Charities and not-for-profit in South East

Moore Barlow

Barlow Robbins LLP’s Guildford-based team are regularly called on to assist local and national charities and non-profit organisations with a range of matters, such as commercial and residential property and financial matters, data protection and regulatory issues. The 'very impressiveGordon Reid advises on the formation and registration of such organisation as well as constitutional and governance issues and  mergers.  Joanna Lada-Walicki is the key advisor for educational charities and schools and Helen Harvie also handles all aspects of charity law, structural and governance issues. Ben Collingwood and Scott Taylor are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Reid


‘Excellent knowledge of the charity sector and particularly swift response times.’

‘The team, led by Gordon Reid consistently provides well-thought out information which is clear, concise and appropriate.’

‘Gordon Reid has a wealth of experience and knowledge. He has a calm demeanour and takes time to understand clients’ needs and then give pragmatic useful advice.’


Key clients

Compassion International

Shooting Star Chase

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Royal Grammar School, Guildford

The Meath Epilepsy Charity

Work highlights

  • Advised US aid charity Compassion International on the English legal framework governing sensitive issues relating to child-protection and mandatory reporting of abuse, The Bribery Act 2010 and the oversight of the Serious Fraud Office to support compliance across its international affiliates in 25 countries.
  • Advising Royal Cambridge Home in connection with a redevelopment and care home facilities of their site in East Molesey.
  • Advised new client, The Crusaders’ Union (Urban Saints) on various commercial activities including agreements governing joint ventures, terms and conditions relating to overseas trips and debt recovery.
  • Regularly advises Lloyds Bank on security arrangements to grant finance to educational charities and schools.
  • Advised client Friends of the Royal Marsden on the merger with The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Cripps Pemberton Greenish provides commercial, corporate, real estate and governance support to charitable organisations ranging from small grant-making trusts to well-known, non-profit organisations such as the English National Ballet. Key sectors of expertise include arts and heritage, social housing and religious organisations and educational establishments. Kate Arnold leads the practice and is noted for her work in governance and advising on the creation of new charitable organisations. Andrew Harbourne retains a strong client roster in the religion, education and affordable housing sectors, while Rhona Darbyshire focuses on employment-related matters.

Practice head(s):

Kate Arnold

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Harbourne; Rhona Darbyshire


‘The team have a good understanding of charity law and compliance issues.’

A responsive practice with a good understanding of the nature of charity clients and their needs.’

The team is first rate for its their responsiveness and understanding of the clients’ business and gives practical advice and guidance.’

Key clients

URC Thames North Trust

The London Diocesan Fund

English National Ballet

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

The Royal Charter Corporation that owns and operate Harrow School and John Lyons School

Work highlights

  • Acted for URC Thames North Trust in the negotiation of a development agreement in relation to the United Reformed Church in North London, for the construction of a new church and hall.
  • Assisting the University of Kent in corporate, finance, dispute resolution and real estate matters, including on the grant of a new lease to Kent Union for their new £3m building, located within the Canterbury campus.
  • Advising East Kent College on its merger with Canterbury College.
  • Assisting the English National Ballet with negotiation of construction documents in relation to relocation of the headquarters to London City Island.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) provides strong cross-departmental support to charities and non-profit organisations with expertise in property, employment, dispute resolution, regulatory and corporate law. The practice has particular expertise in fundraising including sponsorship and partnerships agreements. It is also well known for assisting faith-based organisations where practice head Paul Ridout has a niche expertise. He also regularly advises cultural and higher education institutions on fundraising, sponsorship and trading activities. Associate Rosie Brass is experienced in governance, regulatory and commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ridout

Other key lawyers:

Rosie Brass


The team does its utmost to benefit the client by offering specialist advice, meaning that a comprehensive perspective is provided particularly on complicated issues requiring multifaced approaches.’

Paul Ridout and Rosie Brass provide a very personable, and extremely responsive service. Their ability to provide pragmatic advice which sits within the ethos and values of their clients makes them stand out. They act as business partners ready to assist with both long term projects and day to day issues. They are attentive to detail and demonstrate patience.

Key clients

Institute of Our Lady of Mercy

Versus Arthritis

Teenage Cancer Trust

Maritime Archaeology Sea Trust

Institute of Biomedical Science

Work highlights

  • Advised Age UK Hillingdon on the takeover of Age Concern Harrow and Age Concern Brent, which included the transfer of staff, premises and contracts and, as well as assisting with the overhaul of Age UK’s constitution.
  • Working with a community interest group which was set up as a joint venture of five charities with its conversion to a charitable incorporated organisation using the new conversion process set out in regulations under the Charities Act 2011.
  • Continued advice to Maritime Archaeological Sea Trust in connection to its ‘Diving Deep – Invincible 1744 Project’, which included negotiations relating to the Framework Agreement with National Royal Navy Museum Operations.
  • Assisted Chartered College of Teaching with drafting a licensing agreement with the Education and Trading Foundation, which will grant the College sole rights to award “Chartered Teacher” status to further education sector teachers.
  • Advising the Phoenix Gymnastics Club on entering into a lottery funding agreement with Sport England, to receive funding of £450,000 for the construction of new facilities near Windsor.

Blake Morgan LLP

At Blake Morgan LLP, practice head Ben Brice has significant expertise advising charities and NFP organisations on mergers and partnering arrangements, joint ventures, social enterprise, income generation, governance and regulatory matters. The practice also offers additional expertise in areas such as tax and employment. Associate Kirsteen Hook is particularly well known for her work with academy trusts where she assists with conversions, new academies, transfers, restructuring and governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Kirsteen Hook


‘The team is more than helpful and always quick to respond, displaying expertise around charity law and housing issues.’

‘Ben Brice is very responsive and his knowledge of this specialist sector is second to none. His advice was very clearly given and the options, where applicable, were similarly clarified.’

‘The group, led by Ben Brice provides excellent and accurate advice, and are particularly experienced in quite complex and technical charity and company structural issues within the Trust.‘

Key clients


Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust

University of Chichester Academy Trust

Nekton Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advised the Nekton Foundation, a deep-sea research and marine life trust on collaborative fundraising projects through corporate grants and sponsorship agreements and promotional broadcast arrangements.
  • Provided commercial advice to Winchester Housing Trust in connection to the establishment of trading subsidiary to be registered as a for-profit registered provider of social housing.
  • Advised Portsmouth Catholic Diocesan Trust on various real estate, employment, charity legacy and regulatory issues.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

The Henley on Thames and Reading offices of Blandy & Blandy LLP advises a wide range of local and regional charities, educational trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises and philanthropists. Main areas of expertise include governance arrangements, registration and incorporation, commercial contracts, employment law and real estate matters. Commercial specialist Nick Burrows is the lead advisor and is particularly skilled at advising charities on commercial operations, joint ventures and collaborative working arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Nick Burrows


‘The support and advice we receive from Blandys is always prompt and helpful.’

‘Charity and employment seminars hosted by Blandys are always of a high standard.’

‘Blandy & Blandy have a personal approach, based on individual experience, and a high client service ethos.Their advice is pragmatic and reflective of experience combined with knowledge of current requirements.’

‘Great listeners. Strong technical competency. Answers what they are asked but also seek to add value by teasing out the unasked questions.’

‘Approachable and knowledgeable. Pragmatic solutions that we can action.’

‘I have worked with Blandy and Blandy for over a decade and find the Charities and Not-for-Profit team to be first class. Nick Burrows, who leads the team, is a pragmatic lawyer who looks for ways to help clients achieve what they need to achieve rather than finding reasons why they can’t. The wider expertise available through Blandy and Blandy’s other teams (HR, Property, Data Protection etc) is invaluable in ensuring they are a one-stop shop for legal advice for charities.’

‘Pippa Lee was our contact regarding our dispute and acted in a professional and methodical way. We were very pleased with the service we recieved and would not hesitate to recommend Pippa in future.’

‘Nick Burrows is as an experienced and pragmatic practitioner. His advice is based on what is achievable; there is also a strong sense of what the reasonable expectation would be rather than the minute detail of the law and the regulations. Advice is in lay language which makes it easier for non-technical trustees to understand and consider as part of their trustee responsibilities.’

‘Confident, responsive and good fun to work with.’

‘Nick Burrows is a good communicator, able to understand the client perspective and modify solutions to suit individual need.

‘Nick Burrows and Tim Clark are both excellent and sensible lawyers who looks to help clients achieve what they need achieve without excessive costs/fees.  First class.’

Key clients

University of Reading

Royal Town Planning Institute

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Genetic Disorders UK/Jeans for Genes

St Joseph’s College

Work highlights

    Debenhams Ottaway

    Debenhams Ottaway's integrated, multi-disciplinary team of trusts, company, employment and property law specialists advise a mix of local and national organisations such as the St Alban’s Citizen Advice Bureau and the International Society for Krishan Consciousness (Hare Krishna). Nicholas Turner advises charitable organisations on all aspects of their operations and is particularly experienced in formations, trustee issues, altering trusts and advising on Charity Commission schemes. Commercial property lawyers Ruth Boulton and Jonathan Foy are also of note, as is associate James Brawn.

    Practice head(s):

    Nicholas Turner, Ruth Boulton, Jonathan Foy

    Other key lawyers:

    James Brawn

    Key clients

    Hubbard Will Trust

    Pavyer Trust

    Work highlights

      Freeths LLP

      Freeths LLP advises local and national charities on a broad range of issues such as commercial and corporate negotiations, real estate compliance, aspects of GDPR on fundraising efforts and partnership arrangements. Nigel Roots is the key advisor for tax and trust planning, trust management and charity law. Sarah Foster acts on contentious matters and Lesley Pollock advises on real estate matters. Sarah Bownman joined Shoosmiths LLP in February 2018, Robert Nieri departed to Brabners LLP in September 2018.

      Practice head(s):

      Nigel Roots

      Other key lawyers:

      Sarah Foster

      Furley Page Solicitors

      Furley Page Solicitors practice head Aaron Spencer advises on the formation of charitable incorporated organisations, charitable trusts and assists trustees on governance and best practice. Nicholas Andrews has a niche specialty within the almshouse sector. Tony Chester assists with the corporate aspects such as charity mergers, amendments of object clauses and articles and preparation of asset transfer agreements.

      Practice head(s):

      Aaron Spencer

      Other key lawyers:

      Nicholas Andrews; Tony Chester

      Key clients

      Royal Engineers Charities

      Eastbridge Hospital

      Canterbury Relief in Need

      The Almshouse Charity of Wynn Ellis

      Prince of Wales Youth Club

      Work highlights

      • Assisting family members with the creation and the setting up of The Edward Showler Foundation.
      • Advising the Simon Langton schools’ trust on the purchase of land and compliance with the requirements of The Charity Act.

      Gardner Leader LLP

      Gardner Leader LLP’s expertise covers charity formations and registrations, governance and constitutional advice, corporate and commercial matters, regulatory and Charity Act compliance. From the Newbury office, Alastair Goggins leads a team which includes Penny Wright and Maidenhead-based Diane Yarrow who are experienced in all areas of charity law and have a strong focus on contentious probate, regulatory compliance and trading and commercial activities.

      Practice head(s):

      Alastair Goggins

      Other key lawyers:

      Penny Wright; Diane Yarrow


      ‘The team at Gardner Leader are head and shoulders above the other Berkshire-based firms in terms of response and track record in handling issues related to charity law.’

      ‘We found Gardner Leader to be efficient, knowledgeable, polite and understanding at all times. The partner responds to queries promptly, is patient in explaining things to us, and has taken the time to understand our needs.’

      Work highlights

      • Advised West Berkshire Conservative Association on development proposals for the area office in Newbury.
      • Assisted a grant-making charity in updating its constitution and transferring assets to another charity.

      Thomson Snell & Passmore

      Thomson Snell & Passmore  is a firm favourite among education, health and social carec and community support charities. The Tunbridge Wells–based team draws on its expertise in the commercial, employment, real estate and private client areas to advise charities and non-profit organisations on all aspects of their operations, including formation, trustee duties, structures and funding options. James Partridge and Nick Hobden are the lead advisers.

      Practice head(s):

      James Partridge

      Other key lawyers:

      Nick Hobden


      Excellent and independent advice, always well thought through and clear to understand. Client focused and understanding of the needs of not-for-profits.’

      James Partridge is empathetic with the sector, full of knowledge and understanding and behaves with the utmost integrity.’

      Key clients

      Avante Care & Support

      Medway Anglican Schools Trust

      Queen Elizabeth’s Foundation for Disabled People

      Chatham Maritime Trust

      The Charity Bank

      Work highlights

      • Advised Medway Anglican Schools Trust on a funding agreement with the Secretary of State for Education for the purposes of acquiring a nursery school, as well as on real estate matters and employment and transfer of undertaking issues.
      • Assisted Rivermead Inclusive Trust with the update and consolidation of its Master Funding Agreement produced by the Department of Education.

      Boodle Hatfield LLP

      Boodle Hatfield LLP assists charities and philanthropic donors with corporate matters and philanthropic initiatives, such as advising on the establishment and registration of new charities, non-profit structures and liaising with the Charity Commission. Natasha Hassall and associate Eleanor Sepanski are the key contacts in Oxford.

      Practice head(s):

      Natasha Hassall

      Other key lawyers:

      Eleanor Sepanski


      At Brachers’s cross-departmental Maidstone office, Sarah Gaines advises a range of charities on real estate transactions while Christopher Eriksson-Lee is the lead figure for regulatory and compliance matters. Antonio Fletcher who was made partner in May 2018, handles employment and data protection-related matters.

      Practice head(s):

      Sarah Gaines


      Dedicated, professional and personalised service. Always approachable and with an excellent knowledge of the charity sector and the peculiarities that are faced within the sector.

      Clients value Brachers’ personalised service coupled with the professional attitude and knowledge. They are keen to work with the client which provides a different dynamic and will always look for ways of working together to ensure we all offer the best service possible. Sarah Gaines  provides excellent support, advice and guidance.

      ‘The Brachers LLP team are refreshingly able and enthusiastic. This permeates down from the top level and includes the support staff who always endeavour to get queries answered in a timely fashion.’

      ‘Christopher Eriksson-Lee is a stand out professional with a wide ranging knowledge of his subject.’

      Key clients

      William Barrows Charity

      Charities Aid Foundation Bank

      Royal British Legion Industries

      Kent County Agricultural Society

      Heart of Kent Hospice

      Work highlights

      • Advised Charities Aid Foundation Bank Limited in connection with various secured lending transactions for property development.
      • Assisted East Malling Trust with real estate and restructuring matters.
      • Acted for Kent County Agricultural Society in the sale of interests in land conditional on planning.

      Charles Russell Speechlys LLP

      Charles Russell Speechlys LLP advises charitable trusts, charitable incorporated organisations, royal charter companies and community benefit societies on all areas of commercial, employment and real estate matters. The firm has significant experience advising military, religious and educational charities as well acting for individuals on all aspects of charitable giving and philanthropic activities. Guildford- based Duncan Elson is the main contact.

      Practice head(s):

      Duncan Elson

      Field Seymour Parkes LLP

      Field Seymour Parkes LLP utilizes its cross-departmental expertise to handle incorporations, mergers, structuring, governance and constitution matters for charities, charitable trusts and NFPs. It also advises on pensions and property. Tax partner Dr Philippa Roles and associate Katharine Riley are the key advisers in Reading.

      Practice head(s):

      Philippa Roles

      Other key lawyers:

      Katherine Riley


      The team have been of great support to our charity over the years. They are always very responsive, professional and knowledgeable.’

      Key clients

      Make a Wish Foundation

      Potterspury Lodge Trust Limited

      Royal Berkshire College of Agriculture

      Work highlights

      • Advised the Make a Wish Foundation on the acquisition of commercial real estate premises for its new headquarters in Reading.
      • Advised  Berkshire College of Agriculture in its asset purchase of Land Based Training.

      Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

      Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP acts for charitable organisations such as educational institutions and membership organisations, disability charities and registered social landlords. It counts house-hold names such as Make-a-Wish Foundation UK and City & Guilds of London Institute among its recent clients. The multi-disciplinary practice advises on a broad range of matters including governance, corporate and commercial, real estate, public law, legacy disputes and employment matters. Henrietta Mason, Daff Richardson and Hilary Aldred are the key contacts. Practice head Alison Talbot  departed to Winckworth Sherwood LLP in December 2018.

      Practice head(s):

      Henrietta Mason

      Other key lawyers:

      Daff Richardson; Hilary Aldred

      Key clients

      World Obesity Federation

      Leonard Cheshire Disability

      Marine Stewardship Council

      Wellington College

      Marshal Beresford Fund

      Work highlights

      • Representing faith based organisation in a Charity Commission investigation.
      • Advised Make-A-Wish on a fundraising promotion with a major film producer and a large e-commerce platform to coincide with a film release.

      Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

      Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP’s Uckfield practice assists charities and non-profit organisations with all aspects of their operations, such as registration, constitution and governance, commercial and corporate negotiations, property acquisitions, fundraising and contentious matters. Bruce Hayter, Alan Zeal and Richard Cripps are the key contacts.

      Practice head(s):

      Bruce Hayter

      Other key lawyers:

      Alan Zeal; Richard Cripps


      All the advisers are extremely supportive and knowledgeable. As an organisation they compare well to other firms as we have a variety of contacts who understand and have a good knowledge of our organisation.

      Bruce Hayter has a huge social conscience and has helped lead the way in Sussex to bring together organisations from the public, private and voluntary sector to use the power of sport to help local communities.

      Key clients

      Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust

      The Russell Martin Foundation

      Active Sussex

      Children’s Respite Trust

      Brighton and Hove Sea Serpents

      Work highlights

      • Provided employment and corporate advice to The Russell Martin Foundation in connection with the Trust’s relocation to new premises.
      • Assisting Hove RFC with its move to charitable status.

      Shoosmiths LLP

      Shoosmiths LLP has bolstered its capabilities with the recruitment of Angela Bowman, as head of national charities, from Freeths LLP in February 2018. Bowman adds her significant charities and non-profit sector expertise to the contentious wills and trusts team, and is also well known for her expertise in assisting household names as well as private philanthropists with legacy administration, real estate, and employment and pensions matters. The firm also utilises its top-tier corporate expertise to advise on transactions and commercial ventures.

      Practice head(s):

      Angela Bowman

      Key clients

      Dogs Trust


      The National Trust

      Royal National Institute for the Blind

      Cancer Research UK