Next Generation Partners

Charities and not-for-profit in South East

BDB Pitmans

The highly regarded charities and social enterprise team at BDB Pitmans is led by Penny Chapman, who splits her time between the firm’s offices in Reading and London. In addition to its relationships with an array of national and international clients, the practice works with a roster of well-known regional clients in and around both Reading and Oxford. The team is able to draw on support from a number of leading practitioners in the firm’s London office, as well as colleagues based in Southampton and Cambridge.

Practice head(s):

Penny Chapman

Testimonials

‘Penny Chapman is an excellent lawyer – very thorough and diligent and a heavy-hitter who brings real presence to a meeting, and has vast knowledge of the charity sector.

‘Penny Chapman is an outstanding charity lawyer and has a proven track record of guiding charitable trustees successfully through existential crises.’

Key clients

Reading Gaol, Arts, Museum and  Theatre Ltd

South Oxfordshire Housing Association (SOHA)

Chipping Norton Literary Festival

The Oxford Group

The European Association of Jewish Studies

Christ Church Oxford

Blind Veterans UK

Work highlights

  • Advised Chipping Norton Literary Festival on all contractual and financial aspects of the cancelation of the festival in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Advised South Oxfordshire Housing Association on its shared ownership plot sales.
  • Advised the European Association of Jewish Studies on strategic governance issues.

Cripps

The 'excellent out-of-London practice' at Cripps advises a range of prestigious clients on charity law and governance. Well-regarded Tunbridge Wells–based practice leader Kate Arnold works alongside managing associate Dominic Ribet, who is praised for 'providing practical solutions to knotty problems'. Arnold is head of the private wealth team; both advise on wealth planning, supported by a team of lawyers with expertise in other areas including employment.

Practice head(s):

Kate Arnold; Dominic Ribet

Testimonials

‘They work very closely with clients and work hard to accommodate client requirements. Happy to engage openly and transparently on fees and billing.

‘Partners are always available and easy to deal with across a range of subjects. Dominic Ribet is a stand-out charities lawyer. His advice is always clear and (for a charity/trusts lawyer) commercial in the sense that he is looking to provide practical solutions to knotty problems.’

‘The team worked with the IP team to give a great overview and helpful insights into the charitable aspects and relevant factors within our negotiations. It is a very collaborative firm’

‘An excellent out of London practice. It can cover nearly all aspects of private and commercial activities. High level practitioners, competent and user friendly staff. I have used them in them charity, probate and wills and professional negligence areas – the partners have all been highly competent efficient and personable.’

‘Can highly recommend Kate Arnold in the field of charities and wills. She goes the extra mile. She is highly competent and effective. Easy to work with. A team player with leadership abilities. Very personable.’

Key clients

John Lyon’s Charity/Harrow School

English National Ballet

URC Thames North Trust

The London Diocesan Fund

University of Kent

Canterbury Christ Church University

Goodenough College

The Dorothy Kerin Trust

EKC Group

The Movarian Union

Work highlights

  • Advising URC Thames North Trust on the ongoing management of the portfolio as well as advice about purchases, sales and leases of the properties on behalf of the local churches and the Synod.
  • Represented Canterbury Christ Church University in a range of employment matters since 2017.
  • Advised a heritage charity on a merger with another similar charity.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow runs a Guildford-based schools and charities practice which advises charities on the full range of matters, drawing on support from the wider firm. The practice is praised for its 'excellent approach to customer service combined with really strong expertise in the charity sector'. Key names include charities head Gordon Reid and Joanna Lada-Walicki, who heads up the independent schools and charities practice. Associate George Shepherd leads on a range of youth charity cases.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Reid; Joanna Lada-Walicki

Other key lawyers:

George Shepherd; Adam McRae-Taylor

Testimonials

‘My experience of the team is that they provide clear, practical, moral and realistic advice. They were able to look at a serious and difficult safeguarding report my church had received and provide advice.’

‘Adam McRae-Taylor dealt with the majority of the work in our case. He was exceptionally accessible, and he provided clear, structured and well reasoned advice. It is not an exaggeration to say that his help shaped our church for the better and has helped us deal with a very difficult and sad situation.’

‘We used Moore Barlow for a charitable organisation’s restructure during the midst of the pandemic and were delighted by their responsiveness then and their familiarity with the legal and financial territory. Their team work was great – we got continuity and level of staff seniority appropriate to each stage of the process.’

‘The individuals we worked with were knowledgeable and genuinely interested in our charity and its unusual beneficiaries’

‘First class knowledge and very commercial/pragmatic. Extremely easy to work with.’

‘Exceptional knowledge. Giving extremely useful advice. Very quick responses – almost always the same day.’

‘We have been delighted with the service we have received from the charities team at Moore Barlow. The team have supported us on a range of matters, including establishing a trading a subsidiary, support with collaboration agreements, governance advice, and copyright advice. They have an excellent approach to customer service combined with really strong expertise in the charity sector.’

‘We have worked closely with George Shepherd and Gordon Reid, both of whom are extremely professional, reliable, approachable, and highly knowledgeable in the charity sector and related matters.’

Key clients

Young Minds Trust

CWR

National Rifle Association

Richmond Charities

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Compassion UK

Lloyds Bank Plc

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices

Nautical Institute

Falkland Islands Trust

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices

Lloyds Bank plc

Phyllis Tuckwell Memorial Hospice

Richmond Parish Lands Charity

Hospital of the Blessed Trinity (Abbot’s Hospital)

Walton on Thames Charity

Co-Mission Churches Trust

Croydon Almshouse Charity

The Poland Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Young Minds Trust on its commercial participator and other commercial arrangements with Wagamama, two major high street banks and a household name juice brand.
  • Acting for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices in its lettings of charity shops throughout the South East and London, including grants of leases, exercising breaks and lease surrenders.
  • Advising Richmond Charities on its merger with Mortlake Almshouse Charity and associated technical applications to the Charity Commission.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP handles a range of work for high-profile charities and not-for-profits, and is praised for 'working to an exceptionally high standard, with dedicated and knowledgeable staff'. The team can draw on support from other practices across the firm, including employment, property and tax. The team is led by Reading-based legal director Ben Brice - 'an absolute pleasure to work with' - while Southampton-based senior associate Kirsteen Hook's focus includes regulation and governance and Charity Commission requirements.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Kirsteen Hook; Laura Sherratt

Testimonials

‘We have obtained expert legal advice from Blake Morgan as part of a wider project to release endowments for the charity. We would like to the opportunity to thank particularly Laura Sherratt, whose advice and approach has been excellent in obtaining the required outcome.’

‘They are quick to respond and amenable to giving a helpful steer rather than always a detailed response; this is efficient for us.’

‘Kirsteen Hook provides helpful and timely advice and I have recommended her to others before and would do so again. Thanks!’

‘Blake Morgan has long had a specialism in charities and not-for-profit – they work to an exceptionally high standard with dedicated and knowledgeable staff. I have worked with them recently on three different projects and their advice is bespoke, specific and helpful.’

‘Kirsteen Hook is experienced and knowledgeable and has helped us pick up errors and inconsistencies from the work done by other firms. I wouldn’t use any other firm. Their work is consistently first rate.’

‘The team took time to understand our needs and ensure they had a full picture of our situation before advising us of possible routes forward. As a result, completing the work was straight forward.’

‘Attention to detail, quick response to queries, friendly, happy to take time to ensure non-legal people understand.’

‘Excellent sector knowledge and fantastic customer service-I can always contact the team and if my main contact Laura Sherratt is not available then there is an alternative-they will always respond and have clearly prioritised customer service as a differentiator.’

‘Laura Sherratt is my main contact. Her knowledge and experience is a real asset to us and her support network is excellent’

‘Ben Brice was knowledgeable, reassuring and knew exactly what we needed and delivered in a very timely fashion even thought the deadline was tight. He was an absolute pleasure to work with and understood exactly what support we needed. He was very responsive to questions and never made me feel like I was pestering him.’

‘Kirsteen Hook was extremely thorough, combining deep technical knowledge with a sincere interest in our long term success.’

Key clients

Royal National Lifeboat Institution

Global Witness

Sobell House Hospice Charity

Girls’ Friendly Society

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Cardiff University

Paint The Change

Royal National Institute of Blind People

The UK Kidney Association

Fitzroy Support

The Carlsberg Foundation (Denmark based)/The Pettit Foundation (US based)

United Bible Societies Association

Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust

Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance

The Royal Navy & Royal Marines Children’s Fund

Society of London Art Dealers

Langley House Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the Girls’ Friendly Society in connection with a governance review and updating of charity constitution, including liaising with Charity Commission to secure consent to regulated alterations.
  • Advising the RNLI on the options available to participate in a local conservation and renovation project that would secure the acquisition and redevelopment of an abandoned lifeboat station and restrict the application of its funds as part of the broader project only towards its charitable objects.
  • Advising the Association of Project Management on the introduction of changes to its Royal Charter and By-laws with the approval of the Privy Council in a way that preserved its charitable objectives and introduced governance flexibilities in light of the challenges of meeting in person posed by Covid-19.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP advises a range of local and national charities from its Thames Valley base, including education institutions, grant-giving charities and healthcare organisations. The team is well-regarded for ‘looking for solutions to enable clients to achieve their objectives, rather than looking for reasons why they can’t.’ Reading-based team leader Nick Burrows is praised for providing a ‘genuine partner-led service’ – his expertise spans charity formation, incorporation and conversions, as well as constitutional matters and governance.

Practice head(s):

Nick Burrows

Testimonials

‘Good, high quality advice, friendly and approachable team’

‘Nick Burrows, easy to work with, high quality advice, excellent communication skills’

‘Blandy & Blandy look for solutions to enable clients to achieve their objectives rather than looking for reasons why they can’t.’

‘The partners I work with all seek solutions rather than problems, aiming to support and enable clients through management rather than avoidance of risk.’

‘While Blandys feels very traditional, its understanding of modern business practices is excellent. It also has a genuine international network and the service has been efficient and informed throughout.’

‘Nick Burrows provides a genuine partner-led service. In advising trustees on difficult issues he provides advice both in terms of precise technical obligations, and also in how the trustees should bring those to bear on their own individual and collective decision making. He is approachable and engaging and is confident around areas of charity law and operation.’

‘The team is very knowledgeable about technical areas of charity law. They have some exceptionally long-established charity clients so they are experts in issues around changes of objects to reflect the needs of the times.’

‘Nick Burrows gives clear instructions and communicates succinctly and effectively, as well as being knowledgeable about his field of practice.’

Key clients

University of Oxford

University of Reading

Ben – Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund

Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Adviza

CXK

Career Connect

Brachers

The 'efficient and friendly team' at Brachers includes Maidstone-based commercial property head Sarah Gaines, who has 'a broad and detailed knowledge in dealing with charities properties', private client head Christopher Eriksson-Lee , education head Antonio Fletcher, who also handles data protection matters, and Mary Rimmer, who heads up the elderly and vulnerable team.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Gaines; Christopher Eriksson-Lee

Other key lawyers:

Antonio Fletcher; Mary Rimmer

Testimonials

‘During the past 18 months, we have had several challenging matters to manage including employment matters. Thanks to Brachers’ advice, each case was resolved avoiding escalation and the associated demands. Brachers is committed to supporting our work and even more so with the mental health impact COVID-19 has caused.’

‘Antonio Fletcher dealt with a difficult grievance case that had to be handled by two Ttrustees. He made himself readily available throughout the process and ensured the matter avoided escalating to an employment tribunal.’

‘They don’t just know the sector – they understand the specific challenges we are facing and work with us to overcome them.’

‘Brachers have a good understanding of the not for profit sector and the peculiarities that arise as a result. As a lender to this sector, their knowledge enables us to deal with clients in a timely and professional manner.’

‘The team are knowledgeable and responsive and have access to other teams outside of their team to provide comprehensive advice where the job diverse and requires different specialties and knowledge in order to bring jobs to a timely and beneficial conclusion.’

‘An efficient and friendly team.’

‘All are readily contactable, helpful and efficient. They are very much involved in the charity and its beneficiaries.’

Key clients

William Barrows Charity

Charities Aid Foundation Bank

Blackthorn Trust

Royal British Legion Industries (RBLI)

Kent County Agricultural Society

Cutbush & Corrall

Brachers Charitable Trust

Tunstall Village Hall

Work highlights

  • Assisting Kent Farmers Benevolent Fund when in need on a pro-bono basis.
  • Assisting Charities Aid Foundation Bank (CAF Bank) in supporting the client in delivering loans to charities and not for profit organisations.
  • Advising Tunstall Village Hall to carry out an independent review of the Trust documentation for their Charity, which was established in 1922.

Debenhams Ottaway

The team at Debenhams Ottaway are 'extremely reliable and exude trust'. The St Albans practice is led by Andrew Yates, who has driven the team's growth in recent years and was promoted to equity partner in 2021. Key team members include commercial property specialist Jonathan FoyClaire Sharp, who specialises in trust law and estate administration, and the 'hardworking and responsive' Neil Mercer , who has 'specialist knowledge of charitable ecclesiastical aspects of property law matters'. Former private client head Nicholas Turner now works with the team on a consultancy basis.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Yates

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Turner; Jonathan Foy; Claire Sharp; Neil Mercer

Testimonials

‘Debenhams Ottaway are a local firm who support our charity with discounted rates, and a prompt and efficient service’

‘The staff take time to understand our needs and respond within the required timescales in a patient, detailed and comprehensive manner’

‘We have worked with Neil Mercer for a number of years. He has always acted in a very professional, helpful and friendly way. He has excellent knowledge and when required will pass any matters he is not familiar with on to another solicitor.’

‘The practice are friendly and helpful, speak in plain language, always aware of the needs of their clients. They are extremely reliable and exude trust. The quality of advice they give is outstanding, always proportionate and relevant.’

‘Neil Mercer manages a team dealing with property law matters with charitable ecclesiastical aspects.’

‘Neil Mercer is hardworking and responsive, and has specialist knowledge of charitable ecclesiastical aspects of property law matters, including trusts aspects relevant to those matters. Neil manages a very large portfolio of charitable property matters including sales, purchases, leases, development agreements and other property matters.’

‘Excellent communication, and in making clients aware of risk. Willingness to work pro bono or to defer invoicing when working with charities.’

‘Solicitors from Debenhams Ottaway have represented and guided us as a charity for over twenty years. Although we are only a small charity, they have been efficient and knowledgable and maintained an interest in our charity throughout this time.’

Key clients

Youth Talk

The Counselling Foundation

Hubbard Will Trust

Crohn’s & Colitis UK

The Richard III Society

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

InspireAll Limited

The St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance

Meher Baba Association Limited

The Church Lands Trust

The Trustees of the SALTO Gymnastics Club

Abbeyfield

Work highlights

  • Advised The Richard III Society to make changes to its articles of association.
  • Representing Hubbard Will Trust, an educational trust established by Will in the 1940s.
  • Represented the trustees of the SALTO Gymnastics Club, an unincorporated charity, on the transfer of its operation and assets to a sister charity (with some common trustees), The SALTO Foundation Limited (now renamed SALTO Gymnastics Charitable Foundation Limited reflecting the merged entity – 2021), an incorporated charity.

Gardner Leader LLP

The practice at Gardner Leader LLP is known for ‘delivering the highest standards of client care’. Newbury-based Alastair Goggins  heads up the firm’s dispute resolution team, handling a range of complex contentious matters. Property specialist Richard Buckeridge is praised for his expertise in contractual and commercial matters, while other key team members include Penny Wright, who is part of the inheritance protection team.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Goggins

Other key lawyers:

Richard Buckeridge

Testimonials

‘They continue to deliver the highest standards of client care and give us peace of mind that our case will be handled expertly, and that our interests will come first. Gardner Leader have assisted us in litigious, commercial and real estate matters.’

‘We have been enjoying Richard Buckeridge’s legal expertise in contractual and commercial matters for many years. We can certainly recommend him for his dedication to us and the attention we receive every time we seek his advice on a comprehensive range of issues. He is approachable and patient. We have trust in him as he always offers pragmatic solutions to a wide range of our requirements.’

‘I have always found Gardner Leader to be able to deal with any problems that I may encounter. They do this in a very friendly and understanding manner.’

‘I have always dealt with Richard Buckeridge. He fully understands our organisation, and has proved invaluable in giving advice on constitutional matters. With service like this, why would I seek alternative help?’

‘The clear and concise communication on all aspects of each case presented has been excellent’

‘All the relevant partners who have dealing with us as a client have all shown same consistency.’

Key clients

Naomi House

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP's team is led by 'enormously experienced' Oxford-based Daff Richardson, who specialises in employment issues; she also co-leads the education sector group. Reading-based Gemma Woodhouse also supports on employment matters for charities clients.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Woodhouse

Testimonials

‘A fantastic team. Knowledge of the law is second to none. They are completely dedicated to achieving the best outcomes for clients. They also have formidable expertise in managing complex and sensitive investigations.’

‘Incredibly supportive team who took time to understand my issue and spent time with me thinking through potential options without rushing to a conclusion. The team were very responsive both on email and phone and I could trust that any work conducted would be completed to an excellent standard and within plenty of time for review before finalisation. When cases have been concluded the team have celebrated with my organisation demonstrating their caring nature for the work.’

‘The individuals I have worked with have held a consistently positive and passionate attitude whilst supporting me. They have taken time to clearly understand my thoughts and perspectives and explained their conclusions from a legal point of view in a helpful and accessible way, taking further time to explain in greater depth as necessary. I have experienced them to be present whenever we meet, to be available rapidly as required and to offer helpful and thoughtful advice which I feel I can fully trust as they have excellent integrity.’

‘Penningtons Manches Cooper deliver the same top quality service to their charity clients as they provide to their other corporate clients. They are committed and enthusiastic in helping the not for profit sector.’

‘Daff Richardson is enormously experienced and able to answer most questions. When not able to help, she is able to direct clients to parts of her firm where she knows there is expertise.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Quadram Institute Bioscience

Pembroke College, Oxford

The Licensed Trade Charity

Marine Stewardship Council

The Pirbright Institute

The Consumers’ Association (t/a Which?)

Work highlights

  • Assisted Pirbright Innovations Limited, an education and charity governance with UK subsidy control advice.
  • Assisted a college which had received substantial funds from a legacy and wished to invest these by subscribing for additional units in a bespoke fund into which only other charities could subscribe.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is able to cater to a wide range of issues for charities clients, including employment and data protection, and is praised for its 'excellent knowledge of the charitable sector and in particular the area of contentious wills'. Thames Valley-based Angela Bowman leads the national charities practice, and is a member of ACTAPS. Suzanne Burrell focuses on pensions issues from the Reading base.

Practice head(s):

Angela Bowman

Other key lawyers:

Suzanne Burrell; Michael Briggs; Robert Nieri

Testimonials

‘We work with the team where we are administrators of the estate, and we grant a Power of Attorney for them to act. They know and understand our governance and are efficient and fairly priced, hence the repeat business.’

‘Great solid charity expertise and support on interpretation and governance queries.’

‘The Shoosmiths team is very approachable, knowledgeable and is able to provide advice and guidance in an easily digestible form. They approach matters in a pragmatic way and are able to provide efficient solutions to issues.’

‘Angela Bowman and Robert Nieri are both excellent people to work with on charity matters, they are both very knowledgeable and are able to get to the root of any issues that arise swiftly, and then provide effective guidance. Both are very thoughtful in their approaches to difficult matters and are able to get good results for charities, when needed.’

‘The practice has excellent knowledge of the charitable sector and in particular the area of contentious wills. The partner is able to summarise matters in a clear and understandable manner and give clear recommendations on the right way forward.’

‘Angela Bowman has been dealing with a complicated, contentious legacy on behalf of two charitable beneficiaries. Her summaries of the case are at all times clear, concise and helpful.’

Key clients

National Trust

RSPB

Cancer Research UK

Cats Protection

St Leonard’s Hospice

Macmillan Cancer Support

Dogs Trust

Parkinson’s UK

Blue Cross

Work highlights

  • Representing two large national charities and a local hospice, being three of four residuary beneficiaries of the deceased’s estate and three out of five discretionary beneficiaries of a trust comprising the deceased’s property.
  • Advising a national professional services governing body about several important issues arising within its organisation during 2021.
  • Advising a national charity on its relationship with the various independent charities which are its corporate members.

VWV

VWV is well-known for its work with independent schools and charities, as well as local authorities and faith charities. The Watford-based team is led by the 'outstanding' Chris Knight, who has been at the firm since mid-2020 - he is praised for his 'clear knowledge of the charity sector.'

Practice head(s):

Chris Knight

Testimonials

‘Quick to size up an issue and give pragmatic advice. Great communication, always make themselves available and very solution focused. They offer charity law advice but in giving that view they apply a wider commercial perspective which other firms struggle to do.’

‘Very approachable, professional, pragmatic and a lovely manner. Chris Knight is outstanding.’

‘A proactive approach and ability to resolve issues in an agile and imaginative manner’

‘I have known Chris Knight for many years and have recommended him to several of my clients. His advice is always clear and practical. He has demonstrated clear knowledge of the charity sector and continues to me one of my go to charity advisors’

‘What we value greatly is the breath and depth of expertise and skill that VWV has with respect to our needs. They pay great attention the needs of their clients and you feel greatly cared for. We also have a quick access to their partners as we appreciate the partner’s input to our legal problems which tackles the matter strategically well and in long run will save us costs (actual financial costs and also emotional costs arising from not being clear about the respond to our legal issues and questions).’

‘The individual partners we work with have years of experience in their field and are strategically acumen. They take time to understand our unique organisation and tailor their advice accordingly. They are also accessible and responsive so you really feel cared for.’

Key clients

Azaylia Foundation

YMCA Trinity

Zoological Society of Hertfordshire

Cambridge Crystallographic Data Centre

Institute of Cancer Research

Royal College of Surgeons

The Harpur Trust

Society and College of Radiographers

British Science Association

Bancroft’s School

Royal College of GPs

Nuffield Health

London’s Air Ambulance

Allchurches Trust

Royal British Legion

The Engineering Council

Work highlights

  • Assisted Azaylia Foundation with establishing a new high-profile charity against tight timescales and involving detailed negotiations with the Charity Commission.
  • Assisted YMCA Trinity with complex property development joint venture requiring strenuous defence of our client’s interests in negotiating the deal.
  • Assisted Bath Spa University with an international joint venture showcasing our combined legal skills and pragmatic understanding.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP's charity and not-for profit practice is led by associate Ruo Wu; she advises clients on a wide range of matters and is also a member of the Charity Law Association. She regularly works in tandem witj real estate partner Richard Higgs and corporate partner Rachel Maunder.

Practice head(s):

Ruo Wu

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Maunder; Richard Higgs

Testimonials

‘The solicitors have been exceptional in all aspects, from understanding the needs of our charity, guiding us through the process, as well as responding to the multiple questions that we had along the way. They also worked at our speed of need, which was really important for us.’

‘The company has a policy of responding efficiently to communications. The partners were always responsive during the week, within 48 hours of receiving an email (at the most). More importantly, the individuals tried to understand our needs and what our charity does. Finally, it was really good value for money.’

‘The team that we have dealt with have been extremely helpful and personable. Providing explanations where required and directing us to relevant podcasts they have produced. Pricing has been clear and transparent in advance of work being started.’

‘We have worked with Ruo Wu, who has been so helpful and patient when we have required further explanation.’

Key clients

International Pole and Line Foundation

UK Forum For International Education And Training

Wax Chandler’s Charitable Trust

Ash Vale Evangelical Church

British Association For International & Comparative

James Cowper LLP

Oaks Childcare Clubs Community Interest Company

The Panasonic Trust for the Further Education and Training of Engineers

DSA Prospect Limited

Spurgeon Oaklands Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Assisted the UK Forum For International Education And Training in modernising documents in order to better reflect its current charitable aims, operations and practices.
  • Assisted the British Association for International & Comparative Education in registering as a charitable company at Companies House, drafting bespoke articles of association and registering this charitable company at the Charity Commission of England and Wales.
  • Assisted with setting up James Cowper Kreston Foundation, a charitable incorporated organisation registered at the Charity Commission of England and Wales.

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors's charities and not-for-profit team is led by Canterbury-based Aaron Spencer, head of the private client practice, who has a niche specialism in almshouse charities - he works alongside corporate specialist Tony Chester.

Practice head(s):

Aaron Spencer

Other key lawyers:

Tony Chester

Key clients

Royal Engineers Charities

Eastbridge Hospital

Sir Roger Manwood Hospital

Fordwich United Charities

Canterbury Relief in Need

Maynard & Cotton Hospital

RG Hills Charitable Trust

Whitstable Non-Ecclesiastical Charities

The Almshouse Charity of Wynn Ellis

Prince of Wales Youth Club

Faversham United Charities

Whitstable Town FC (Youth)

Work highlights

  • Advising Maynard & Cotton Hospital CIO on governance of an ancient almshouse charity in the historic centre of Canterbury.
  • Advising The Whitstable Non-Ecclesiastical Charities, long-standing charity owning freehold property in Whitstable High Street and using commercial rents to make much needed grant distributions around the district.
  • Advising the key officers of Whitstable Town FC on creating a CIO structure for their youth football operations.

Paris Smith LLP

Paris Smith LLP's charities and education practice is led by senior partner Nick Vaughan, who has more than 25 years' experience in the sector. He advises charities clients on a wide range of issues, but has particular expertise with regards to property matters. The Southampton-led team also includes practitioners who focus on intellectual property, commercial and employment.

Practice head(s):

Nick Vaughan

Key clients

Mayflower Theatre Trust

YMCA Fairthorne Group

Hampshire Cultural Trust

Work highlights

  • Advise the Mayflower Theatre Trust a whole range of matters from governance through to property and employment issues.
  • Advising Hampshire Cultural Trust on governance and property matters both leasehold and freehold.
  • Advising YMCA Fairthorne Group on all of its property matters, governance issues and supporting the trustees.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP's 'very supportive' Uckfield-based practice is led by consultant Bruce Hayter, who works with charities focused on disability in sport. Other key names include corporate consultant Alan Zeal and employment partner Amy White.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Hayter

Other key lawyers:

Alan Zeal; Amy White

Testimonials

‘With Rix & Kay you feel confident that all the knowledge and experience in the practice is being deployed on the project. In our case this was charities, commercial and property applied in complex transaction which brought together community and sporting charities.’

‘Alan Zeal acted as focal point for our project, drawing in expertise across the practice where it was required, for example on contracting and property, and ensuring all parts were tied together.’

‘Bruce Hayter has been a fantastic partner to work with. He’s extremely responsive, informative and supportive whenever we’ve called on his knowledge and expertise.’

‘Rix & Kay are very supportive in working with us to look at new opportunities and also in helping us keep up to date with current employment law’

‘Bruce Hayter has been excellent in helping us with new introductions of local businesses.’

Key clients

Conservation Without Borders

The Russell Martin Foundation

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex

Active Sussex

Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society

Balls for Brains

Crawley Town Community Foundation

Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee Trust

Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (East Sussex WRAS)

Work highlights

  • Advising a ground-breaking charity, Conservation Without Borders, in connection with their Round Britain Climate Challenge, which aimed to raise awareness of global climate change in the run up to COP26 in Glasgow.
  • Advising the Russell Martin Foundation on a new flagship acquisition and development of Southwick Football Club ground.
  • Advising The Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society Limited (BPO) to undertake a full review of its constitution with a view to implementing new corporate structures that will bring greater flexibility and sustainability to its commercial operations.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore's practice is led by Thames Gateway-based Nick Hobden, who heads up the firm's employment team; he works with disputes Douglas Skilton and estate and tax planning specialist Clare Morison, who was recently promoted to partner.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hobden

Other key lawyers:

Douglas Skilton; Clare Morison

Testimonials

‘Highly experienced, very professional.’

‘Extraordinarily courteous, efficient and professional. No problem is too small – they always have capability and capacity Their advice is respected and trusted by the trustees of the charity. Throughout Covid they have always been fully accessible even when working from home – the transition has been seamless.’

‘We have worked very closely with Clare Morison when we converted the charity to a CIO. Her work has been fantastic, understandable and legally correct as the Charity Commission accepted all the changes without any amendments needed. Clare has been helping us make structural changes to the charity and again her work is prompt professional and undoubted.’

Key clients

Crossways Community

Town & Country Housing Group

Academy of Woodlands

Parallel Learning Trust

Skills for Life Trust

St Edmund’s School Canterbury

Work highlights

  • Represented Parallel Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust in Kent and Essex, acting on tribunal claims and other employee disputes.
  • Represented the Academy of Woodlands, a single academy trust based in the Medway towns.