Two Associates join our Charities and Social Enterprise Team

Nadeem Azhar

Nadeem specialises in advising charities and social enterprises, focusing on their governance and their commercial activities. His clients have ranged from independent schools, research associations to national housing providers. He also has a background in advising private corporates and can bring a commercial edge to his work with charities.

His recent work includes advising on a joint venture delivering accountable care in North West London and a merger of six regional housing providers. Nadeem has been a trustee for the national maritime charity, Seafarers UK, as well as for grant making charities and theatre start-ups.

Main areas of expertise

  • Charities and Social Enterprise
  • Company/Commercial
  • Trusts

Clients he works with

  • Academic Institutions and Research Bodies
  • Grant-making charities
  • Charity and Social Enterprise start-ups
  • Third Sector Health and Care providers
  • Religious Charities


Helen Hirst

Helen developed her education expertise during six years at a regional firm who advise Academies on a national basis. She was described as “approachable and calm” in the 2016 Legal 500 directory.

Helen advises charities and social enterprise organisations with particular expertise in the education sector. Helen assists clients to choose the most appropriate charitable and social enterprise structures, as well as governance more generally.

Helen’s experience of the education sector includes steering community, foundation, faith and PFI schools through the Academy conversion process. In addition, Helen advises multi academy trusts on acquiring existing academies though re-brokerage arrangements, as well as assisting academies who are themselves being transferred to multi academy trusts. She attends quarterly meetings with the Department for Education regarding academy conversion issues and policy decisions.

Helen supports academies and independent schools on day to day issues arising which can be very wide ranging including governance, freedom of information and data protection.

Helen completed her training in local government where she gained a solid grounding in public law and remained in local government for three years post qualification. During this time Helen work for three different Councils advising on projects in the education, housing and waste sectors. This included delivering a number of Building Schools for the Future Scheme. Helen draws upon this background in the advice she provides to education clients.

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