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Charities and not-for-profit in South East

Practice head(s):

Virginia Henley


‘The team are very accessible and usually respond quickly to a wide variety of queries. They have been particularly helpful on governance issues.’

‘They give clear and specific advice and will always clarify if I have further queries.’


Key clients

SLG Charitable Trust

GMC Charity to End FGM

MK Gallery

Rothschild Foundation


Raystede Centre for Animal Welfare Limited

Regain – The Trust for Sports

Tetraplegics Community Action: MK Craft Bakers Association

National Hair & Beauty Federation

Therfield Regulation Trust

Brain Tumour Research

Bedfordshire Charitable Trust

Paradise Wildlife Park

The Greensand Trust

The Henry Moore Foundation

The Society for the Study of Addiction

Buckinghamshire Military Museum Trust

Kings Road Evangelical Trust

North Herts Hospice Care Association

Old Wilsonians Sports Club

Kathleen and Michael Connolly Foundation

The Roger & Jean Jefcoate Trust

Bedford College British Universities and Colleges Sport

Work highlights

  • Acted for Bedford College on various leases for their occupation.
  • Advised Royston Town Council on the governance of a local heritage site.
  • Advise National Hair & Beauty Federation on a wide range of governance issues.

Cripps Pemberton Greenish

Cripps Pemberton Greenish provides a broad spectrum of advice to charity clients on matters including charity formation and incorporation, constitutional reviews and restructuring, and accounting and reporting practices, as well as US/UK tax-efficient giving. The practice has continued to grow following the merger of Cripps and Pemberton Greenish in December 2018; Kate Arnold, who heads the team, advises charities across a range of sectors, including education and social housing, as well as providing assistance to philanthropic individuals setting up charitable trusts. Managing associate Dominic Ribet acts predominantly for grant-making charities established by UK-domiciled high-net-worth individuals. London-based partner Andrew Millett advises on charity financing, reorganisations, and governance.

Practice head(s):

Kate Arnold; Dominic Ribet

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Millett

Key clients

The Dulwich Estate

EKC Group

URC Thames North Trust

The London Diocesan Fund

University of Kent

Canterbury Christ Church University

English National Ballet

The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple

Goodenough College

Rose Hill School

Burrswood Health & Wellbeing

Harrow School

John Lyon’s Charity Hospice In The Weald

Work highlights

  • Advising on all legal matters in relation to Harrow School, John Lyon’s School, John Lyon’s Charity, Harrow International Schools Limited, Harrow Development Trust, Harrow School Enterprises Limited.
  • Advising on all English National Ballet legal matters in relation to the high profile re-location of their headquarters to East London.
  • Advising on the administration of The Dorothy Kerin Trust.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett)

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) has specialist experience with faith-based, environmental, and conservation charities, advises on matters ranging from contracts to data protection and IP.Practice head Paul Ridout primarily advises faith-based charities, including Roman Catholic orders, charities associated with the Church of England, mosques and synagogues, on all matter of charity issues. Gemma Coles works with medium and large charitable organisations on the management of property portfolios and compliance with the Charities Act 2011. Senior solicitor Rosie Brass has experience advising charities on governance, regulatory and commercial matters relating to data protection law and IP matters.

Practice head(s):

Paul Ridout

Other key lawyers:

Gemma Coles; Rosie Brass

Key clients

Institute of Our Lady of Mercy

Union of the Sisters of Mercy of Great Britain

Musicians Benevolent Fund (t/a Help Musicians UK)

Asthma UK

Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK)

Chartered College of Teaching

Teenage Cancer Trust

Institute of Biomedical Science

Age UK Richmond Upon Thames

Age UK Hillingdon Harrow and Brent

Work highlights

  • Advised the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy on the sale of one of its registered care home businesses, based in Worthing.
  • Advised Asthma UK on its high-profile merger with British Lung Foundation after the decision was made that the charities could have more impact together.
  • Advised the Institute of Our Lady of Mercy on a range of issues, including the management of its substantial property portfolio and its care homes, schools, and convents around the UK, as well as regulatory compliance issues including data protection and the implications of the GDPR.

Moore Barlow

Moore Barlow - the result of the merger of Barlow Robbins and Moore Blatch - advises local, national, and international charities and not-for-profits on areas such as safeguarding, banking, real estate, IP, media agreements, employment, fundraising, and mergers. Practice co-head Gordon Reid advises trustees charities and independent schools on governance, reputational issues, and property matters. Practice co-head Joanna Lada-Walicki is an expert in dealing with reputational issues, including abuse allegations. Consultant Helen Harvie advises charities and independent schools on charity registration and constitutional issues.


‘The team has considerable expertise in advising charities, in particular in educational sector. They are unusual in being able to advise on the intersection between charity governance and other issues including employment and safeguarding and so we are confident that they understand the context in which we are operating.’

‘These guys are fun to work with. They give excellent, clear, thorough advice. Just who you need in a crisis (which, let’s face it, is mostly when you call a lawyer). They guide you rather than just present the options. Highly responsive and professional. Seems a good balance of big enough to have specialist capability, small enough to offer personal and really good service.’

‘Gordon Reid and Joanna Lada-Walicki’s teams are responsive and reply to questions and concerns without delay. Embedded within their teams are specialists willing to provide advice by phone or email and that advice is sound and practical.’

‘We rely on the excellent support we have received from Gordon Reid and Joanna Lada-Walicki to help us navigate complex areas of charity governance. Like many charities we do not have in-house specialists and so our trustees need legal advice that is of the highest standard and which is applied to our particular context. They both take time to understand our organisation and to give advice in a timely manner when it is needed.’

‘Gordon Reid – measured, sage and confident.’

‘Gordon Reid is great. Great communicator, very responsive.’

‘Gordon Reid takes a personal interest in the issues he is dealing with. He understands the needs of clients and has an ability to make every question posed by a client a high priority. As a client I was greatly reassured that the paths we were taking were sound and had his full support. He was quick to identify potential issues and suggest solutions. His responsiveness and prompt attention are extremely well received.’

‘I found Gordon Reid to be helpful, focused on my needs as a client, and responsive. He provided me with clear advice and was always diligent in responding to requests and following up. He is able to discuss legal perspectives and issues without reverting to unnecessary legalese . For employment issues he brought in other members of the firm to advise, and they likewise were clear, friendly and helpful.’

Key clients

Young Minds Trust

Woking & Sam Beare Hospices

Hampshire & Isle of Wight Air Ambulance

Compassion UK

Compassion International

Tearfund Richmond Charities

National Rifle Association

Walton-on-Thames Charity

Uxbridge United Welfare Trusts

Work highlights

  • Advised trustees of Uxbridge United Welfare Trusts on potential incorporation.
  • Advised St Teresa’s School and Cranmore School on their merger, key terms having been negotiated by the respective Chairs of Governors.
  • Advised Ripley Court Educational Trust Limited, operating as Ripley Court School, on all aspects of its merger with another trust, operating as Reed’s School.

Blake Morgan LLP

Blake Morgan LLP's team handles a wide variety of matters, including governance, safeguarding and structuring. It also has expertise in the creation of and amendments to Royal Charters and working with international charities in disaster areas. Legal director Ben Brice advises on a broad range of charity law issues, including complex governance and regulatory matters. Senior associate Kirsteen Hook has experience advising on new charity formations, M&A and restructuring. Rachel Sales has particular expertise in advising clients in the not-for-profit and education sectors.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

Kirsteen Hook; Rachel Sales


‘Blake Morgan may be a UK-wide practice but through their Cardiff office, they have developed a uniquely Welsh personality to their business. They understand the local as well as sector context.’

‘We very much value the straight forward, well grounded approach that is evident amongst all of Blake Morgan’s staff. They provide timely, too-the-point advice and never over-sell services to us as their clients.’

‘I depend on their advice and feel assured that I am receiving a very high standard of support.’


Key clients

Association for Project Management

British Red Cross

Homeless Oxfordshire

Nekton Foundation


Portsmouth Diocesan Trust

Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)

Royal Naval Benevolent Trust

The Gregg Schools Trust

The Methodist Church

United Bible Societies Association

Universities and Colleges Information Systems Association

University of Chichester (Multi) Academy Trust

Wessex Children’s Hospice Trust

Winchester Housing Trust

Women’s Prize Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised on terms by which various historical restricted funds are held to enable Homeless Oxfordshire to ensure each fund can be applied appropriately towards charity’s objects.
  • Advised on the proposed incorporation of the Adjutant General’s Corps Association and Institution.
  • Provided time-sensitive advice and assistance to enable United Bible Societies Association to work with and loan and grant significant sums of money to its local bible societies in foreign jurisdictions.

Blandy & Blandy LLP

Blandy & Blandy LLP advises charities and not-for-profits in the Reading and Thames Valley area on issues such as mergers/de-mergers and joint venture work. It also advises on registration/incorporation, constitutional issues and governance, IP, commercial contracts, employment and disputes. Practice head Nick Burrows advises on formation and incorporation,  joint ventures, collaborations and IP matters.

Practice head(s):

Nick Burrows


‘Excellent team; efficient and deliver a good service to clients.’

‘Nick Burrows, very high standard of service, communicates well and gives very sound advice.’

‘Blandy and Blandy offer practical, risk based and constructive legal advice that looks for solutions not problems and is proportionate to the needs of the client – a rare quality in solicitors serving small charity clients in my experience.’

‘I value the candid and constructive advice from everyone at Blandy and Blandy.’

‘An astute team that understand your organisation and its needs.’

‘They understand what we need and how we’ll need to apply it. Just really easy to get on with and accommodating in tight timescales.’

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

Genetic Disorders UK/Jeans for Genes

Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)

Adviza CXK

Career Connect

St Joseph’s College

The Abbey School

The Oratory Schools

Association Pangbourne College

Debenhams Ottaway

Debenhams Ottaway advises clients across the South East region on matters including disputes overs wills, commercial property and trusts. Nicholas Turner advises on charity formation, changes to charity structures and other related issues. Ruth Boulton works with clients of all sizes, from individuals to large organisations, while Jonathan Foy focuses on investor portfolio acquisitions. Andrew Yates, who became a partner in 2019, heads the practice's charitable offering for incorporated charities, and advises on M&A and directors’ duties. Claire Sharp specialises in estates, especially complex cases involving a cross-border element.


‘The team provides a good broad range of skills for private clients.’

Key clients

Hubbard Will Trust

Pavyer Trust

City of Expertise

Crohn’s and Colitis Leading

Work highlights

  • Acts for the Hubbard Will Trust, implementing guidance and policies under GDPR legislation, advising to ensure procedures for internal compliance, as well as acting as one of its trustees.
  • Acts both as a trustee and for the trustees in relation to the Pavyer Trust. The total trust fund has a value of approximately £8m.
  • Acts for the City of Expertise, a local not-for-profit organisation in the Hertfordshire area.

Freeths LLP

Freeths LLP advises both South East-based and national charities on issues such as commercial and corporate negotiations, real estate issues, fundraising and partnership arrangements. Practice leader Nigel Roots is known for his work on literary estates and heritage property. Managing partner Sarah Foster acts on disputed trusts and the removal of executors and trustees, while Lesley Pollock advises on complex property transactions for charities.

Practice head(s):

Sarah Foster; Nigel Roots

Furley Page Solicitors

Furley Page Solicitors advises charities and not-for-profits in the Canterbury and wider South East region on the full spectrum of relevant matters. Practice head Aaron Spencer works extensively with charities on charity formation, Charity Commission applications, and annual returns, and is a specialist in almshouse charities. Tony Chester handles the corporate side of charitable work, such as mergers, amendments of object clauses and articles and real estate transactions.

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

Work highlights

  • Advised Simon Langton Schools Trust in the purchase of an agricultural holding in Wales valued at £500,000.

Gardner Leader LLP

Gardner Leader LLP advises charitable trusts, royal charter companies, community benefit societies both nationally and in the Newbury area. It also advises start-ups, independent schools, and faith-based charities on charity formation and registration, regulatory compliance, dispute resolution, and Charities Act compliance. Practice head Alastair Goggins regularly acts in contentious matters involving trust disputes including validity, financial provision, and the removal of trustees. Diane Yarrow advises on constitutional and governance issues, mergers and restructurings. Penny Wright advises charities on compliance with the requirements of the Charities Act. Richard Buckeridge also comes recommended.

Practice head(s):

Alastair Goggins


‘Joined-up thinking and team-working.’

‘The whole team functions smoothly and efficiently, from the reception area through to the partners. They are friendly, responsive and efficient, offering sound advice and support.

‘This firm always behaves in a professional but friendly manner. They have a range of staff who have expertise in the many varied aspects of life’s problems.’

‘Penny Wright is exceptional in her manner, knowledge and efficiency. She is proactive and looks at problems from every angle before offering advice, which is invariably accurate. She listens and summarises problems very coherently.’

Key clients

British Skin Foundation

Henley Women’s Regatta (HWR) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised British Skin Foundation on converting from the original trust structure as an unincorporated trust to incorporated status.
  • Provided company secetorial services and ad hoc commercial legal advice to the committee of Henley Women’s Regatta HWR Limited.

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP

Rix & Kay Solicitors LLP's team advises charities and not-for-profits on matters such as commercial and corporate issues, governance and property and employment issues. It is known for its work with sporting charities and trusts. Practice head Bruce Hayter is experienced in issues relating to disability sport in the Sussex area, while Alan Zeal advises on charity registration, constitutions, and governance. Associate Amy White also comes recommended.

Practice head(s):

Bruce Hayter


Rix & Kay offer a wide range of skills and experience and are able to combine to suit the transaction, the risks, and the client’s priorities. There is a real sense of dealing with a team and getting the best of practice. We saw this in the way in which partners combine and where appropriate hand-off to others with the more relevant skills and sector expertise.’

Our engagement with Rix & Kay is now a long-term one and we feel that we are benefiting from a relationship and commitment to and understanding our mission that has been built over time. In this respect, Rix & Kay are looking beyond the delivery of the transaction to look after the client interest and the outcomes we are looking for.’

Amy White has transformed our ability to deal with all staffing issues and has made herself available when we have needed her. She is entirely aware of the needs of our organisation as an employer but also a charity and has taken the time to learn how we are structured to be able to provide us with the best advice and assistance with streamlining our procedures.’

Rix & Kay have been extremely helpful to our business and are always looking to support us where they can.

I feel like they have our back; they always give sound advice.’

Key clients

Conservation Without Borders

Sussex County Cricket Foundation

Ansty Village Centre Steering Committee Trust

National Autistic Society

Academies Trust

Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex

Action for Deafness

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue and Ambulance Services

Russell Martin Foundation

Active Sussex

Chalk Farm LDC (Learning Disabilities Centre)

Work highlights

  • Provides legal services to Conservation Without Borders for their latest project, “Flight of the Osprey”.
  • Advises the Sussex County Cricket Club Foundation on the provision of disability sport in the county.
  • Advises the National Autistic Society on the development agreement for the construction of a new special school for pupils aged 11-19 with autism, together with community facilities, in Lambeth, London.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP is known for advising both national and regional charities on disputed legacy work, as well as employment tribunal claims, charity-sponsored occupational pension schemes and medical negligence claims. 'Tenacious' practice leader Angela Bowman has a 'stellar reputation' and is an expert in contested charity legacy cases. Tara McInnes works on contested legacy work for charities, not-for-profits and trustees, while Mandeep Chima acts for charities, private clients, trustees and executors.

Practice head(s):

Angela Bowman

Other key lawyers:

Tara McInnes; Mandeep Chima


‘Angela Bowman has a stellar reputation in the charities and not-for-profit sector, which is richly deserved given her experience and expertise.’

‘A very professional team who make the effort to put you ease.’

‘Angela Bowman is friendly and takes an interest in people as a person and not just their role. Angela has provided her time and effort free of charge as well as her colleagues to speak at our Charity seminars. A wonderful speaker at the events and engages with delegates before and afterwards excellently.’

‘A sensitive approach combined with a deep working knowledge of litigation relating to charities and not for profits in the private client and probate space. A willingness to listen to clients especially around tone and content are valued.’

‘Angela Bowman’s sensitivity and tenacity is highly regarded. She provides considered and pragmatic advice which is valued when dealing with matters that have the potential to cause reputational issues in the charity sector.’

A well-resourced firm with excellent practitioners with strength and in-depth knowledge.

Angela Bowman brings with her a great deal of experience in this area, which she knows inside-out. She has a very easy manner with clients, but tenacious in the pursuit of good results for them.

The practice has a deep working knowledge of litigation relating to charities and not-for-profits in the private client and probate space and a willingness to listen to clients, especially around issues where tone and content are valued.’

A very professional team who make the effort to put you at ease.’

Key clients

Blue Cross

Cancer Research UK

Cats Protection

Celia Hammond Animal Trust

Deafblind UK

Dogs Trust

Guide Dogs for the Blind

Help for Heroes

Macmillan Cancer Support

Natioanl Trust

Parkinson’s UK

Royal National Institute for the Blind



The Cinnamon Trust

The Donkey Sanctuary


CAESSR (Cocker and English Springer Spaniel Rescue)

The Carbon Disclosure PRoject

The Landmark Trust

Work highlights

  • Successfully defended the National Trust in a number of cases, including a complex disability discrimination claim, unfair dismissal, and sex discrimination.
  • Settled claim on behalf of a national charity regarding a will, preserving the majority of the state to be used in furtherance of the charity’s objectives, valued at approximately £150,000.

Thomson Snell & Passmore

Thomson Snell & Passmore advises both national and local clients in the education, health, social care and community support sectors. The charity team draws on the wider firm's capabilities in employment, disputes and other practice areas to provide full-service advice on topics ranging from charity formation, trustee duties, structures, funding options, and property. Practice co-head Nick Hobden advises clients in the education and charity sectors on complex and sensitive restructuring exercises, working alongside James Partridge and Clare Morison, who has expertise in establishing, merging, and reorganising philanthropic and charitable organisations.

Practice head(s):

Nick Hobden

Other key lawyers:

James Partridge; Clare Morison


‘Depth of knowledge and prompt attention – very professional.’


Celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2020, Brachers offers advice and support across areas such as mergers and collaborative arrangements, funding and fundraising, regulatory compliance and investigations, and data protection and GDPR work. Practice co-head Sarah Gaines advises on the grant of easements, grant schemes, and promotion agreements. Practice co-head Christopher Eriksson-Lee advises on governance documentation, charity trustee duties and responsibilities, and trust compliance documentation. Specialist employment lawyer Antonio Fletcher assists charities in compliance with data protection laws and employment law issues. Promoted to partner in May 2019, Emma Andersen handles options, promotion agreements, and secured lending, while Alex Cosgrove joined from Peace | Crowell LLP in March 2019.


‘Brachers are very community-minded and are always approachable and easy to communicate with.’

‘A pleasure to work with.’


Key clients

Charities Aid Foundation

Bank East Malling Trust

Heritage Lab CIC

Kent Farmers Benevolent Fund

Work highlights

  • Acted for CAF Bank in lending to Charities Aid Foundation Bank Limited to fund a new build auditorium with a predicted value of £3.8m.
  • Legal advisor to The East Malling Trust acting in all disciplines including property, property litigation and commercial advice.
  • Provided pro bono work for the Kent Farmers Benevolent Fund.

Field Seymour Parkes LLP

Field Seymour Parkes LLP advises clients including charities, sports clubs, parish councils and schools on incorporation and mergers, structuring, governance, pensions and property matters. The practice has also launched Reading’s first free charities legal consultation service. Philippa Roles advises charities on all UK tax-related matters, including VAT, Gift Aid, and stamp duty issues. Katharine Riley specialises in aspects of disputes concerning wills, trusts, and inheritance. Ruo Wu joined from Allen & Overy LLP in July 2019.

Practice head(s):

Katharine Burley

Other key lawyers:

Philippa Roles; Ruo Wu


‘The team responds promptly to requests. They have good experience in dealing with associations and quickly get to grips with the specific circumstances. I feel they make an effort to understand the business objectives and also pick up on wider implications of any actions.’

Key clients

The Talwar Foundation

AIPH – International Association of Horticultural Producers

The parochial church council of the ecclesiastical parish of Southlake St James Waters of Wales

Gateway Life Trust

Gateway Church

Basingstoke Launchpad Reading

Work highlights

  • Assisted International Association of Horticultural Producers with drafting bespoke articles of association suitable for a not-for-profit entity in the UK.
  • Provided charity law governance advice to the trustees of The Polehampton Charity, amended and updated the charity’s constitutional document, and drafted and negotiated various lease agreements with third parties to fulfil the charity’s objectives.
  • Advised the trustees of The Talwar Foundation on registering a Charitable Incorporated Organisations, with multiple charitable objects operating throughout England and Wales.