Radcliffe Chambers is an 'excellent set' with market-leading expertise in charity law. It has an array of excellent barristers including a former junior counsel to HM Attorney General in charity matters (Peter Crampin QC) a former standing counsel to the Charity Commission (Robert Pearce QC), and a former Deputy Charity Commissioner (Francesca Quint). Quint is praised for her 'encyclopaedic knowledge of the development of charity legislation and case law over a long period of time.' In Derby Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust & Others v Ashfield District Council & Others, Charity Commission intervening she has been advising a number of NHS Foundation Trusts on their recognition as charities in order to claim 80% relief from business rates. Kate Selway QC strengthed the set's charities practice after taking silk in 2020.
Charities in London Bar
Maitland Chambers has 'real strength and depth in the sector and is highly user-friendly.' As a result, it is one of the leading sets for work involving charities with members regularly appearing in the Chancery Division and the appellate courts including all the way up to the Supreme Court on issues affecting charities. Recent highlights include Christopher H McCall QC acting on behalf of the Charity Commission in a five-day High Court hearing about whether various NHS Foundation Trusts had charitable status (Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v Derby City Council). 'Standout' Matthew Smith and 'thorough, logical' Andrew Westwood are the juniors of note at the set.
Serle Court has a number of superb practitioners; among them William Henderson who is junior counsel to the Treasury on charity matters. Henderson continues to be involved in one of the most important cases in charity law at the moment and is acting for the charity in Lehtimaki v Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) . The case potentially affects all charity trustees by defining the circumstances in which the court can interfere with the exercise of their discretionary trusts and powers. Henderson has ‘so much real-world experience – his opinions come with real authority and insight, and an assurance that if it gets messy, the opinion will command respect from others.’ Another key member is the ‘hugely bright’ Jonathan Fowles who shows ‘superb attention to detail’ and obtains a promotion in this year's rankings.
Wilberforce Chambers is a ‘very impressive set’ that is frequently involved in some of the most high-value and complicated cases in the charity sector. One such recent highlight was Jonathan Davey QC, who is described as 'technically very knowledgeable, is excellent at absorbing detailed points and at articulating it simply to the judge', representing the HM Revenue and Customs in Life Services Ltd v HM Revenue and Customs - including  UKUT 0002 (TC). This is a test case about the compatibility of UK devolution with EU law concerning the taxation of charities and similar entities in different parts of the UK. The 'excellent' Michael Furness QC is also worthy of note.