Charity governance, compliance and structures

“Their service is always high quality, with appropriate experts available across a wide range of specialisms.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession, 2014
Charities and not for profit organisations are set up in a wide variety of forms and have widely differing governance structures. Blake Morgan's Charities team has the knowledge and hands on experience to provide expert  advise on ways to strengthen and improve your charity's governance, on legal changes as an when they happen and on how to effect change in order to keep ahead and prove the best foundation from which to govern effectively.

Main areas of practice

Our Charities team offers a wealth of experience as charity law advisers and as charity trustees. Our areas of practice include:

  • Advising different types of charity, voluntary or not for profit organisation
  • Setting up new charities and choosing the right form
  • Constitution and governance structures for different types of charity, voluntary or not for profit organisation
  • Changing structures, creating efficiencies
  • Collaborations and mergers
  • Supporting trustees and charity executives
  • Charity Commission and compliance


Our clients include every type and size of charity and voluntary organisation such as arts organisations, museums, housing associations, independent schools, leisure trusts, publishers and students unions.

Significant experience

Examples of our advice include:

  • Setting up a brand new Royal Chartered organisation
  • Advising on the merger of two national charities.
  • Incorporation of a national and international mission by setting up a new charitable company registered as a charity in England and Wales and in Scotland.
  • Challenging a decision of the Charity Commission: the matter involved advice on reference to the Charity Tribunal and complex and difficult decision making by the trustees.
  • Advising a trustee body on allegations of mismanagement by trustees, including on an investigation and statutory inquiries under the Charities Act.
  • Advising a national care home charity on the acquisition of control of a number of other charities and their businesses and assets and the restructuring of a complex charitable structure involving charitable trusts, charitable companies, permanent endowments and a trading subsidiary.
  • Advising on restructuring a branch structured international membership organisation in order to create an international federated model linking separate charitable and not for profit organisations.
  • Advising on charity law requirements on the disposal of a permanently endowed property and related conflicts of interest issues and a connected person transaction.  The advice involved analysis of the charity's constitutional powers, making a case to and obtaining necessary consent from the Charity Commission.

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Charities newsletter - March 2018


Our Charities team here at Blake Morgan publishes e-bulletins to keep you up-to-date with breaking news and topical issues affecting the sector. We also offer regular charity trustee induction and refresher training sessions.

Charity Commission - Funding Update


On 22 January 2018, the Charity Commission announced that it had been awarded additional government funding of £5 million per year.

Charity Commission - Consultation for managing relationships with organisations that are not charities


The Charity Commission has launched a consultation process on draft guidance on how charities should manage their relationships with organisations that aren't charities.

Safeguarding and the Protection of Others: What Should Charities Do?

Safeguarding hit the headlines again last week, as the International Development Committee published a report focusing on exploitation and abuse in the aid sector.

If a charity fundraiser knocks on your door is it cold calling?

This was just one of the questions the Fundraising Standards Board (FRSB) considered following a complaint it received about Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Good governance of universities

A new voluntary governance code for UK universities has been published by The Committee of University Chairs (CUC).

Making Charity property transactions simpler - hope on the horizon?

The Law Commission has issued a report on Technical Issues in Charity Law and has made a series of fairly radical recommendations to make the acquisition and disposal of property by a Charity simpler. Our expert explains.

Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Bill

The Bill is now at committee stage in the House of Lords and looks to extend the Charity Commission's powers to protect charities from abuse and make it easier for charities to make social investments.

Being ready for the unexpected

Elizabeth Davis outlines certain risks which could threaten the future of a charity and suggest how to plan for dealing with them.