Charities and not-for-profit in North

Muckle LLP

The practice at Muckle LLP in Newcastle offers high-calibre national and regional clients full-service support, from corporate governance, restructuring and fundraising to commercial, property and regulatory questions. The team is notable for its work in the sports sector for athletes, sports associations, governing bodies and leagues. Practice head John Devine is known for his expertise in this arena while Joanne Davison employs her know-how in governance and projects work across the education and charity sectors. While Samantha Roberts departed in September 2021 for an in-house position at MRI Software, the team has gained senior associate Chris Hook from Northumbria University in October 2021.

Practice head(s):

John Devine

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Davison; Chris Hook


‘Senior members of the team always make themselves available. Entire team works hard to understand our ethos and the way we operate.’

‘John Devine: always creates availability, takes time to offer clear explanations and advice.’

‘We have used the Muckle LLP Charities and not for profit practice for a number of years and have remained with them because of the quality of their service and the level of knowledge provided.’

‘We’ve worked with Muckle for many years and the team there have always been incredibly supportive, response, and mindful of our needs as a UK-registered charity with a global reach.’

‘They really take the time to understand exactly the challenges we face and view them from our position. ’

‘As a charity client, it is essential for me to trust our solicitor, and for me to know that fees are reasonable but that the advice and support we receive is second to none. That is indeed my experience of Muckle’s. It has indeed been my experience for many years now.

‘The team has a wealth of expertise in many areas of the law. This is very reassuring for clients to know that there will be a member of the team who can deal with the client’s legal issue swiftly and expertly. At my organisation this has been hugely helpful, rather than having to try different legal firms to get the level of expertise required.’

Key clients

The Great North Air Ambulance Service

The Alnwick Garden Trust

The Greggs Foundation (official affiliated charity of Greggs PLC)

The Premier League Charitable Fund

North Music Trust (The Sage Gateshead music venue)

Chelsea FC Foundation

Tyneside Cinema

St Cuthbert’s Care (incorporating The Alan Shearer Foundation)

Children’s Heart Unit Fund (CHUF)

Newcastle University Students’ Union

Mental Health Concern (Concern Group)

parkrun Global

The Football Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising The Great North Air Ambulance Service, a regional charity which operates three helicopter air ambulances across the North of England, on a full-service basis advising on a range of legal issues, including aircraft sale and purchase.
  • Advising The Football Foundation on the national roll out of the £200m Hubs Programme facilities project launched initially by The Football Association (FA).
  • Advised CFG, owner of 10 professional football clubs worldwide including Manchester City FC, over the past two years on the global implementation and roll out of its “Cityzens Giving for Recovery” Programme charitable fundraising campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

With a client list that includes an array of national household name charities and not-for-profits, the Newcastle team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP is a key player in the sector. The team offers expertise in strategic, regulatory, governance, operational and trust issues and also offers sub-specialisms in the sectors of education, health and care as well as religion. Emma Moody  leads the practice, focusing on governance and constitutional issues for charities. Managing associate Samantha Pritchard is a key practitioner, with her practice including support with mergers and partnerships as well as governance advice on board and membership structures.

Practice head(s):

Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Pritchard


‘Womble Bond Dickenson provide us with a truly excellent service on matters relating to charity governance. The team are knowledgeable and maintain a strong working knowledge of our organisation which enables them to quickly relate to and translate broader industry / sector issues for us. I particularly value their prompt response to our requests for assistance, the clear communication throughout their work and the fact that they not only always deliver what we need, but that they also challenge our thinking and help us consider other aspects that we may not have initially identified.’

Key clients

BBC Children in Need

Which? / Consumers’ Association

Crisis UK

National Trust

Royal Academy of Engineering

Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul

Absolute Return for Kids (ARK)

National Benevolent Charity

Mental Health Matters

The Dogs Trust

National Energy Action

Board of Deputies for British Jews

The Cyrenians Limited / Changing Lives

Virgin Money Foundation

St John of God Hospitaller Services

Hay Festival

Royal College of Pathologists

Thomas More Project (legal 500 additional example) N

BNJC (legal 500 additional example) N

Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling (Legal 500

additional example)

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

With respected charity expert Fiona Wharton in Newcastle at the helm, the practice at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP offers ‘real knowledge and sector experience‘. The client list has expanded to include not only major regional charities but also well-known national and international organizations. Wharton draws on in-depth expertise to handle a broad range of work from charity governance, contracts and mergers to grant making and fundraising. While Claris D’cruz departed in December 2021, solicitor Joanna Blackman, based in Leeds and Newcastle, plays a key supporting role.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Wharton

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Blackman


‘As a practice they work to offer advice and support at minimal cost and with maximum professionalism.

Operationally, they have dedicated departments dealing not only with charities and not-for-profit but also and Railway Industry issues.

‘Their creating a personal relationship that goes beyond just “doing the job” – they are interested in what we are doing and seek to help us do that work more efficiently.

‘I have only used the team on two discrete matters and so have limited experience working with them. From our interactions, I have been impressed with their availability and responsiveness, and the deep knowledge of the partners in their respective areas of expertise.’

‘Real knowledge and sector experience. Strong support and a real determination to understand the client’

‘The legal team have a lot of charity experience. They have sector specialists who know their sector well including the many intricacies of Charity law – mixed with practical experience to back this up.’

‘Fiona Wharton has many years of real world and practical charity legal advice under her belt. She has helped many charities (including my charity clients) and is a sector expert.

I value Fiona’s practical experience, as she guides clients through the complex legal situation in a easily understandable way.’

Key clients

Age UK North Tyneside

Aln Valley Railway Trust

Blue Ventures Conservation

Greater Manchester Community Led Housing Hub

London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust

Lord Mayor of Manchester’s Charity Appeal Trust

Northern School of Contemporary Dance

Redcar and Cleveland Voluntary Development Agency

Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum Trust and The Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Collection

Sherburn House Charity

Society of the Sacred Mission

Virgin Money Foundation

Work highlights

  • We advised London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust on its title sponsorship agreement in relation to its flagship annual event, the London Open Gardens Weekend.
  • We advised on issues around termination provisions, liability and risk, reputation and contractual process in relation to the closure of the Conservatoire of Dance & Drama of which NSCD is a member.
  • We have advised SSM on the closure of SSM (Southern Africa) a related charity including in relation to final distribution of assets, governance arrangements and future strategy as well as the winding up processes with Companies House and the Charity Commission.