Legal advice for the Charities sector
We have a dedicated team working with Charities and not-for-profit organisations. It is a privilege to be able to support and advise our clients involved in the Charity Sector in so many ways. Our breadth of experience and depth of knowledge enables our clients to achieve their legal objectives in an effective and cost-efficient way.
Our multi-disciplinary team, many of whom are top ranked by independent legal directories Chambers & Partners UK and The Legal 500, can advise and guide you at every stage in your organisation’s development; whether it’s early days of incorporation and you need advice with objects, trustees and registration, or you’re well established and looking to expand, restructure and develop governance. We’ll also provide advice and support with employment and property issues.
Uniquely, our renowned Contested Wills, Trusts & Inheritance specialists work with many charity clients to advise on disputes relating to Wills, estates and trusts. We also support our clients’ legacies team, advising on Wills and Trust matters.
We encourage collaboration between clients and are able to introduce them to each other where there is strong potential to work together. This is especially so where we may be able to put a grant making organisation in touch with another charity to help it deliver its objects.
Building long lasting client relationships is at the heart of what we do which is why we always go the extra mile, thinking ahead and coming up with pragmatic solutions to some of today’s most challenging issues.
Case Study: Support for a new charity
- We provide ongoing advice to a charity which supports people with a rare and little understood medical condition which can be completely debilitating and affect every aspect of their lives.
- Our initial role was to help the group to establish itself as a formal charity. Being registered with the Charity Commission was key to helping them build a network of support groups, undertake educational awareness-raising initiatives within the NHS and public promotional activities. Their work has led to a more timely diagnosis and treatment of people with the condition, better understanding and care for patients during hospital stays.
- We have also recently advised the charity on the structure and implementation of new fundraising initiatives as well as partnership agreements with other charitable organisations.
We understand the challenges the Charity sector face
Replacing EU funding after Brexit won’t be simple. Real alternatives are thin on the ground. Charities are not even among the 58 sectors that have been consulted on the potential impact of Brexit. Heads of Charities are calling for consolidation to best utilise available funding after Brexit, with one calling for 700 mergers in 2019.
- Contracts and agreements, restructuring, employment issues etc. to aid consolidation
- Funding and insolvency issues
- Legacy campaigns and Trust and Wills questions
Donor databases need cleansing and consent processes need to be updated in line with the new regulation long after the enforcement dates. What does GDPR mean for handling donations from millennials via the web, contactless payments and text – or legacy and estate management?
- GDPR guidance for charities
- Reputation management and cybersecurity advice
- GDPR issues related to employees and volunteers
- Compliance issues where there is no legitimate interest
Recent high profile charity revelations have compounded falling public trust in charities. Kevin Watkins, Head of Save the Children, is called for a global vetting and barring system to regain trust in the sector.
- Reputation management
- Rogue employees and other employment issues
- Legal input into potential global vetting procedures
Lloyds report on Charities 2017 cited a distinct lack of digital or technological skills which exacerbates the GDPR risks and the likelihood of data and financial breaches and opens them up to cybercrime. More than 70% of charities rate their board’s digital skills as low or with room for improvement.
- Reputation damage from cyber crime and data privacy invasion
- Digital effects on charitable giving, such as apps, bitcoin and crowdfunding