The specialist charities team at Brabners LLP deals with complex issues pertaining to charity and not-for-profit law, including charity registration cases, regulatory matters and statutory inquiry cases. The team also covers governance issues and solvency of trading subsidiaries and fundraising issues, as well as day-to-day advice. Practice head Graeme Hughes works exclusively in charity law. Stephen Claus retired in October 2021, but continues to act as a consultant. He is widely regarded for his expertise in ecclesiastical law.
Charities and not-for-profit in North West
Other key lawyers:
‘Graham Hughes provides good charity law advice, and is a much valued resource for our organisation.’
‘Brabners understands what it means to be a board of directors, constantly balancing risk and costs against reputational damage and also the benefit of legal action, or indeed in not taking legal action. Their advice is sound and helped us to navigate calmly and reasonably.’
‘Sound knowledge of governance and the charitable sector as well as being approachable, friendly, helpful and understanding during difficult times.’
‘Brabners’ lawyers are extremely approachable and genuinely committed to providing a friendly yet professional service. The firm offers excellent advice and assistance in a number of legal practice areas.’
‘Stephen Claus is a consummate expert in this field and assisted us with a number of very challenging charity law matters. The depth of knowledge in this area is exceptional.’
‘The team at Brabners is very approachable. You never feel as though you are being talked at by someone with superior knowledge rather that they are working with you and to get the best for your organisation and beneficiaries.’
‘Graeme Hughes is down to earth and approachable. He has excellent knowledge and goes the extra mile to understand our charity and therefore the uniqueness of our situation. As a charity specialist Graeme also demonstrates excellent values and has a clear understanding that although charities are required to be business-like and comply with the law we are required to be principled and ethical in our actions and his advice reflects this.’
‘Stephen Claus is second-to-none in his experience and knowledge of charities law. Graeme Hughes is very shrewd and knowledgeable, and works tremendously hard for his clients.’
Age Concern West Sussex
Alder Hey Children’s Charity
Anne Duchess of Westminster’s charity
Autism Alliance UK
Autism Initiatives Group
Birmingham City Council
Bolton Council of Mosques
Bolton Lads and Girls Club
Bracknell Islamic Cultural Society
British Friends of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Catholic Blind Institute
Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Cheshire Deaf Society
Chester Municipal Charities
College of Paramedics
Community Integrated Care
Co-operative Community Investment Foundation
Edward Mayes Almshouses
Everton in the Community
The Factory Trust
Fisheries Society of the British Isles
Furniture Resource Centre
Gas Safety Trust
Green Lane Masjid and Community Centre
Groundwork Greater Manchester
Hackney City Tennis Club
Lawn Tennis Association
Leadership Through Sport and Business
League Against Cruel Sports
Liverpool Homeless Football Club
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine
Manchester United Foundation
Merchant Taylors Schools
Michael Carrick Foundation
Miss Kick Foundation
Mobberley Parish Council
National Communities Resource Centre
National Examining Board for Dental Nurses
North West Cancer Research
Oliver Lymes Charity
Professional Footballers’ Association Charity
Pumping Marvellous Foundation
Queens School Chester
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Blackburn Limited
Sir Josiah Mason’s Almshouse Charity
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
Smart Works Charity
St Ann’s Hospice
Stratford Upon Avon Municipal Charities
The Rainford Trust
Trustees of Stand Unitarian Chapel
UKIM Communities, Development & Welfare Limited
West Kirby Residential School
Wirral Chinese Association
Yardley Grange Care Services Limited
Yardley Great Trust
Youth Federation Limited
- Advised Badger Trust on complex governance arrangements.
- Advised the Catholic Blind Institute upon the charity’s merger with another charity.
- Provided extensive advice to Chester Zoo on its governance structure and development plans.
The North West regional team at Mills & Reeve LLP advises on the full spectrum of charity law, especially on matters involving IP and data protection and compliance. In recent years the team has grown its client base in the healthcare sector, as well as its caseload for philanthropists. Paul Knight focuses on data protection and IT and commercial contracts for charities, while Simon Pedley is a key contact regarding charity dispute resolution and regulatory matters. Principal associate Rona McPherson is well-regarded for her work on grant arrangements.
Paul Knight; Simon Pedley
Other key lawyers:
‘They want to understand thoroughly the matter they are supporting the organisation with, and allocate the right resource in the team to the case.’
‘They always respond promptly to queries, or new requests and are clear on the time needed to undertake the work. Jennifer Lewis in the property team is very good. Always trust her advice and judgement and she grasps tricky issues really quickly.’
‘A collegiate team that works with expertise and experience to ensure the client receives comprehensive and proportionate legal advice and options.’
‘Responsive and experts in their field.’
‘The billing is clear, work set out was very clear, no surprises at all. I was very grateful for this thorough understanding and plan of work which as a charity is incredibly important. Would thoroughly recommend this firm.’
‘The individuals in the team were very responsive, thorough and simply lovely to work with.’
BBC Children in Need
British Medical Association
Royal Institute of British Architects
Royal Northern College of Music
The Henry Smith Foundation
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation
Alan Turing Institute
- Advised Podium Analytics on data protection compliance relating to the sports-related injury data repository it is creating to aid research into youth sports injury.
- Worked with the British Council on multiple information technology projects to pivot many of their programmes online and launch new digital products in 2021.
- Advised the Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) on the terms of the £3.4m grant agreement with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to improve the quality and efficiency of RNCM’s estate and develop a forward strategy around the route to decarbonisation.
Shoosmiths LLP provides a full-service offering to charities and not-for-profits, particularly the establishment of charities, advising on collaborations, and the dissolution of charities. Principal associate Robert Nieri is a specialist in charity law and governance. Legal director Anna Lowe is a key contact regarding both strategic advice and property work for charities, especially relating to regulatory work related to transactions in the charity sector.
Other key lawyers:
‘A great team, in particular Robert Nieri.’
‘Robert Nieri is hugely assiduous and thoughtful in his advice. He has a forensic attention to detail combined with an engaging and supportive style. He is technically excellent, but also is able to focus on the bigger picture.’
‘Technically strong user-friendly and practical advice from a team with real depth of knowledge and experience.’
‘Robert Nieri is responsive, clear and an excellent communicator – he briefed and guided our charity board with real skill.’
‘Robert Nieri was personally outstanding. He engaged his colleagues and ensued we had excellent advice throughout.’
‘Shoosmiths displayed a real detailed knowledge of charity relevant law and best practice.’
Groundwork Greater Manchester
Counselling and Family Centre, Altrincham
Recycling Lives Charity
Dogs for Good
Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Youth Service
The Patch Foundation CIO
Queen Elisabeth’s Endowed School Trust
Bromley House Library
The Portico Library and Newsroom
- Advised the Board of Trustees of a national charity client on a multi-faceted and extremely sensitive instruction, which is primarily concerned with employment law and charity law and regulation.
- Advised Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Youth Service (NDCYS) on renovating the charity’s residential retreat facility in the Peak District.
- Registered The Patch Foundation CIO and advised on a debt for equity swap so that this newly registered charity could become the sole shareholder in an existing commercial entity, CourtX Limited.
Addleshaw Goddard‘s is particularly strong when advising on complex transactions in the charities space and Charity Commission investigations and inquiries. Manchester practice head Yorke Eaton is noted for his work on the establishment and registration of new charities, as well as charity land transactions. Based in Leeds, Pervinder Kaur heads the national charities team. She regularly deals with funding issues and investigations. Laura Woffinden, a specialist in charity transactional work, was promoted to legal director in September 2021.
Other key lawyers:
Pervinder Kaur; Laura Woffinden
‘Addleshaw Goddard has substantial experience in all aspects of charities.’
‘Pervinder Kaur and her colleagues are very impressive.’
Leeds Beckett University
- Advised a number of household name retail clients on promotions involving charities.
- Provide ongoing advice on all areas of charity law to grant making charities of ranging sizes.
- Advised charity trustees on the sale of a major shareholding in the company which founded the charity.
The multidisciplinary team at Hill Dickinson LLP advises charities on a wide range of relevant matters for charities and third sector clients, including insolvency, property, constitutional, and governance issues. Mark Fitzgibbon is a key contact for third sector clients regarding commercial, IP, and TMT matters, while Jeff Middleton is noted for advising on employment matters for charity clients. Additionally, Fionnuala Kenny often advises private clients regarding private charitable trust formation and administration.
Mark Fitzgibbon; Jeff Middleton; Fionnuala Kenny
Big Life Group
Parkwood Holdings Limited
The People’s Trust (Greece)
The Roman Catholic Purposes Administered in Connection with the Society for African Missions
Manchester Literature Festival
Amnesty (UK) Group
Greenwich Leisure Limited
Creative Sector Services CIC (Creative United)
Medicines Discovery Catapult Limited
ARICD (formerly known as Association for Research in Infant and Child Development)
- Advising the surviving Trustees of The Roman Catholic Purposes Administered in Connection with the Society for African Missions in connection with the striking off of a dormant charitable trust (set up in 1937) from the Charity Commission register.
- Advised Medicines Discovery Catapult Limited upon a number of transactional matters throughout 2021 involving structural equipment and services acquisitions involving grant funding arrangements and public procurement obligations.
- Supported Creative Sector Services CIC through a re-procurement of its credit finance provider in connection with its Arts Council England funded “Take it Away” scheme.