Leading charity lawyer Stephen Lloyd, former senior partner at City firm Bates Wells Braithwaite and creator of the community interest company concept, has died at 63 following a boating accident on holiday in Wales.

Friends, colleagues and clients paid tribute to Lloyd’s expertise and commitment to good causes.

Lloyd, admitted in 1977, headed BWB’s charity and social enterprise department before becoming senior partner. He was ranked by the legal directories Chambers UK and the Legal 500 as a leader in the field of charity law.

Sir Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said Lloyd had made an outstanding contribution. 'Stephen’s unparalleled expertise combined with his innovative thinking and sheer passion for the work of charities and social enterprises made him rightly one of the most respected figures in the voluntary sector,' Sir Stuart said.

Arthur Wood, founding partner of 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.'

Among the achievements of Lloyd's 40-year career, is the creation of the community interest company, a dedicated legal form for social enterprises, of which more than 10,000 have been registered in less than a decade.

Lloyd also created the idea behind CaSE – Charity and Social Enterprise Insurance Management LLP – which provides insurance cover for at least 2,000 civil society organisations at much reduced cost.

A trustee of more than 20 charities, he was chairman of the Centre for Innovation and Voluntary Action, chairman of the sustainable energy organisation Ashden, and on the board of the Social Stock Exchange. 

Martin Bunch, managing partner at BWB, said: 'We are all shocked and deeply saddened by this tragic news, as so many others will be who know what Stephen gave to the sector. Our thoughts are with [his partner] Lorna and their four sons and their families.'

People wishing to offer their thoughts and condolences may send them (care of Martin Bunch) to 2-6 Cannon Street, London EC4M 6YH or to condolences@bwbllp.com.