Leading Individuals

Charities and not-for-profit in North West

Brabners LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Graeme Hughes

Other key lawyers:

Stephen Claus


‘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.’

Key clients


Age Concern West Sussex

Alder Hey Children’s Charity

Anne Duchess of Westminster’s charity

Autism Alliance UK

Autism Initiatives Group

Badger Trust

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

Chester Zoo


College of Paramedics

Community Integrated Care

Co-operative Community Investment Foundation

Edward Mayes Almshouses

EMDR Association

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

Grey Gables

Groundwork Greater Manchester

Hackney City Tennis Club

Hoylake Cottage

Lawn Tennis Association

Leadership Through Sport and Business

League Against Cruel Sports

Lenchs Trust


Liverpool Homeless Football Club

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Manchester United Foundation

Mencap Liverpool

Merchant Taylors Schools

Michael Carrick Foundation

Murray Foundation

Miss Kick Foundation

Mobberley Parish Council

National Communities Resource Centre

National Examining Board for Dental Nurses

North West Cancer Research

Oliver Lymes Charity


Petty Pool

Professional Footballers’ Association Charity

Pumping Marvellous Foundation

Queens School Chester

Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Blackburn Limited

Regenda Limited

Shaw Trust

Sir Josiah Mason’s Almshouse Charity

Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur

Smart Works Charity

Stanmore Jafferys

St Ann’s Hospice

Stratford Upon Avon Municipal Charities

The Rainford Trust

Torus Foundation

Trustees of Stand Unitarian Chapel

Turner Home

UKIM Communities, Development & Welfare Limited

West Kirby Residential School

Wirral Chinese Association

Yardley Grange Care Services Limited

Yardley Great Trust

Youth Federation Limited

Work highlights

  • 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.

Mills & Reeve LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Paul Knight; Simon Pedley

Other key lawyers:

Rona McPherson


‘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.’

Key clients

British Council

BBC Children in Need

Podium Analytics

British Medical Association

Royal Institute of British Architects

Royal Northern College of Music

Brio Leisure

The Henry Smith Foundation

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation

Alan Turing Institute

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Robert Nieri

Other key lawyers:

Anna Lowe


‘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.’

Key clients

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

Work highlights

  • 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

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.

Practice head(s):

Yorke Eaton

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.’

Key clients

Bedingfield’s Trust

Leeds Beckett University

Work highlights

  • 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.

Hill Dickinson LLP

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.

Practice head(s):

Mark Fitzgibbon; Jeff Middleton; Fionnuala Kenny

Key clients

Big Life Group

Delta Philanthropies

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

Star Academies

Raise Limited

ARICD (formerly known as Association for Research in Infant and Child Development)

Work highlights

  • 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.