Charities and not-for-profit in South West
Stone King LLP advises trusts and funds, which involves acting for museums and galleries as well as for educational charities and charities which work with young people. The firm is experienced in assisting charities with restructurings and reorganisation, fundraising, charity acquisition, legacy disputes and employment regulations. Hannah Kubie and Tim Rutherford head the practice. Rutherford has particular expertise in working with faith organisations such as Roman Catholic charities and alms-houses. Senior associate Alexandra Steffensen advises museums as well as animal charities, and assists independent schools on the borrowing of funds from their permanent endowment to finance construction projects.
Tim Rutherford; Hannah Kubie
Other key lawyers:
Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society
Society of Jesus
Faithful Companions of Jesus
Diocese of Arundel Brightin
Jonathan Burchfield as Interim Manager of the Essex Islamic Academy
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahado Curch of St. Mary of Debre Tsion
Sutton’s Hospital in Charterhouse
Brentwood Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust
The Society of St. Stephen’s House
English Province of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd
The Carmelite Charitable Trust
Sisters of Christian Retreat
Society of the Holy Child Jesus
The Sisters of the Divine Saviour
The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain
Fairfield Farm Trust
Diocese of Westminster
The Polish Catholic Mission
- Carrying out the incorporation of the Missionary Sisters of Verona, a charitable Roman Catholic religious trust registered in England and Scotland, as a charitable incorporated organisation.
- Providing data protection advice to the Anne Frank Trust in light of the changes introduced by the GDPR.
- Advised the Society of St. Stephen’s House, a permanent private hall at the University of Oxford, on its incorporation as a charitable company limited by guarantee and rationalising its subsidiary charities and trusts.
- Secured approval from the Charity Commission to enable the Grace and Compassion Benedictines to make an ex gratia application following a testamentary residual gift.
- Advised the Methodist Ministers’ Housing Society, a registered society with regional assets worth £83m, on the process of conversion to become a company limited by guarantee registered as a charity.
VWV specialises in advising healthcare, arts and educational charities. The firm regularly advises on structural reviews, commercial projects, use of trading subsidiaries as well as on governance and fundraising issues. Other areas of expertise include advice on employment law, tax planning, construction and financing matters. The ‘calm, reflective and well-reasoned’ practice head Con Alexander gives ‘helpful advice’ when acting for charities, academics, schools and universities on transactions, endowment funds, fundraising, mergers, and the restructuring of subsidiaries. Senior associate Rachel Tonkin assists with charity tribunal proceedings and cross-border transfers of charitable assets. Senior associate Laura Chesham has expertise in the registration and incorporation of charities.
‘VWV has a very wide and deep charity practice, which possesses an excellent network and a good understanding of current legal and operational issues’
‘Barney Northover’s understanding of the sector and particularly of charitable schools is second to none’
Diocese of Truro
Wallace & Gromit’s Children’s Foundation
Institute of Cancer Research
National Star Foundation
Society and College Radiographers
Malvern Hills Trust
University of Law
Royal Academy of Music
London Southbank University
St Peter’s Hospice
Bristol Old Vic
James Tudor Foundation
- Advised Harry Crook Foundation on making a £1m grant to Bristol Cathedral.
- Established The National House Project, a charitable incorporated organisation to support young people leaving the public care system.
- Advised Abbotsholme School on its acquisition by a commercial third party.
- Advised Bancroft Clark Charitable Trust on a grant funding arrangement with the Alfred Gillett Trust.
- Advised an educational charity on a governance dispute.
Ashfords LLP advises charities on regulatory and governance issues including their incorporation as entities or trusts. The practice also assists with legacy administration, which involves disputed wills and trusts, proprietary claims and administration disputes. Other areas of expertise involve advice on the prevention of reputational damage arising from contentious matters. Senior associate Barny Croft joined the firm from Michelmores LLP in May 2018.
John Toth; Kerry Morgan-Gould
Other key lawyers:
Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust
The Eggbeer Trust
Royal National Lifeboat Institution
Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust
- Advising the Somerset and Dorset Railway Heritage Trust on planning and property development.
- Providing strategic advice to the Eggbeer Trust on restructuring, property acquisition and the granting of tenancies and licences over charity-owned property.
- Providing strategic oversight of charity activities for the Exeter Cathedral Music Foundation Trust.
- Advised on defending a charity’s legacy, following a challenge to the validity of the will, on the grounds of testamentary capacity and undue influence.
- Marine licensing for Royal National Lifeboat Institution infrastructure.
Charles Russell Speechlys LLP handles the establishment and registration as well as mergers and restructurings of charitable institutions. The practice also assists charities with the sale and purchase of assets, estate tenancy and lease agreements. Associate Penelope Byatt’s areas of expertise include the provision of regulatory advice on constitutional and governance matters. Clients include educational, religious and grant-making charities.
Other key lawyers:
‘The firm has excellent knowledge of daily charity business. The team is personable and willing to support the charity’s intent’
‘The team is very approachable, clear and prompt. Its solutions are practical and carefully tailored to specific requirements’
‘Charles Russell Speechlys is a firm with an excellent reputation’
Foot Anstey advises trustees, executors, beneficiaries and charities on inheritance and legacy disputes, legacy administration involving secondments as well as on trust compliance and recovering shares of estates. Practice head Lucy Gill also advises on property planning and provides strategic advice to charities with the aim of optimising legacy income and fundraising capabilities. Tax planning is another area of expertise.
Cancer Research UK
Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH)
The Royal British Legion
- Managing a significant proportion of the National Trust’s £50m annual legacy income.
- Advising Cancer Research UK on legacy administration.
Michelmores LLP advises charity trustees on formation and ongoing governance. The firm also represents charities in litigations arising from legacy disputes. Other areas of expertise are the acquisition and disposal of assets, as well as the handling of professional negligence claims against administrators of estates the clients are entitled to. The practice is also experienced in advising trustees on charitable trusts.
Other key lawyers:
‘Senior associate Edward Porter impresses with his knowledge, depth of thought, analytical abilities and client engagement. It is always a pleasure to work with him’
- Advising two charities on the disposal of a gift of land with development potential and national interest.
- Acting for a charity on a professional negligence claim against the administrators of an estate which it is solely entitled to.
- Funds review and advice on terms.
- Advising on a charitable trust administration.
- Advised on a charity restructuring.
Tozers Solicitors LLP provides charity law support to all types of charities including religious and educational charitable institutions on corporate, commercial, employment, dispute resolution, property, intellectual property and data protection matters. A particular area of expertise is providing assistance with charity mergers and the structuring of charities. James Evans heads the practice and is experienced in assisting organisations with the obtainment of a charitable status and advising charities on regulatory compliance.
‘Easy to get hold of and very responsive. As a client, it is a positive experience’
‘The firm has an excellent understanding of charity work and an ability to find solutions through deep knowledge of charity regulations’
‘Clients receive a consistently high level of service and have established a strong working relationship with James Evans’
‘James Evans has expert understanding of the charity sector but also understanding of the challenges that charities face. His advice is always well thought through and pragmatic’
The Donkey Sanctuary
Dartington Hall Trust
Plymouth Diocesan Trust
Institution of Railway Signal Engineers
British Accounting and Finance Association (BAFA)
Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom
Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Buckfast Abbey Trust
Family Mediators Association
Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education
Devon Wildlife Trust
Dame Hannah Rogers Trust
South West Lakes Trust
South Devon Railway Trust
South West Coast Path Association
Farms for City Children
Clare Milne Trust
Families for Children
Exeter Leukaemia Fund
Heartswell South West
Westbank Community Health & Care
Africa Services International
- Acted on a joint basis on the merger of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom with the Sir Alister Hardy Foundation for Ocean Science (SAHFOS).
- Assisted Libraries Connected with the obtainment of a charitable status for the organisation.
- Advised Brake Bros on the registration as a charity of its ‘Meals & More’ initiative.
- Advising the Institution of Railway Signal Engineers on data protection and website legal compliance among other corporate and commercial matters.
- Advising The Donkey Sanctuary on the drafting of an IT contract, employment regulations and data protection matters.
Wilsons advises on disputes involving legacies and disputes arising from the administration of trusts and estates. The practice also advises on charity regulations and assists with the restructuring of charities. Practice head Gillian Fletcher is experienced in advising on breaches of trust and compliance issues. Charity mergers constitute another significant area of expertise, alongside the protection of data and intellectual property rights.
‘Professionally competent and fully on top of their brief’
‘The Depth of knowledge and the quality of advice are the firm’s most valued qualities’
‘Gillian Fletcher stands out as the consummate professional. Her team mirrors her approach and it always delivers’
‘The practice is characterised by an immediacy of response, personal touch, and a range of skill sets brought immediately to bear’
‘The practice members are always polite and helpful and offer sound and impartial advice’
Hearing Dogs for Deaf People
British Cardiovascular Society
Forces in Mind Trust
BMA Charities Trust Fund
Save the Children
- Advising St Christopher’s Hospice on governance matters and constitutional review.
- Advising a group of charities on the defence of a challenge to the validity of a will.
- Advising The Royal Marines Association on its merger with The Royal Marines Charity, and on governance and property-related matters.
- Advising a charitable independent school on matters arising from a safeguarding allegation.
- Advising a medical research and education charity on commercial contracts arising in connection with its Joint Congress in Glasgow 2020.
BPE Solicitors LLP is experienced in advising on charity formation and registration, which involves advising on the legal structure and drafting governing documents. The firm also ensures compliance with charity legislation and regulations as well as the implementation of employment and property law. Another area of expertise is the drafting and negotiation of intellectual property and commercial contracts as well as sponsoring and trading agreements.
Community Foster Care
The House of Bread
Bristol Memorial Woodlands
The Smallpeice Trust
Innov8ive Software/ Anilog
Brockworth Community Sports & Recreation
Gloucestershire Environmental Trust
Gloucestershire Everyman Theatre
Aspire Sports & Cultural Trust
Trinity Church PCC
Action Against Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Roots HR CIC
- Providing training to key senior and management personnel of Lilian Faithfull Care on the charity’s obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
- Review of corporate structure and implementation of new articles of association for The Children’s Family Trust.
- Advising on the client’s appointment as outsourced manager of a local museum.
- Advising on the client’s conversion from a trust to a charitable company.
- Assisted with first registration and boundary issues within the client’s property portfolio, as well as two property disposals.
Geoff Trobridge heads the practice at Lester Aldridge LLP and advises on charity registrations, charity mergers and restructuring, trustees’ duties and liabilities, fundraising regulations and charity disputes. The practice also assists with legacy protection, risk management and contentious Court of Protection cases. The firm is additionally experienced in the review of charity governance and the role of charity members.
Kent Autistic Trust
Lewis Manning Hospice
Macmillan Caring Locally
The United Reformed Church (Wessex) Trust
Help and Care
- Advising Macmillan Caring Locally on the governing document of the charity.
- Advised a charity working with people who are drug or alcohol dependent on its merger with another charity.
- Advising on the incorporation of a nursing home charity by its transfer to a charitable incorporated organisation.
- Advised the Minstead Trust on its acquisition of Hanger Farm Arts Centre from Nacro through a business transfer agreement.
- Advised Lewis Manning Hospice on the transfer of its lottery operation to a national organisation.
Stephens Scown LLP
Stephens Scown LLP covers employment and fundraising disputes and is experienced in handling charity mergers, acquisitions and corporate governance matters. The firm has also expertise in advising charities on terms and conditions, and agency and distribution agreements as well as on confidentiality agreements. The practice regularly assists clients on IT contracts and data protection audits. The firm typically advises healthcare, education, faith and housing charities.
Age UK Plymouth
Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust
Various Housing Associations
Cornwall Wildlife Trust
Cool Earth Action
Surfers Against Sewage
Cornwall Care Limited
- Advised the trustees of the Franciscan Sisters – Minoresson on issues arising in respect of the academy conversions of two primary schools.
- Successfully represented and defended Age UK Plymouth in respect of claims for unfair dismissal and whistleblowing.
- Advising Cornwall Wildlife Trust on contractual arrangements and grant agreements and provided general corporate and commercial support in relation to fundraising and funding issues.
- Assisting Bolenowe Animal Sanctuary with the incorporation of a charitable incorporated association (CIO).
- Advising Charitable Giving on IT contracts, a data protection audit and governance and employment matters.
Willans LLP acts for charities on property-related disputes and provides advice on employment regulations, commercial contracts, intellectual property and business immigration. The firm is also experienced in handling commercial freehold and leasehold acquisitions and disposals, lettings, assignments and surrenders in relation to property portfolios. Other areas of expertise involve assistance with head office relocations and data protection issues including GDPR.
‘This practice contains lawyers who have demonstrated that they know what they are doing, do their work in a way which shows they understand their clients and their requirements, and provide a cost-effective service’
Trinity Hospice Shops
Holy Trinity Brompton
Princess Alice Hospice
- Assisting Princess Alice Hospice with new leases and renewal of leases in expanding its portfolio.
- Advising Shelter on retail property portfolios.
- Advised Cheltenham Family Welfare on the TUPE transfer of employees from four different charitable trusts into a new charitable incorporated organisation.
- Advised on the relocation of Sue Ryder’s headquarters.
- Advising on the expansion of Trinity Hospice Shops’ retail property portfolio.
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP
Womble Bond Dickinson (UK) LLP advises religious, environmental, educational, healthcare and sheltered accommodation charities as well as trustees on governance restructuring, charity mergers, collaborations and partnerships, as well as on fundraising and tax planning, compliance issues and charity commission requirements. Other significant areas of expertise include the provision of advice on property investment portfolios and endowments. The firm also assists with the implementation of joint venture projects involving multiple charities.
Other key lawyers:
‘This practice had first-hand knowledge of grant-making, endowed and land-holding charities’
‘The able approach of the lead partners is supported by a strong team of specialists in various sectors’
‘Robert Drewett has vast experience across a wide range of areas of concern to trust. His advice on legal matters is of very high quality and is accompanied by very useful insights into the issue at hand and the environment in which trusts operate’
St Monica Trust
Chippenham Borough Lands Charity
Newcastle City Council
British Mountaineering Council
Ampleforth Abbey and St Laurence Education Trust
Charity Commission – Cardiff Sixth Form College (now Cardiff Educational Endowment Fund)
East Durham College
Bauer Radio Cash for Kids Charities
Zedra Trust Company
Durham University Students’ Union
Northumberland County Council
Leeman Road Millenium Green Trust
Wakefield Grammar School Foundation
Percy Hedley Foundation
Mental Health Matters
Newcastle upon Tyne Royal Grammar School
St John of God Hospitaller Services
William Leech Foundation
Church Marketplace for Roman Catholic Dioceses
- Advised St Monica Trust on the structuring of its public-facing facilities.
- Advised on a review of Crisis UK’s governance arrangements.
- Advised British Mountaineering Council’s specialist governance committee on a constitutional review to address structural issues.
- Advised the Charity Commission on the securing of Cardiff Sixth Form College’s assets and reviewing its financial procedures.
- Advising St. John of God Hospitaller Services on business transformation planning to strengthen its financial resilience and sustainability.