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Charities can require legal advice on a range of matters, from property and portfolio management to trading company support, employment law and regulatory advice. Whatever the nature or size of your charity, we draw on expertise and experience from across our firm to provide bespoke legal advice and help you achieve your goals.

Key Contacts

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Michael Young

Michael Young

Director

Karen Lintern

Karen Lintern

Partner

Experienced and comprehensive

We have advised charities and other not-for-profit organisations for many years and know that each charity’s needs are different. By working closely with our leading employment, tax, real estate, disputes and probate disputes lawyers, we can build a team tailored to your individual requirements and provide commercial and practical advice.

If your charity has a business element, we can help you set up the best structure for maximum commercial effectiveness. Creating a new charity also requires business sense and we can help you decide the best path to take, whether establishing a trust, company or unincorporated association.

We also act for grant-making charities – ensuring you adhere to statutory obligations and that applications are aligned to your charitable objectives. Additionally, we can help with charity-related property matters, licensing, contracts, dispute support and advice on how you can benefit from your assets.

So whether you are a charity with an investment portfolio, an independent school, a small trust, a grant maker or charitable organisation with an international presence, our experienced lawyers will ensure you have the full support you need.

Highlights

Our team has provided legal support to a range of charities. Highlights include:

  • advising on the complex merger of two large grant-making charities; one incorporated under Royal Charter and the other by Act of Parliament. The two parties formed a charity with funds of over £80m, including negotiations with Charity Commission, Privy Council and many stakeholders
  • advising St John’s Hospital, the second largest landowner in Bath, in respect of their property portfolio, including asset management, portfolios and leases
  • managing all legal aspects of the leases for Dorothy House’s portfolio of charity shops, located across the UK

  • advising independent schools registered as charities on a range of issues, from exploiting their assets to navigating public benefit tests
  • acting for several of the region’s major land-owning charities, assisting them with all property management issues, ranging from acquisitions and sales, assignments, lease terminations and renewals, through to possession actions, rent and dilapidations disputes, or boundary, rights of way, and nuisance actions
  • advising and assisting individuals, groups of individuals, institutions and existing charities in the creation, registration and administration of a new charity

Expertise

Our expertise in this area encompasses:

  • achieving charitable objects
  • annual returns and accounts
  • charities as businesses
  • charitable trust deeds and companies limited by guarantee
  • commercial and residential acquisitions and disposals
  • compliance with the Companies Act
  • constitutional issues and the mechanics for changing the constitution
  • creation of charities
  • Employment law
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Landlord and tenant issues
  • lease renewals
  • liaising with the Charity Commission

  • mergers of charities
  • Probate disputes and legacies
  • property transactions involving charities
  • Regulatory and trust law
  • rent reviews
  • rights and duties of trustees and their exposure to third party liability
  • structure
  • taxation and fundraising
  • third party contracts
  • trustee appointments
  • The Charities Act 2006 and particularly the ‘public benefit’ definition
  • trading subsidiaries

Fantastic – they provided all the expertise I needed and I was most impressed with how they were always there and always called me straight back.

Chambers and Partners 2016

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