Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Charities and not-for-profit in South East


Leveraging support from the firm’s Kent and London offices, Cripps caters to commercial, corporate, and real estate issues for an assortment of grant making charities. Kate Arnold leads the team, while Joanna Ford is noted for her thorough expertise of insolvency. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are based in Tunbridge Wells.

Practice head(s):

Kate Arnold

Other key lawyers:

Joanna Ford; Victoria Fairley; Harriet Page


‘The team is very client focused and manages to go out of their way to de-mystify charity law. They are happy to use new technologies where appropriate to the client’s needs.’

‘I would happily recommend them to others.’

Key clients

John Lyon’s Foundation / Harrow School

John Lyon’s Charity

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

Work highlights

Moore Barlow

Based in Guildford, Moore Barlow advises domestic and international clients on a breadth of commercial, governance and structural matters. The practice has also recently been engaged in gaining charitable status for independent schools, pro-life, and sex/gender identity charities. Gordon Reid leads the team and often handles reputation management and transactional work for senior charity leaders and trustees. Joanna Lada-Walicki helms employment and pastoral mandates, while Helen Harvie provides clients with trustee training. George Shepherd is particularly knowledgeable of faith, health and youth charities.

Practice head(s):

Gordon Reid


Other key lawyers:

Joanna Lada-Walicki; Helen Harvie; George Shepherd; Adam McRae-Taylor


‘All-round coverage and availability with practical realistic support and advice.’

‘There has always been prompt attention to all the matters and a thoroughly professional approach.’

‘It has been enormously helpful to have a legal team on which we can rely with so much confidence both for advice and execution.’

‘The charities team work hard to get to know their clients and to give a personal service that recognises our own specific needs. We are confident that they will give us accurate, timely and helpful advice in times of crisis as well as more routine needs.’

‘Gordon Reid is an experienced charity practitioner who has the confidence and knowledge to give grounded, realistic practical advice.’

‘Gordon Reid immediately understood what we were trying to achieve and provided excellent guidance on so many aspects of the project.’

‘Joanna Lada-Walicki offers excellent advice in a sympathetic manner – understanding that managing legal issues within a charity can be complicated. She not only advises on the law but also supports us in how we involve trustees, manage stakeholders, and handle the issues more broadly.’

Key clients

Young Minds Trust

National Rifle Association

Reliance Bank

The Boys’ Brigade

Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

Lloyds Bank plc

Shooting Star Children’s Hospices

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Camila Batmanghelidjh

Compassion UK

CWR / Waverley Abbey Trust

Woking and Sam Beare Hospices

Co-Mission Churches Trust

Richmond Parish Lands Charity

Hospital of the Blessed Trinity

Falkland Islands Trust

Croydon Almshouse Charity

The Poland Trust

East to West Trust

Himalayan Trust UK

The Richmond Charities

Arun Church

NatWest Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted educational trusts with gaining charitable status for independent schools.
  • Advised founder and former CEO of Kids Company Camila Batmanghelidjh on her judicial review following the collapse of Kids Company.
  • Assisted a London almshouse charity on their restructuring to become a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.

BDB Pitmans

BDB Pitmans advises grant-makers and funders, large operational charities, and start-ups across the arts, education, faith, and health sectors. Head of the team Penny Chapman supports trustees and governing bodies with commercial and fundraising contracts, constitutional and governance issues as well as fiduciary and regulatory duties. Sarah Williams guides clients through restructuring projects and contentious governance matters. All of the individuals that have been mentioned split their time between London and Reading.

Practice head(s):

Penny Chapman

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Williams

Key clients

Oxford AICU (Adult Intensive Care Unit) Foundation

South Oxfordshire Housing Association

Chipping Norton Literary Festival

The Oxford Group

The European Association of Jewish Studies

Christ Church Oxford

Blind Veterans UK

Reading Professionals’ Foundation

The Oxford Homeless Movement

Work highlights

  • Assisted The Oxford Homeless Movement in establishing itself as a standalone registered charity when it separated out from the Oxford Community Foundation.
  • Assisted in the establishment of a charity which supports the wellbeing and mental health of staff working in adult intensive care.
  • Advised Blind Veterans UK in its expansion to assist those visually impaired by the war in the Ukraine.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP is often engaged in charity matters pertaining to the education sector and is well-equipped to advise clients with governance, grant making, joint ventures, and risk management. Ben Brice leads the team and is supported by Laura Sherratt, both of whom are noted for their expertise in commercial charity matters. Rachel Sales in Oxford is particularly adept in charity property and is supported by consultant Joss Saunders who is also based in Oxford. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Reading, unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Laura Sherratt; Rachel Sales; Joss Saunders


‘Very responsive and prompt with willingness to fully understand our perspective and requirements.’

‘The team have a wide knowledge base and understand the sector well. We have always been able to access the correct level of support from across their team.’

‘This team was quick and efficient. I appreciated their mix of sector- and legal-expertise.’

‘Ben Brice replies to any queries with simple and straightforward clarity.’

‘Laura Sherratt handled our needs with professionalism, attentiveness and flexibility. We were delighted with the outcome.’

‘The team at Blake Morgan immediately understood our needs. I would definitely use and recommend them in future.’

‘BM made the process immeasurably easier and got exactly what we wanted done in a timely manner with exceptional professionalism.’

‘The individuals I worked with provided me with a tailored service which ensured that the trust’s needs were met in a rapid and authoritative manner.’

Key clients

Church Mission Society


Search for Common Ground

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

Linacre College, Oxford

International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists

St Barnabas Society

Armenian General Benevolent Union London Trust

Tricolor Associates

Langley House Trust

The Guildhall Trust


Women’s Prize Trust

Global Witness


Work highlights

  • Advised Search for Common Ground on the options available for restructuring its group and international network of NGO organisations.
  • Advised Women’s Prize Trust on the transfer of a trust fund.
  • Advised Pilgrims’ Friend Society in connection with the acquisition of two care homes.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP’s broad client roster features educational institutions, grant giving and healthcare charities in addition to philanthropists and social enterprises. The team is also often engaged in constitutional issues, restructuring, trustee duties in addition to regulatory matters. Nick Burrows leads the team and advises clients on contractual negotiations with funders, while Jennifer Scott handles grant agreements and charity law compliance. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Reading.

Practice head(s):

Nick Burrows

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Scott


‘I value the personal touch from Blandy and Blandy alongside the breadth of expertise they offer.’

‘Their pragmatism and willingness mean they explore solutions that enable our clients to achieve their objectives.’

‘The Blandy and Blandy team take the time to understand our organisation and requirements. They are extremely knowledgeable about charities giving us confidence in managing complex situations.’

‘I have worked closely with this team on a couple of challenging matters over the last year. The quality of the work is high.’

‘Over the last 12 months we have had excellent support and advice from Nick Burrows and Jennifer Scott, their knowledge of our sector, diligence in responding to our enquiries and commitment to working with us has been clearly evident.’

‘I have worked with Nick Burrows on two cases in the last few months. He is an outstanding charity lawyer. He has vast experience of the law and of dealing with the Charity Commission, he gives sound and practical advice to his clients.’

Key clients

University of Oxford

University of Reading

Ben – Motor & Allied Trades Benevolent Fund

The Donnington Hospital Trust

Thames Valley Air Ambulance

Hampshire and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Royal Town Planning Institute

The Almshouse Assoication


Career Connect


The Glass and Glazing Federation

Pangbourne College

Prior’s Court

Work highlights

  • Assisted The Glass and Glazing Federation with the acquisition of the London headquarters at Newspaper House, 40 Rushworth Street, SE1.


Led by Sarah Gaines and Christopher Eriksson-Lee, Brachers caters to compliance, contentious, governance, commerical as well as property and planning issues. Mary Rimmer works in conjunction with the firm’s corporate and commercial lawyers in order to help charities achieve CIO status. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Maidstone.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Gaines; Christopher Eriksson-Lee

Other key lawyers:

Mary Rimmer; Katherine Morgan; Sophie Spellman; Simran Sanghera


‘Brachers are proactive in their dealings with us, they have good relationships at partner level.’

‘Sarah Gaines is more than willing to ‘get into the weeds’ with cases, highlighting the willingness and pride that she and Brachers take in their work.’


Key clients

William Barrows Charity

Charities Aid Foundation Bank

Blackthorn Trust

Kent County Agricultural Society

Brachers Charitable Trust

Tunstall Village Hall

The Sir Percival Griffiths’ Tea Planter Trust

Kent Farmers Benevolent Fund

CAF Bank Limited

The Brachers Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Assisted Kent Farmers Benevolent Fund on a pro-bono basis.
  • Acted for CAF Bank Limited on secured lending to charities and not for profit organisations.
  • Advised The Sir Percival Griffiths’ Tea Planter Trust on trustees duties and associated actions necessary to wind up the charity and transfer assets to a new charity.

Debenhams Ottaway

Utilising support from the firm’s trusts and probate lawyers, Debenhams Ottaway often assists charities who have been labelled as beneficiaries in wills. Andrew Yates leads the team and advises many corporate charities on incorporations, mergers, acquisitions, and disposals. Jonathan Foy and Neil Mercer are noted for their expertise of the commercial property market. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in St Albans.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Yates

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Foy; Neil Mercer; Andrew Spearman, Claire Sharp


‘Debenhams Ottaway have a strong team with a wide range of expertise, meaning they are well placed to assist on a range of routine and complex projects for a range of client types.’

‘They are responsive, diligent and make sure we are kept informed of progress.’

‘Every contact I have had with this firm has been dealt with promptly and efficiently by all team, from the initial taking of the calls and receptionists to the prompt response of someone in the team if the lead solicitors engaged elsewhere.’

‘Neil Mercer has been the solicitor who has taken responsibility for our charity and his advice, attitude and experience has been exceptional.’

‘I would thoroughly recommend Neil Mercer and wholeheartedly recommend him and his team as an example of solicitors at their best.’

‘Neil Mercer is diligent with the work he undertakes, always ensuring that their position is fully protected given their charitable status.’

‘Neil Mercer is very knowledgeable, has an excellent manner and explains things very well. He will always make time to discuss issues and ensures work is carried out to a high standard.’

Key clients

The Church Lands Trust

The St Albans Diocesan Board of Finance

Youth Talk

Graduates Unlocked

Crohn’s & Colitis UK

The Counselling Foundation

International Society for Krishan Consciousness


The Richard III Society

Hertfordshire and Middlesex Wildlife Trust

InspireAll Limited

Hubbard Will Trust

Meher Baba Association Limited

The Trustees of the SALTO Gymnastics Club

Work highlights

  • Advised The Hubbard Trust on the legal aspects of being a charitable trust.
  • Advised Youth Talk’s CEO on the charities constitution and trustee duties.
  • Negotiated an assortment of leases on behalf of InspireAll, a leisure organisation and registered charity that provides community sport, recreational and arts services.

Gardner Leader LLP

With activity in matters pertaining to independent schools, Gardner Leader LLP assists both domestic and international charitable organisations. Alastair Goggins leads the team and routinely assists both individuals and charities on wills and trusts. Greg Humphreys handles commercial property issues, while Penny Wright advises client on compliance with the Charities Act. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Newbury.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Goggins

Other key lawyers:

Greg Humphreys; Penny Wright


‘The team at Gardner Leader are prompt and the advice is always clear.’

‘We work with Greg Humphreys who has provided clear and helpful advice on which we have used to address problems and overcome obstacles.’

Work highlights

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP advises education institutions, grant making charities, philanthropists and religious institutions with governance, powers and duties of trustees in addition to regulatory matters. With over three decades of experience, Daff Richardson leads the team and frequently assists clients with employment issues, including grievances and whistleblowing. Rachel Spruce is sought after by private clients for structural matters, including the formation of charitable trusts. All the individuals mentioned are located in Oxford.

Practice head(s):

Daff Richardson

Other key lawyers:

Rachel Spruce; Edmund Forey


‘They have a breadth and depth of charity expertise.’

‘What makes them standout is the hands-on attitude of the solicitors and their ability to explain legislation and legal discourse.’

‘Penningtons Manches have an exceptional understanding of our business which has been gained by actively engaging with us as a client. This has ensured a truly collaborative way of working.’

‘Excellent quality of legal advice. Pragmatic and succinct approach.’

‘Highly responsive, client-focused, and efficient. Excellent at delivering focussed solutions to fit the scale of the issues and appropriate budgets.’

‘Daff Richardson combines being the soul of discretion with giving clear, concise pragmatic advice.’

Key clients

Christ Church, Oxford

Haberdashers’ Aske’s Elstree Schools Limited

Pembroke College, Oxford

International Headache Society

National Oceanography Centre

Nuffield College, Oxford

Reeds Foundation

The Institute of Leadership and Management

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People

The Licensed Trade Charity

Marine Stewardship Council

The Merchant Seaman’s War Memorial Society

The Fire Fighters Charity

Green Templeton College, Oxford

The Institute for Fiscal Studies

Wellington College

Oratory Schools Association

Jesus College, Oxford

Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge

Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Work highlights

  • Advised Christ Church College on a number of matters, including non-academic disciplinary procedures.
  • Acted for The Oratory Schools Association on the disposal of a significant development site.
  • Supported the in-house legal team at the National Oceanography Centre on a wide range of matters including advising on the terms of an international research collaboration.

Shoosmiths LLP

Often engaged in employment and real estate charity matters, Shoosmiths LLP advises trustees on governance and regulatory mandates. Angela Bowman co-leads the team from Thames Valley and is particularly proficient in contentious trust and probate matters. Also co-lead of the team, Robert Nieri splits his time between Manchester and Thames Valley and assists clients with gaining a range of approvals from the Charity Commission.

Practice head(s):

Angela Bowman; Robert Nieri

Other key lawyers:

Kevin McCavish; Suzanne Burrell; Alex Lloyd


‘Shoosmiths are a very good firm that have an “all rounder approach”. They are well known within the sector, are very approachable and are able to quickly get to grips with complex matters.’

‘Angela Bowman has worked on a number of complicated matters and always approaches each case professionally and seeks the best outcome for all parties. Angela is very approachable and is able to explain complicated things.’

‘Angela Bowman has been a towering figure in the charities and not-for-profit sector for a couple of decades now, acting for almost all the leading national charities in their contentious probate cases.’

‘Angela Bowman is the number one choice for may of the best known charities, for good reason: her dedication to their interests cannot be matched, and she has the experience and expertise to get the best out of every estate for her clients.’

Key clients

Cancer Research UK

Macmillan Cancer Support

Parkinson’s UK

National Trust


Dogs Trust

Cats Protection

Blue Cross

The Donkey Sanctuary

The Cinnamon Trust


Dogs for Good

Nottingham Roman Catholic Diocesan Youth Service

The Patch Foundation

Work highlights

  • Acting in an ongoing charity legacy dispute resolution on behalf of many of the household name UK charities.
  • Provided advisory work for the trustees of a major charity’s pension scheme.
  • Assisted in the establishment of The Patch Foundation, a charity group in one of the most deprived areas of the South East.


VWV advises charities on an array of safeguarding issues, and is a key port of call clients in the arts, educational and healthcare sectors facing trusteeship issues. Chris Knight co-leads the team from Watford, and his key strengths lie in mergers and strategic reviews. Also co-lead of the team, Con Alexander in Bristol advises a range of charities with governance matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Voller; Chris Knight; Con Alexander

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Wherrett


‘Their partners have deep industry knowledge and are accessible easily, this means their advice is strategic and can meet the complexities of the current social climate.’

‘They have extensive experience and their advice is strategic. They are accessible on short notice and they take their time to understand the needs of our charity.’

‘I was very impressed with Paul Voller from the charities team who is extremely knowledgeable.’

‘I have mainly worked with Paul Voller who is knowledgeable and personable. He is able to provide detailed advice and put clients at their ease.’

Key clients

Nuffield Health

Institute of Cancer Research

Royal College of Surgeons

London Symphony Orchestra

Work highlights

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Led by Richard Cripps who splits his time between Sevenoaks and Ashford, the multi-disciplinary team Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP handles commercial, employment, in addition to governance property issues. Alan Zeal in Uckfield has assisted an assortment of rugby football clubs in their transition to community interest companies.

Practice head(s):

Richard Cripps

Other key lawyers:

Alan Zeal


‘They are always very approachable and collaborate well with other partner organisations.’

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

Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Service (East Sussex WRAS)

Work highlights

  • Advising Conservation Without Borders in connection with their Flight of the Ospreys expedition.
  • Advised the Russell Martin Foundation on the development of its flagship Southwick Football Club ground.
  • Advised The Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society Limited on the implementation of new corporate structures.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Nick Hobden leads Thomson Snell & Passmore from Thames Gateway and advises charity, education and not for profit clients with education, employment, and equality law mandates. Clare Morison handles charity incorporation and mergers, while Douglas Skilton is noted for his expertise in contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hobden

Other key lawyers:

Clare Morison; Douglas Skilton; Penelope Edgar

Key clients

Avante Care & Support Ltd

Town & Country Housing Group

Rivermead Inclusive Trust incorporating Academy of Woodlands

Parallel Learning Trust

Skills for Life Trust

St Edmund’s School Canterbury

The Incorporated Rochester Diocesan Board of Education

The Governing Body of the Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School

Birtley House Limited

Kent Archaeological Society

St Mary’s Trust

Work highlights

  • Acted for for The Incorporated Rochester Diocesan Board of Education and the Governing Body of the Holy Trinity Church of England Primary School. The team assisted in enforcement proceedings following a successful judgment to enforce security over the defendant’s property.

Trethowans LLP

Often entrusted by philanthropic individuals, Trethowans LLP helms a range of borrowing and lending, governance, land, and trustee matters. Kirsteen Hook co-leads the team and is knowledgeable of charitable body requirements. Sarah Humphrey is the other co-lead and is adept in charity property matters. All of the individuals that have been mentioned are located in Southampton.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Humphrey; Kirsteen Hook


‘The team is approachable and offer support when you need it.’

‘We were impressed with their track record and scale of operation but also by the quality and experience of the solicitors.’

‘Robust approach to the local authority who we were mainly dealing with on all these matters.’

‘When things became critical our solicitor was available whenever we needed support to get the matter resolved and this was very much valued.’

‘Sarah Wheadon and her team have a remarkable success rate in terms of convictions and subsequent ancillary orders, thereby helping to protect the welfare of the subject animals.’

‘Sarah Wheadon’s strengths are her attentiveness, sharp eye for detail, strong knowledge of criminal procedure and litigation and excellent communication skills.’

Key clients


The Army Museums Ogilby Trust


Hawk Conservancy Trust

Alabare Christian Care and Support

The F. Glenister Woodger Trust CIO

Westbourne Community Trust

Work highlights

  • Represented the RSPCA on a high-profile prosecution at Southampton Magistrates’ Court which resulted in a custodial sentence.
  • Advised The Army Museums Ogilby Trust on a wide range of governance and other legal matters as well as a pivotal IT project.
  • Advised the F. Glenister Woodger Trust CIO in relation to a development of a local medical centre.