their advantages and disadvantages: Structure table
  • Advising a number of social enterprise groups, set up in a variety of innovative ways. This has included advising on a restructuring within a group which contains CICs, charities and non-charitable guarantee companies and advising on how best to coordinate activities within the group.
  • Advising on the use of golden shares, where a charity or other steward holds a veto within a (typically) non-charitable social enterprise to ensure certain key factors, usually that it stays true to its original mission.
  • Advising on the available certifications in the social enterprise sector, such as marks and standards.
  • Advising various social enterprises on raising finance, including on the application of social investment tax relief – see also our Social Finance work. We have also worked closely with our social finance colleagues on impact reporting and related matters.
  • Advising enterprises on all elements of trading and income generation, including tendering, public sector delivery and contract terms.

Key partners


Core partner of E3M, Stone King, provides expertise and shares experience and knowledge about the key ingredients for successful social enterprise development and growth.

What our clients say

"They take the time to really get to know the organisation; they offer proactive as well as reactive advice and support, they are incredibly knowledgeable and reliable, the quality of their work is exceptional and they always think things through from all angles."


What our clients say

"Many interviewees are quick to laud the insight the firm offers, with one praising the team's expertise and in-depth knowledge of the charity sector, as well as its solution-orientated and pragmatic approach."


What our clients say

"The team is lauded for its ‘well-presented advice’ and for the fact that there are ‘sufficient subject matter experts on hand to be able to tackle a wide range of questions’."

Legal 500

The law and practice referred to in this article or webinar has been paraphrased or summarised. It might not be up-to-date with changes in the law and we do not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided at the time of reading. It should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice in relation to a specific set of circumstances.