Stephen Lloyd, a charity sector veteran, former senior partner at the law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite and the father of community interest companies, has died in a boating accident.
Lloyd, who was 63, died on Wednesday during a holiday in Wales.
He joined BWB as a partner in 1984, spending a number of years as the head of its charity and social enterprise department before becoming senior partner. Most recently, he was chair of BWB Ventures, a new division of the firm.
Lloyd was appointed by the Cabinet Office as Lord Hodgson’s adviser on the review of the Charities Act 2006 and is credited with the creation of the CIC legal form for social enterprises.
He had also been a trustee of more than 20 charities, including the Centre for Innovation in Voluntary Action, the sustainable energy organisation Ashden and the broker charity the Rainmaker Foundation, sat on the boards of numerous other organisations and was an adviser to the social investment wholesaler Big Society Capital.
"It is with shock and deep sadness that we report the death of Stephen Lloyd, our colleague, friend and inspirational former senior partner, who gave so much to the charity and social enterprise sector," a tribute posted on the BWB website says.
"Friends, colleagues, clients and those who simply admired his work, benefited from his advice or perhaps heard him speak at one of his many public engagements have been praising Stephen’s expertise, dynamism, creative intellect, wisdom, leadership, sense of fun and commitment to good causes."
A spokeswoman for Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed that the force was investigating Lloyd’s death after an incident on a dinghy in Newport Bay, Pembrokeshire.
"Three men were on board the dinghy, and all three ended up in the water and in difficulty," she said. "The Maritime and Coastguard Agency rescued the man from the water, but attempts to save him were unsuccessful. HM Coroner has been informed."
Among those paying tribute to Lloyd was Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, who said: "Our sector is so much the stronger for his lifetime of work. I will greatly miss his friendship and his wisdom. Stephen worked closely with many of us at NCVO, and our thoughts are with his family."
Toby Blume, a consultant to the sector, described him in a blog entry as "the charity sector’s own lawyer".
Blume added: "Stephen was one of the most knowledgeable and respected charity lawyers in the land and the outpouring of grief on social media as news of his death spread came from far and wide, reflecting the many people whose lives he had touched."
Arthur Wood, founding partner of the global investment practice Total Impact Advisors, said: "Very few people are both visionary and practical combined with being genuinely ethical, generous and great company – what a loss to the sector, his family and to life."
Many other tributes have been made on social media. Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, tweeted: "So sad to hear of the death of Stephen Lloyd – he will be hugely missed."
Lloyd is survived by wife Lorna and their four sons.
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