Charities and not-for-profit in Wales

Geldards LLP

Geldards LLP has a 'long history of excellence' advising charities and not-for-profit organisations throughout Wales and England on their core governance needs and across their commercial requirements, including on employment, real estate and corporate matters. As well as advising on core governance issues for charities and not-for-profit organisations, including many religious charities, 'accessible and extremely knowledgeable' team head Harriet Morgan also leverages her broader property bona fides to provide an 'extremely responsive service' to clients within the social housing sector, as well as more generally to clients in relation to their property portfolios. Senior associate Bethan Walsh  is 'highly organised and efficient' and has a strong grounding in charity governance, charity formations, charity mergers and charity trading matters for Welsh clients, which she is also effectively able to advise in the medium of the Welsh language. Giselle Davies is a 'trusted expert on charity matters' and continues to provide vital input to clients in her role as a consultant.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Morgan

Other key lawyers:

Bethan Walsh; Giselle Davies

Testimonials

‘Geldards has a long history of excellence in this area of law. It counts!’

‘Geldards give me confidence and their advice is specific to charities and Charity Commission challenges.’

‘Approachable, clear, focused on what the issue is, and ready to work together to resolve it.’

‘Giselle Davies and Harriet Morgan are trusted experts and advisers on charity matters, particularly in the context of our role as a public sector body.’

‘Harriet Morgan also has a particular specialism in property matters and continues to support us in the legal arrangements associated with our capital grant-making. We appreciate their professionalism and no-nonsense approach and have confidence in their advice.’

‘Harriet Morgan – accessible, extremely knowledgeable, responsive to client needs, good at managing expectations.’

‘Bethan Walsh – highly organised and efficient, clear and succinct in responses, working steadily towards agreed outcome aimed for.’

‘Giselle Davies is a trusted expert on charity matters.’

Key clients

Lloyds Register Foundation

Royal Voluntary Service

Arts Council of Wales

Wales for Europe Limited

Derbyshire Community Foundation

Assemblies of God Inc

Wales Millennium Centre

Chrysalis Supported Association Limited

South Wales Miners Welfare Trust Fund Scheme

The Angel Foundation

Work highlights

  • Providing advice on the impact of Central Government accounting changes to the charitable status of the Arts Council of Wales and whether as a charity it was able to comply with the organisational and accounting changes required by Central Government and the Welsh Ministers.
  • Undertaking the incorporation of multiple churches affiliated to the Assemblies of God movement together with multiple related mergers and transfers. Governance advise to the Board including taking part in Board run governance webinars and contributing to the charity’s intranet for its member churches.
  • Providing unusual advice to Royal Voluntary Service on the disposal of an asset of community value under the Localism Act 2011 and the Assets of Community Value (England) Regulations 2012 where particular rules apply before such land can be sold.

Blake Morgan LLP

Although lacking a standalone Wales-based charity law offering, numerous practitioners within Blake Morgan LLP's Cardiff office assist the firm's Reading team (led by Ben Brice) across a myriad commercial, property and governance matters impacting many Wales-based charities and not-for-profit organisations. Eve Piffaretti is particularly well-versed at advising care and education services-related charities on a wide range of issues specific to their internal policies and procedures, including as it relates to safeguarding issues. Claire Rawle, as head of the professional regulatory team, also handles a significant volume of charities-related mandates, including safeguarding compliance and HSE-related investigations.

Practice head(s):

Ben Brice

Other key lawyers:

James Egan; Eve Piffaretti; Claire Rawle

Key clients

Cardiff & Vale College

Swansea University

Cardiff University

University of South Wales

Hafal

St John Cymru

Tenovus

Merthyr Tydfil County Council

Chwarae Teg

The Methodist Church

The British Red Cross Society

The Big Issue Foundation

The Association for Project Management

Girls Friendly Society

Pilgrims’ Friend Society

The Ebico Trust for Sustainable Development

National Counselling Society

Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (DRWF)

Work highlights

  • Advising Cardiff and Vale College in the context of its role as sole trustee of subsidiary scheme charity to secure Charity Commission’s consent to issue a new scheme (by way of cy-près application) to permit a change of use of trust property for mixed motive investment purposes.
  • Advising a high-profile Welsh charity established by statute on the ability for trustees to delegate powers in accordance with its statutes, and drawing up policies to reflect such delegation.
  • Advising a high-profile Welsh charity on the principles of good governance in context of sensitive whistleblowing and grievance claims.

Capital Law Limited

'Perfectly coordinated and mutually informed', Capital Law Limited's multi-disciplinary offering provides 'solution-oriented advice' to charitable businesses, not-for-profit education providers and trade unions. The 'superb' Nicola Mead-Batten is a key member of the team, particularly in relation to any public law and regulatory issues which may be relevant to clients in the not-for-profit/charities sector. Banking and finance partner Christopher Agius co-heads the overarching not-for-profit team at the firm alongside Mead-Batten and handles a considerable amount of work for banks and specialist lenders funding third sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Mead-Batten; Christopher Agius

Other key lawyers:

Trish D’Souza

Testimonials

‘All team members are perfectly coordinated and mutually informed.’ 

‘The team is very approachable, knowledgeable and provides clear advice.’

‘Nicola Mead-Batten is superb. She is very aware of tactical issues and absolutely zoned in on the key areas.’

Key clients

University of South Wales

Bridgend College

Renewable Power Pembrokeshire

British Medical Association

Grwp Llandrillo Menai

Artis Community / Pontypridd YMCA

Wales Council for Voluntary Action

Sherman Theatre

Chapter Arts

RBS Social and Community Capital

Work highlights

  • Representing the British Medical Association in its successful challenge against the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s decision to amend the NHS pension scheme rules.
  • Helping Bridgend College deliver its STEAM Academy Development (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics), the first project to be funded out of Welsh Government’s Band B funding and a flagship for showcasing 21st Century learning.
  • Supporting the Wales Council for Voluntary Action with the management of the Tenancy Saver Loan Scheme launched because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Hugh James

Led by private client/wealth management partners Roman Kubiak and Matthew Evans Hugh James has, in recent years, developed a particularly strong reputation advising charities on legacy administration, as well as legacy disputes. This side of the practice was also recently enhanced by the arrival in January 2021 of senior associate Sarah Bolt, who had built up a strong track record representing numerous high-profile charities in legacy disputes during her time at Harneys and before that  Stone King LLP. Leveraging the firm's vast roster of housing association clients, the team also remains very active in the social housing space, with work touching on pure charity-related advice, in addition to advice on their development and employment needs.

Practice head(s):

Roman Kubiak; Matthew Evans

Other key lawyers:

Sarah Bolt

Testimonials

‘Hugh James has experts right across the organisation. They can bring in other specialists when required on even the most arcane areas of law.’

‘Hugh James acted in a timely and professional manner. The lawyers were approachable and understood the issues we were facing. ’

‘I dealt with Roman Kubiak who was approachable and professional. Roman dealt with matters swiftly and was always available to deal with any queries.’

Key clients

Noah’s Ark Charity

Representative Body of the Church in Wales

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama

Cwmni Urdd Gobaith Cymru

Macmillan Cancer Support

Pobl Group

Cardiff University

Coleg Gwent

Linc Cymru Housing Association

Ty Hafan

Perrans Consulting Limited/ Housing Justice

Work highlights

  • Advised Pobl Group on the UK’s largest zero carbon development worth £32m and bringing sustainability and innovation through the provision of affordable homes.
  • Advised Cardiff University on its £50m Centre for Student Life.
  • Advised a leading conservatoire with charitable status on complex legacies.

Loosemores Solicitors

Benefiting from 'in-depth experience and knowledge' of the commercial and governance requirements of a myriad charities/not-for-profit organisations, the 'proactive and responsive' team at Loosemores Solicitors has an excellent reputation in the Welsh market, particularly among sporting organisations. Although it is also able to draw upon the wider resources of employment and corporate lawyers at the firm, should the need arise, clients are particularly appreciative of 'standout' team head Rebecca McCarthy, who is one of the few charity law specialists in Wales, and is therefore very well-equipped to advise on incorporation and governance issues specific to charities.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca McCarthy

Other key lawyers:

Mark Loosemore

Testimonials

‘The firm has in-depth knowledge of charity law and provides practical advice.’

‘The quality of the service provided by Loosemores from the first enquiry to the completion of the work is outstanding. Enquiries are dealt with speedily and with a high level of understanding and appreciation of the issues being addressed. Communication is easy and straightforward.’

‘Excellence in understanding of the issues faced by a small charity and how to address them. Excellence in familiarity with the workings of the regulatory bodies.’

‘Everyone is approachable at whatever level and in any capacity. You feel like they genuinely care about what it is you do and want advice on. As a public body we have particular purchasing/tendering constraints and Loosemores is agile and flexible in the approach they need to take with us. ’

‘In-depth experience and knowledge without losing the personal touch of a tight-knit team.’

‘The individuals are proactive and concerned to provide us with all professional support as required. ’

‘Rebecca McCarthy is the stand out person who guided me through the laborious minefield of becoming a charity.’

Key clients

Football Association of Wales

The FAW Trust

FAW Welsh Ground Improvements Limited

London Early Years Foundation

Mackintosh Evangelical Church

Echoes International

Sports Council for Wales

Stewards Company Limited

Canoe Wales

GlobalWelsh

Glenwood Church

Welsh Sports Association

Krishna Cymru

Platfform for Change (formerly Gofal)

The JW Laing Trust

The Audrey Tyler Trust

Welsh Rugby Players Association

Work highlights

  • Advised on the successful incorporation of a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, including preparation of the governing document and drafting the objects, liaising with the Charity Commission on the registration and corporate governance and continuing to advise on a related asset transfer, including property and employment advice.
  • Advised a fast-growing community interest company (which is building a network of Welsh people around the world) on various contracts including terms and conditions of membership for individuals and business partnerships.
  • Advised the FAW Trust on commercial agreements including the provision of training courses and online interactive services, terms of website use, privacy policy, acceptable use policy and cookie policy.