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Brabners LLP’s ‘extremely responsive team is known for its terrific grasp of charity law and its knowledge of how the Commission and other relevant third parties operate; it is undoubtedly the best firm around for charity and not-for profits work’. The ‘calm, highly responsive and personableStephen Claus heads the team and has considerable niche expertise in ecclesiastical law; he is ‘a leading charity lawyer in Liverpool if not the region’. Associate Graeme Hughes is also singled out for considerable praise and brings a ‘wealth of knowledge to each matter coupled with his sound and measured advice’. The ‘very professionalAngela Clearkin advises on property related matters and ‘works very hard for clients often in very demanding circumstances and tight timeframes’. The ‘patient and very organised team’ advises clients such as the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation on all of its charity law matters and is currently advising the trustees of the Petty Pool Trust on its incorporation as a charitable company limited by guarantee. In addition it continues to advise the North West Air Ambulance on various matters including a constitutional review of its Articles of Association and its involvement in agreements with commercial organisations. In yet another highlight it provided advice to the trustees of the Wayne Rooney Foundation on all its arrangements relating to Wayne Rooney’s testimonial game and other events.

DWF advises on complex charity law issues including governance and constitutional matters. It also advises charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations on a broad range of issues such as state aid, employment and assistance when its clients need to resort to court. Chris Gee and Chris King are both specialist litigators who advise its charity clients on various matters. Key clients include Future Directions CIC, Manchester Craft & Design Centre, Pharmacist Support and Manchester Grammar School. Highlights included advising Liverpool Charity and Voluntary Services on several constitutional matters and other issues such as its use of investment funds.

The ‘efficient team’ at Kuit Steinart Levy LLP provides ‘first-class advice’. Under the leadership of the ‘excellentGraham Wood the team advises on all aspects of charities and not-for-profits matters, including issues as diverse as the establishment of new charitable trusts, companies and other entities, charity governance and constitutional issues in addition to contested legacies and gift aid advice. Wood also acts for leading sports personalities in establishing charities. Highlights included advising the Stoller Charitable Trust on a substantial donation to the Robert Parfett Building at Maggie’s Cancer Centre. The team also continues to act for DanceSyndrome which is a charity that is aimed at establishing the learning disabled to lead and participate in dance classes.

Pannone Corporate LLP operates a cross-departmental charities and not-for profits unit that provides advice on a wide variety of issues to a large number of charitable and other social enterprise clients. Steven Grant is a key contact. Gareth Birch regularly acts for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Blackpool and North Lancashire branch. He deals with issues such as the acquisition and disposal of retail units and also dealt with the sale of a development site held by the RSPCA nationally which necessitated the rectification of several serious title issues. Other major clients include Anxiety UK, Helicopter Emergency Services Equipment CIO and Manchester Sport and Leisure Trust.

Key figures at Addleshaw Goddard include Yorke Eaton, who has a wide range of experience advising charities on a host of issues including the establishment and registration of new entities, governance and trustee issues in addition to charity land transactions and restructuring issues. Yorke also regularly advises entrepreneurs on the establishment of private charitable trusts. The department also has a track record advising on Charity Commission investigations and inquiries and recently defended a number of 1975 Act claims made against charities in their capacity as residuary beneficiaries of estates. Named clients include National Coal Mining Museum and Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Michael Young heads the department at Hibberts LLP, which specialises in complex charity and unregistered conveyancing matters.

Hill Dickinson LLP advises large, medium and small charities, not for profit organisations and social enterprises on a wide range of constitutional, governance, group structuring, fundraising, trading and compliance issues. Mark Fitzgibbon has a strong profile in the North West third sector community and Sean Williams advises private clients on tax efficient philanthropy (such as the creation and administration of private charitable trusts). Williams also advises established charities on governance and compliance matters. Significant clients include Big Life Group, The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society, People’s Trust (Greece), Amnesty (UK) Group and BHA for Equality (formerly known as BHA).

Mills & Reeve LLP provides ‘comprehensive advice and is professional and knowledgeable’. Paul Knight heads the charities side of the cross-disciplinary team in Manchester. For construction-related matters, Catherine Kay is ‘quick at responding’. It is the British Council’s sole English law advisers. In 2016 it advised Nesta on numerous matters such as the FinTech challenge prize contract. The team drafted and negotiated the agreement setting out the terms on which eight banks agreed to support the Fintech challenge prize process – the scheme was administrated by Nesta. Other key clients include the Royal Northern College of Music and the Higher Education Academy.

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