Charities and not-for-profit in East Midlands

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP's 'personal and dedicated' team has 'exceptional knowledge of the charity sector'. The firm has an impressive nationwide client base and offers clients advice on governance, family and corporate foundations and strategic advice. Catherine Rustomji, who heads up the practice, is currently advising Nottingham Castle Trust on a substantial capital project involving charity and governance issues. Rustomji is a regular speaker at seminars and presentations concerning charities and charity governance.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Rustomji


Catherine Rustomji, in particular, is very caring and helpful, full of knowledge and very quick to respond.’

The firm demonstrates exceptional knowledge of the charity sector and has been invaluable in helping with our work.’

‘Catherine Rustomji offers pragmatic and well-considered advice in a genial and approachable manner – excellent value for money.’

‘I greatly value the approach and professionalism of Catherine Rustomji to the point of continuing to use her services after moving charities. Catherine has a down-to-earth style which does not compromise the credibility of her advice or knowledge; she is approachable and affable and has a warm manner that is second to none. When it comes to advisers, you ideally want to put someone in front of your Trustees that they can trust and they can feel confident in asking a stupid question to, who is competent and willing and able to get the job done – Catherine is that person.’

‘Catherine Rustomji is very understanding with regards to billing and timetabling of work; giving excellent, easy to understand, practical and useful advice.’

The partner we worked with is a well respected, very experienced person whose advice, work, relationships within the sector has produced valuable work for us and has guided us through some of the more complex pieces of Charity Law and in obtaining registration with the Charity Commission. We would commend Catherine very highly indeed.’

Very personal and dedicated practice.’

Key clients

Nottingham Castle Trust

St John’s College Nottingham Limited


St John Ambulance

Retired Baptist Ministers Housing Organisation

Society of Dyers and Colourists

Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust

Nottingham Contemporary

Nottingham Playhouse Trust Limited

Greater Nottingham Groundwork Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Retired Baptist Ministers Housing Organisation on charity governance matters, as well as incorporating the charity as a CIO, establishing a trust corporation, and amending the rules of the existing community benefit society.
  • Assisting Society of Dyers and Colourists with all governance and constitutional matters, including annual trustee training for newly appointed and existing charity trustees.  
  • Advising Nottingham Castle Trust in relation to a substantial capital project requiring charity law and governance advice, tax and legal structures input, drafting bespoke commercial agreements with suppliers of educational and related material all relating to the redevelopment of the Castle.

HCR Hewitsons

HCR Hewitsons' team, which has an 'in-depth understanding of the charity sector', advises a wide range of corporate and educational charities, as well as non-profit organisations. It demonstrates expertise in converting charities into charitable incorporated organisations, as has been evidenced by its handling of related mandates for clients such as Psoriasis Association and Care & Repair Limited. With former practice head Chris Knight departing for VWV, legal director Virginia Henley now manages the team.

Practice head(s):

Virginia Henley


Virginia Henley is approachable, knowledgeable, explains herself clearly and listens to her clients’ needs and wishes.’

A relaxed and friendly approach combined with an in-depth understanding of the charity sector.’

The whole team is extremely knowledgeable but also quick to respond with the answers and give complete support.’

Key clients

Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust

Psoriasis Association

Oundle School

Community Spaces Northampton

Northamptonshire Association for the Blind

Jesus Army Charitable Trust

Sir Thomas White’s Northampton Charity

Northamptonshire Choral Foundation

Becketts and Sargeants Educational Foundation

Bedfordshire Charitable Trust

Trustees of the Wilson Foundation

Kathleen and Michael Connolly Foundation

Woburn Estate / Woburn 1986

Thomas Christie Almshouse and Relief in Need Charity

Northamptonshire ACRE

Davidge Usher Trust

Northamptonshire Industrial Training Association

The Good Loaf CIC

Nottingham Castle Trust

Roger and Jean Jefcoate Trust

Sports Chaplaincy UK

Kelmarsh Trust

Lamport Hall Preservation Trust

Headway Northampton

The Combined Harpole Charitable Trust

Will Woodlands

Frederick and Phyllis Cann Charitable Trust

Thomas and Rosemary Greenhalgh Charitable Trust

The Henry and Elizabeth Lineham Fund

The Finnis Scott Foundation

Maidwell Hall School

Care & Repair (Northamptonshire)

Hospital of St John the Evangelist & of St Anne in Okeham

Irchester Youth Centre Trust Fund

Jesus Fellowship Church

Northamptonshire Corporate Parenting Ltd

Northamptonshire Historic Churches Trust

Screen Northants Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Psoriasis Association on its conversion to become a charitable incorporated organisation from an unincorporated association.
  • Concluded arrangements on behalf of Nottingham Castle Trust for the lease and operation of the Castle enabling the iconic site to benefit from the major redevelopment scheme envisaged.
  • Advised Care & Repair (Northamptonshire) Limited on the conversion to a charitable incorporated organisation.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP has a strong charities and not-for-profit practice, with significant expertise in administering grant-making charities and government-funded charities. The firm has a well-established presence in animal welfare and the education sector. A notable highlight for the firm saw it act for the League Against Cruel Sports in a landmark case on veganism. Andrew Wilkinson heads up the practice.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Wilkinson

Other key lawyers:

Mark Dunkley; Debra Burton


‘Mark Dunkley has advised our family for many years on wills, PoA and Trust matters. He is very knowledgeable and good to deal with.’


Key clients

Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home

League Against Cruel Sports

Work highlights

  • Advising Battersea Dogs’ and Cats’ Home on a variety of legacy related matters, both in respect of contentious and non-contentious matters.
  • Acting for the League Against Cruel Sports in landmark case regarding veganism and whether it is a “philosophical relief”.