Charities and not-for-profit in North

Muckle LLP

Muckle LLP's team is best known for its expertise in the sports sector, in particular community sports. The firm advises professional and amateur sports clubs, as well as national and international sports governing bodies and leagues. With John Devine at the helm, and Joanne Davison supporting, the practice handles a wide range of matters, including advising on corporate governance, restructuring, fundraising, trading, mergers, collaborative working, construction, and regulatory issues. Other areas of focus include assisting education providers with charity law and governance matters.

Practice head(s):

John Devine

Other key lawyers:

Joanne Davison


Excellent grasp of the subject and connections in other professions and the sector generally.

John Devine has a deep understanding of our ethos and operations, and gives very clear advice.

The practice has a thorough understanding of our operating environment, and always has someone available as a first contact.

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 Football Foundation on the national roll-out of the £200m Parklife facilities project initially launched by the Football Association.
  • Advising the Great North Air Ambulance Service on a relocation to its new operating base and assisting with aircraft acquisition.
  • Assisting parkrun Global and its UK and overseas subsidiaries with all legal matters.

Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP

With a particular focus on the healthcare, religious, and education sectors, the team at Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP handles work for a wide range of noteworthy local and national clients. As well as providing strategic transactional and regulatory advice, the practice also assists with all matters relating to governance and operations. Practice head Emma Moody has 'vast understanding', with particular expertise in advising charities on major projects. Managing associate Samantha Pritchard has a track record of work advising clients from the public and private sectors on governance issues.

Practice head(s):

Emma Moody

Other key lawyers:

Samantha Pritchard


WBD have been remarkable in offering support during a very challenging period for us.

‘Emma Moody is extremely efficient, very easy to talk to and has a vast understanding of all areas we are involved in. I would not deal with another team. The best thing we did was to employ WBD.’

From the outset our communications with them gave us confidence that they were best placed to understand our requirements and deliver the project.

Good knowledge and expertise.

Key clients


Which? / Consumers’ Association

BBC Children in Need

Charity Commission appointed interim manager for Ampleforth Abbey Trust and St Laurence Education Trust

Humankind Charity

Newcastle City Council

Katie Piper Foundation

The Academy of Medical Sciences

Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul Charitable Trust

The Jewish Leadership Council

Royal College of Pathologists


Work highlights

  • Provided a part-time secondment to support the governance review of the Consumers’ Association – the charitable parent of Which?
  • Advised Newcastle City Council on a three-year project to transfer the city’s parks to a charity.
  • Successfully tendered to carry out an audit for BBC Children in Need and Children in Need Limited of the processes, procedures and documentation that both entities have in place, from a company secretarial point of view, to check whether they were compliant with company and charity law.

Ward Hadaway LLP

The team at Ward Hadaway undertakes a breadth of work - as well as providing property and employment services to specialised charities, the practice also assists public, corporate, and private sector clients with their dealings with charities and social enterprises, in particular where they are acting as trustees of charity assets. For advice concerning both contentious and non-contentious trust and estate issues, Gaynor Jackson is the key name to note. The team also includes practice head and social housing expert Colin Hewitt and property specialist Kevin Weston.

Practice head(s):

Colin Hewitt

Other key lawyers:

Gaynor Jackson; Kevin Weston

Key clients

Newcastle University

CISV International

Sherburn House Charity

Changing Lives

Finchale College

Virgin Money Foundation

Sir James Knott Trust

Newcastle University Development Trust

County Durham Community Foundation

Work highlights

  • Assisted Newcastle University with the contractual and charity law issues surrounding the permanent loan of the personal and business archive of a well-known architect to the client.
  • Advised Finchale Training College on the sale of its existing site.
  • Advising the trustee board of the Virgin Money Foundation on governance issues, and trustees’ roles and responsibilities.

Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Key specialisms of the team at Wrigleys Solicitors LLP  include advising on governance matters, mergers and collaborative working. The practice focuses particularly on charitable clients involved with healthcare, religious work, social housing, and social investment. The team is led by Fiona Wharton, who joined from Ward Hadaway in summer 2019, who also assists various public sector bodies in their role as corporate trustees. She works with fellow consultant Claris D’cruz; the duo are praised for their 'professional and assured approach to every project, no matter how big or small'.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Wharton

Other key lawyers:

Claris D’cruz


‘Charities can approach the Wrigleys team knowing that they have the right credentials and legal experience.’

‘Fiona Wharton is an experienced charity lawyer. Her sector knowledge and credentials are unrivalled.’

‘Their approach is that of flexibility, accessibility and recognising the importance of relationships so they are always easy to deal with and effective at supporting your business.’

The Wrigley’s team has specialisms in a number of areas which gives confidence that they are not generalists. Having access to a number of experts is reassuring and comforting, especially in these times of increasing litigation.

‘Claris D’Cruz and Fiona Wharton are recognised throughout the region as leading practitioners in the charitable and not-for-profit sector. They have demonstrated an extensive knowledge across the third sector over several years in practice and by combining their skills they have created a strong offering for charities in the North East of England.’

‘Claris D’Cruz and Fiona Wharton stand out because of their professional and assured approach to every project, no matter how big or small. They are always approachable, are always willing to listen and offer sound advice in a way which is easy to understand, no matter how complex.’

Key clients

County Durham and Darlington NHS FT/CDDFT Charity

Lions Clubs International MD105

Sherburn House Charity

Virgin Money Foundation

Pagabo Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising Sherburn House Charity, a registered housing provider, on a complex incorporation.
  • Assisting County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust with the rationalisation of over 100 charitable funds, with an aggregate value of over £2.5m.  
  • Advised the Virgin Money Foundation on governance matters.


The team at Burnetts receives instructions from a range of charitable and not-for-profit clients, ranging from national charities to small community interest companies. Advice is provided across the full spectrum of charity law, with additional support provided by specialists from the property and employment teams. Practice head Caroline Redhead, who returned to the firm in 2018 after a spell in Hong Kong, handles data protection issues, intellectual property and general governance matters. Also recommended at the firm is intellectual property expert Vaughan Jones.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Redhead

Other key lawyers:

Vaughan Jones

Key clients

British Deaf Association

Westlakes Research Limited

The Brougham Hall Charitable Trust

Rosehill Arts Trust

The British Beekeepers’ Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Mitre Housing Association Limited, in its capacity as trustee of an almshouses charity, on a new scheme to enable the sale of the almshouses.
  • Providing ongoing advice relating to governance, contracts, funding terms, property issues, and public benefit requirements to Westlakes Research.
  • Assisted Reach North East with its governance arrangements in the context of a change in its area of benefit.

Sintons LLP

The team at Sintons LLP is best known for its work with religious organisations and healthcare institutions. Amanda Maskery frequently advises both independent health-related charities and those linked to NHS trusts on key strategic issues.

Practice head(s):

Amanda Maskery