Corporate Watch has been carrying out strategic research to support grassroots activists, community groups, workers and tenants for nearly thirty years. This is just a selection of case studies of published or private research we have carried out in more recent years that has contributed to material campaign wins, or influenced social justice movements in the UK. All information correct at the time of writing (spring 2024).


We investigate large landlords and property developers such as Grainger, Mears, Wheatley Group, Hyde Housing and Delancey to support residents fighting for better conditions. In 2017, we investigated multinational developer Lendlease, supporting the successful residents’ battle against the company’s takeover of local assets in the “Haringey Development Vehicle” (HDV) scheme. The residents’ campaign described our Lendlease report as the “turning point” against scheme.

Workers’ rights in the gig economy

In 2015, we exposed tax avoidance by courier company Citysprint, which helped the couriers win the living wage. In 2018, we supported couriers working for The Doctors Laboratory (TDL), the UK’s biggest pathology company. We found that while it was telling its workers that it could not afford to raise their salaries, the company had paid £60 million out to its owners, while directors’ pay had doubled. Our findings played a key role in union negotiations and TDL agreeing to meet several of the couriers’ demands for increased wages and job security.

We investigated Deliveroo in 2017 and 2021, looking at how the firm underpaid couriers while seeking future windfalls for its private equity investors. This series of reports was used extensively by Deliveroo couriers in the course of their campaign for better pay and conditions, which saw Legal and General – the UK’s biggest investment fund – plus other major firms refuse to invest in Deliveroo shares at the time.

In 2020, we supported cleaners at the University of London engaged in an outsourcing battle, by proving that their employer could afford to bring them in-house. This research was used by their reps in publicity and negotiations and the campaign was successful.

In 2022, we investigated Hospital Corporation of America (‘HCA’) and Compass Group to support cleaners at London Bridge Hospital fighting for better conditions. The findings were used as leverage in negotiations, and one of the campaign’s key objectives was achieved when the workers were brought in-house.

Borders and migration

We played a key role in exposing how immigration raids work. Our 2016 investigation into workplace raids drew on leaked Home Office intelligence documents which showed the extent of racial profiling and potentially unlawful practices. It provided solid material for the emergent network of community groups organising against immigration raids. In 2020, our research revealing the “round-up” and deportation of rough-sleeping EU migrants by the Home Office – in collaboration with homelessness charities – was released in conjunction with The Guardian. This was the first step in a major court victory which ended this practice.

We regularly monitor charter deportations from the UK and have been at the forefront of exposing how they work and the companies that profit from them. This information has been widely used by activist groups. In 2021, we exposed the major role of package holiday company TUI in mass deportations; a national campaign was built off the back of this which led to TUI ending its work in collective expulsions from the UK.

Our work in this area was compiled in a reference book for campaigners, The UK Border Regime, which has been available to download from our site for free since 2018.

Health and social care

Our research on leading foster care providers showed the amount of money being made by company owners, sometimes via tax havens. The report was released with the BBC and was used by foster carers starting their own union – the first such union in the UK. Our research also supported a care worker’s case against MiHomecare, which helped change wage practices in the industry.

In 2024, through a forensic analysis of contract data and subsidiary mapping, we revealed that just five healthcare giants had won NHS contracts worth at least £70bn over the past ten years. The report featured in the Byline Times, among other publications, and has provided material and case studies for anti-privatisation campaigners.

Animal rights

In 2022, we investigated a company which appeared to be exploiting a legal loophole to reintroduce fur farming in the UK. This research supported a campaign which resulted in the closure of that fur business. The same year, we carried out an investigation on behalf of an animal rights coalition into the financial interests behind the hunting lobby, to help campaigners understand why fox hunting continues to this day.

Public utilities

Our 2017 investigation into South West Water, released in tandem with the BBC, showed that the company had paid out more to owners and lenders than it had invested in the sector – even as it was placed in special measures by the Environment Agency for excessive pollution. It was quoted in parliament and led to further exposés and scrutiny by local elected officials and residents.

The environment

In 2020, we published ‘The Wreckers of the Earth’, a project profiling 300 UK-based companies exploiting the planet, divided by sector. This project served as a resource for various activist groups and was updated the following year. The project included a physical map of companies, which was distributed at the COP26 in Glasgow and was printed and posted in bus stops around London by subvertisers.


In 2017, we published Prison Island, a foundational report on prison expansion plans in the UK and the corporate interests behind it, which served as a reference guide to groups organising around the issue. This was followed by two further updates. We exposed the escalating use of prisoner labour and broke the story on how the government allowed Carillion staff to work in prisons without mandatory suicide prevention training. This provoked questions to the minister in parliament and a follow up ‘File on 4’ investigation by the BBC.

Other work

Besides our research on specific issues, our Investigating Companies manual and other guides have served as free, go-to resources for groups and individuals wanting to get their heads around their corporate foes, while our trainings provide an interactive and tailored way to support groups looking to acquire leverage for strategic campaigning.