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About Joanna

Joanna specialises in public/private projects and in particular public sector outsourcing. She also advises both central and local government on a wide range of initiatives with particular regard to improving public sector service delivery through innovative work with public, private and voluntary sector partners. She advises on all aspects of the project including vires, procurement, corporate structures, risk management and key commercial issues.

More recently, Joanna has been proactively promoting public sector enterprise and, in particular, the commercialisation of public sector services to optimise income generation for reinvestment across all local authority services. This involves developing the business case for the transformation of services including advice on local authority trading powers, creation of trading companies, VAT, tax and business rates, developing and negotiating asset transfer arrangements as well as briefing elected members and officers on their duties and responsibilities as directors of companies and managing potential conflicts of interest.

Joanna is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s leading experts in relation to leisure, arts and culture outsourcing projects. Described as the “best in the business”, Joanna has been involved in some of the UK’s most exciting and high profile projects including most recently The Hepworth Wakefield Garden, as detailed below.

Joanna is also a leading advisor on the ‘Business Improvement Districts’ initiative and was retained by the Office of Deputy Prime Minister to advise on the introduction of the scheme into the UK. Joanna subsequently advised on the Reading, Camden, Hammersmith and Ealing on BID projects, all of which have gone from strength to strength.

In addition to public sector projects, Joanna is one of the UK’s leading charity advisors with particular expertise in establishing new and innovative charities. Joanna provides full advice and support on charity starts ups including the advantages/ disadvantages of charitable status, the right legal model, registering with the Charity Commission or HMRC, tax, VAT and other potential reliefs as well as ongoing regulatory compliance. Joanna has particular expertise in the recruitment and selection of trustees as well as induction and ongoing training for trustees. She regularly undertakes governance reviews to ensure charities’ governance arrangements remain up-to-date and fit for purpose. This is key to the long term success of charities.

Clearly, Covid 19 has had an unprecedented impact on all sectors. Joanna is working with her public, private and voluntary sector clients to help mitigate the impact of Covid 19.

Recent Experience

Local Authority Projects

  • Lichfield District Council – Joanna provided advice and support to Lichfield District Council in relation to a competitive tender to manage and operate the Council’s leisure portfolio. Joanna advised on all aspects of the project, including procurement, risk transfer and commercial negotiations. Joanna is currently advising on interim variations to the leisure contract in response to Covid-19. Joanna has advised on over 30 similar projects throughout the UK.
  • Ealing Council – Joanna is currently advising Ealing Council on their flagship initiative to create a new charitable trust to work in partnership with the Council to promote Ealing’s Parks. This is part of a wider London-wide initiative to make London a National Park City. The focus of the Ealing project will be to not only plant more trees than any other Boroughs but also to encourage all sections of the local community to actively engage with their green spaces, promoting the benefits for both physical and mental health.


  • The Golf Foundation – Joanna has assisted The Golf Foundation in its recent governance review and, specifically, updating its governing document so that it is fit for purpose for the Foundation going forward, which is established to promote the benefits of golf, with particular regard to life skills for young people.
  • Staffordshire Cricket – Joanna is currently advising on the governance arrangements for Staffordshire Cricket, the Cricket Board for Staffordshire and specific advice on the advantages and potential disadvantages of charitable status.


  • New Theatre, Cardiff – Joanna provided advice and support to the successful bidder to manage and operate the New Theatre, Cardiff. This is a flagship project for the City Council and central to its aspirations as a national/ international cultural destination.
  • Hepworth Wakefield – Joanna advised on the establishment of a charitable trust to manage and operate the state-of-the-art Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery. Joanna advised on every aspect of the project, including the recruitment and induction of Trustees and the negotiation of the funding and management agreements between the Council and the new charity. Most recently Joanna has advised on the creation of the new Hepworth Garden, which is managed and operated by a separate charitable trust established as a subsidiary of the Hepworth Wakefield.  The new garden is designed by the internationally acclaimed garden designer Tom Stuart-Smith.
  • Artists’ General Benevolent Institution – Joanna is currently providing advice and support to one of the UK’s oldest charities and the only charity dedicated to supporting artists. The charity was established over 200 years ago by members of the Royal Academy including J.M.W. Turner, John Constable and John Soane, to provide support to artists in need. The charity provides a vital lifeline to artists and their dependants. The charity is at an exciting point in its history. The governance review will ensure it is in the best possible position to deliver its charitable purposes going forwards.
  • The Burlington Magazine – this is the world’s leading monthly publication devoted to the fine and decorative arts. Joanna was appointed to implement the key recommendations of a governance review involving the restructure of the existing group including the winding down and consolidation of the New York branch of the charity.


  • Knepp Wildlife Foundation – Joanna was delighted to be appointed to this hugely exciting initiative. The Knepp Estate has pioneered rewilding. Joanna advised on the establishment of a new charity to promote rewilding through an educational programme.
  • Camden Highline – Joanna has recently advised on one of the UK’s most exciting infrastructure projects – “a new park in the sky for London”. This is the regeneration of a disused stretch of railway viaduct into a new elevated park and walkway route connecting Camden Gardens in the West to the York Way in the East. It will be a new green space for London. Joanna advised on the establishment of a new charitable trust to deliver the project. This involved careful discussions with the Charity Commission having particular regards to the sensitivity arising from the recent controversy of the failed Garden Bridge Project.

Professional Memberships

  • Charity Law Association

Career Experience

2010 to present: Partner, Winckworth Sherwood

2004 to 2010: Partner, Lawrence Graham

1997 to 2004: Solicitor, Lawrence Graham

1995 to 1997: Solicitor, Nabarro Nathanson

1993 to 1995: Trainee, Theodore Goddards