Charities

“They have always been efficient. Work has been completed on time and in a cost-effective manner”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2016
Our nationally recognised charity lawyers provide expert advice to over 500 charities, not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations in England and Wales.  The firm provides a fully comprehensive service on every aspect of their legal requirements.

Main areas of practice

Charities not-for-profit and social enterprise organisations are central to one of the firm's four principal areas of focus.  We are one of the UK’s top providers of legal services to charities. Our specialist solicitors advise clients of all sizes, needs and cultures.

Our highly regarded charity experts provide a  first rate service to charities and voluntary sector charitable companies limited by guarantee,  charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), community interest companies (CICs), Royal Charter bodies, social enterprises and industrial and provident societies (IPSs), associations and trusts and their trustees on the following:

  • Governance
  • Start-ups
  • Operational advice
  • Income generation and legacies
  • Employees and volunteers
  • Charity shops
  • Compliance
  • Mergers and restructuring, collaboration and partnering
  • Social enterprise

Clients

Our clients are diverse, from large charities with national and international influence, to locally focused or special purpose charities. Examples include:

St John Ambulances World Vision
RNLI Royal Naval Benevolent Trust 
Tenovus  Royal National Institute of Blind People
Oxfam RSPCA
Catch 22 The Mary Rose Trust
The National Trust Wessex Children's Hospice
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

Significant experience

Some of the many ways that we have helped charities include:

  • Advising a charity on a government tender for the outsourcing of services on structure, risk, public procurement, employment and pensions implications.
  • Advising in relation to funding for the ongoing construction and development of the new landmark Mary Rose Museum.
  • Advising on the creation of a new charitable body established by Royal Charter.
  • Advising a charitable organisation in relation to a serious incident involving allegations of abuse of beneficiaries, disability and Charity Commission and other compliance issues.
  • Advising an overseas development charity on teaming and partnering arrangements for contract bidding and delivery purposes and on policies and procedures to be adopted in relation to overseas working in difficult and dysfunctional regimes.
  • Advising on the acquisition of a number of charitable registered care homes and the restructuring of the parent charity following merger.
  • Advising our client's social enterprise business during an innovative expansion; advising on the terms of a significant equity investment in a subsidiary to enable expansion of business that supports beneficiaries through apprenticeships.
  • Advising a charity on the contested recovery of a sum from a deceased legator's estate.

“Blake Morgan's team displays ‘substantial breadth and depth.”

The Legal 500 UK 2015

“"I think they are very knowledgeable and clear in their communication. They remain quite certain of how a project should progress in a fairly complex field.”

Chambers UK A Client's Guide to the Legal Profession 2015

“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

Related expertise

Main contacts

Related Knowledge & Resources

Blake Morgan strengthens commercial services team with appointment of new charities expert

Press Release

Law firm Blake Morgan has appointed experienced charity lawyer Ben Brice as a legal director, further strengthening its offering within its commercial services division.

Oxford Lawyers fight against injustice of poverty

Press Release

Staff at leading Oxford law firm Blake Morgan have joined Lawyers Against Poverty, a groundbreaking scheme that aims to fight against social injustice.

Charity Commission statutory inquiry into Kids Company – learning points

News

On 21 August 2015, the Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry into the charity Kids Company (registered as Keeping Kids Company).

ICO fines charities for fundraising data breaches

On 6 December the ICO announced that it had issued monetary penalties of £25,000 and £18,000 to two of the UK's best known charities, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Heart Foundation.

Transparency in supply chains statements will have a big impact

The Modern Slavery Act has come under a lot of criticism from campaign groups, NGOs and human rights lawyers. Mostly rightly so.

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.

HMRC: Changes to Gift Aid declarations

As of 20 January 2016, HMRC have updated the guidance on making Gift Aid declarations for one-off donations, multiple donations and sponsored events.

'What's in a name': Misdescribed charities in a will

'What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet" (Romeo and Juliet – Shakespeare Act 2 Scene 2 line 43-44)

Charity Commission to challenge charities not meeting their reporting requirements – "no excuses for not filing accounts"

The Charity Commission have launched a campaign, as of January 2016, targeting those charities in default of their filing and reporting duties.

The Etherington review

Following the cross-party Etherington review of charities' regulation, the era of self-regulation has ended.

Failing school revived

Members of our Restructuring and Insolvency, Charities and Education, Built Environment and Property Litigation recently acted on a sale to rescue a well-established independent school from the brink of closure.

Charity for people with learning disabilities

We have provided in-depth assistance to a national provider of learning, support and care for children and adults with learning disabilities.