Charities and not-for-profit in West Midlands

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is particularly well-known for its work for faith-charities, national charity clients and charity funding work. It is also enjoying a growing reputation for its work with charities in the health and social care sector. Under the leadership of practice head Dominic Curran, it continues to have an excellent reputation for its work with a broad range of organisations on the regeneration of local communities, and also in the area of social enterprise development. It is increasing its profile with charities that are focused on children and young adults. Also notable is that it is strong in the social housing sector, where it acts for a diverse range of charitable housing providers. Shivaji Shiva joined VWV .

Practice head(s):

Dominic Curran

Other key lawyers:

Phil Watts; Edwina Turner; Natalie Barbosa


All the people I work with are amazingly responsive, and provide exactly what I want when I want it‘.

All of the staff at Anthony Collins must be given credit for their efficiency and helpfulness at all levels‘.

The team displays considerable sector experience and expertise, with enough breadth to the team so that it isn’t dependent on just one person‘.

Dominic Curran is driven but very approachable. He has a desire to help the faith-based charity sector to improve communities‘.

Edwina Turner has a broad range of experience, is pragmatic and superb‘.

Natalie Barbosa’s advice is always well thought through, compelling and reliable‘.

Phil Watts always provides solid and comprehensive advice and guidance‘.

‘Phil Watts and Edwina Turner have considerable practical experience but also the ‘human touch’ so that clients are not just ‘projects’ but people/situations that need help‘.

Key clients

Baptist Union

Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving

The Salvation Army Trustee Company

British Library



Care England


Thera Trust

Baptist Union of Great Britain

Methodist Church and Methodist Church Council

Work highlights

  • Advised Riding for the Disabled Association Incorporating Carriage Driving on construction work for the client’s new head office.
  • Acted for The Salvation Army Trustee Company, which was engaging contractors for demolition works, design and build works and design and fit out works for a visitor centre at Strawberry Field, Liverpool. The work included drafting bespoke amendments to various construction contracts and drafting the appointment for the consultant.
  • Assisted the British Library with its procurement of a “hard Facilities Management contract”.
  • Advising Scope on various issues that affect substantial national charities.
  • Advising Banardo’s on various matters.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has longstanding relationships with some of the UK’s biggest charities. It is noted for its particular experience of working with health, education and research charities. It also has considerable strength in sport-based charities. Principal associate Adam Williams, who leads the Birmingham charities practice, has experience across all areas of charity law, governance and philanthropy. Another principal associate  Lucy Howard, who recently relocated to the Birmingham office, manages contested legacy cases.

Practice head(s):

Neil Burton (Cambridge)

Other key lawyers:

Adam Williams; Lucy Howard


VWV has a large practice, which is well-equipped to advise charity clients on all aspects of their operations, such as governance, procurement, regulatory compliance, investment, tax and fundraising. The team was strengthened by the hire of Shivaji Shiva from Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP. Shiva has a wealth of experience on the corporate and commercial aspects of the charity sector. Recently promoted partner Frances Anderson is highly rated for her work with arts, charities and universities, in particular.

Practice head(s):

Shivaji Shiva

Other key lawyers:

Frances Anderson


The team is very knowledgeable on a wide range of topics‘.

All individuals who we have dealt with over the past 12 months have been supportive, approachable and respond in a timely manner‘.

‘Shivaji Shiva is immensely experienced‘.

Shivaji Shiva is truly a specialist, he is very considered and professional and very knowledgeable‘.


Key clients

Aston University

Birmingham MIND

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Birmingham Royal Ballet

Blue Coat School Birmingham

Bromsgrove School

Cheltenham Ladies College

Coventry University

Creative Education Trust

Dudley College

King Edward VI Academy Trust Birmingham

London Metropolitan University

London South Bank University

Loughborough Endowed Schools

National Star College

Queen Alexandra College

Royal Academy of Music

The Schools of King Edward VI Foundation

United Reformed Church Synods

University of Bath

University of Exeter

University of Law

Windsor Academy Trust

Work highlights

  • Advised the board of trustees of a charity on the termination of the employment of its chief executive on the grounds of a breakdown in the relationship of trust and confidence.
  • Providing employment law advice on the sale of a charitable independent school to an educational consortium.
  • Advising a premium independent school on its licensing arrangements with an overseas investor to establish a number of international branded schools in China.
  • Providing continued advice to a national library institution with regard to its digitisation strategy and third party collaborations.
  • Advising an arts charity on a complex subject access request made by a senior employee of the charity in the context of an employment tribunal claim.

Lodders Solicitors LLP

Clients of Lodders Solicitors LLP include high profile regional charities, discreet charitable trusts, breed societies and ancient foundations. In addition to advising on general charity law matters, the department is known for its work on governance and constitutional matters, as well as complex restructures and reorganisations. Team head Mark Lewis has expertise in ecclesiastical, agricultural, equine and engineering charities, as well as membership bodies.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lewis

Key clients

British Chiropractic Association

National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs

The Grand National Archery Society

Heart of England Community Foundation

Henley-in-Arden Guild Hall Trust

Institute for Public Policy Research

The Johnson or Secular Clergy Association of The Archdiocese of Birmingham

Campden Home Nursing CIO

The Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers

Work highlights

  • Provided advice to the British Chiropractic Association on the redrafting of its constitution to include detailed consideration of governance issues and restructuring of the organisation.
  • Advising the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs on the incorporation of this long-established charity as a charitable company limited by guarantee and on restructuring internal organisation.
  • Providing support to The Grand National Archery Society on governance and related issues, including further revisions to its constitution to ensure that it continues to operate in accordance with best practice and as required by UK Sport.
  • Assisting Heart of England Community Foundation with ongoing matters, including considerable expansion of the work of the charity into the West Midlands and the Black Country, as well as receipt of restricted funds from other charities.
  • Ongoing retainer with Henley-in-Arden Guild Hall Trust.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP advises grant-making charities and Government-funded charities on a wide range of matters, such as charity registration, administration and governance issues. The department also has particular expertise in advising animal charities especially on legacy disputes. In addition, it has developed a specialism in acting for faith-based charities and education sector clients. Team head Lesley Davis has a diverse client base, which includes multinational companies (often seeking advice on establishing foundations) and families wanting to support those in need.

Practice head(s):

Lesley Davis


‘Lesley Davis has an outstanding client manner and is quick to understand the heart of the issue. Her advice is clear, concise, complete and commercial‘.


Key clients

Institute of Association Management

Education for Health

The Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Churches Housing Association of Dudley & District

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Coventry Golf Club

Walsall Housing Group

British Pest Control Association

Bishops Grosseteste University

npower Foundation

St Martin’s Trust

Birmingham Diocese

Work highlights

  • Assisting The Institute of Association Management with designing a half-day training programme, which covers a range of key governance topics relevant for association organisations that have a broad range of charitable and non-charitable legal structures.
  • Advised npower Foundation on a short term commercial participator agreement with the Charitable Foundation to cover the launch and initial 3-6 months of operation of the charity.
  • Assisting Midland Heart with its Fully Mutual Housing Association strategy.
  • Acting for a Midlands-based university on the redevelopment of its estate, which is critical to its future plans.
  • Assisting a client with a multi-party project to provide supported living for adults with learning disabilities in the community.

Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors provides the full range of legal services to national, regional and local churches, other faith organisations, hospices and almshouses. Other clients include local political and non-political clubs, sports clubs and charities which focus on issues such as special educational needs and rape victim support. The team's recent work has included advising on matters such as GDPR, Charity Commission investigations and internal charity disputes. Senior associate Jenny Smith heads up the department.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Smith


Always thorough, professional and accurate in the work they carry out‘.

‘Very experienced in charity and trusts; punching above its weight for a small firm compared to other charity teams in the sector‘.

Professional, friendly and always willing to help‘.

Jenny Smith is very knowledgeable technically and is also very good with clients. She shows a genuine interest in her clients and compassion‘.

‘Jenny Smith is extremely competent and her calm temperament puts clients at ease and gives them confidence in her ability and understanding of complex trust and charity law matters‘.

Key clients

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

Mary Stevens Hospice

Ashleigh House

Steps to work (Walsall)

Work highlights

  • Providing charity governance and commercial advice to Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
  • Providing general governance and employment advice to Ashleigh House.
  • Advising on the incorporation of a community amateur sports club.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP regularly advises charities and not-for-profit clients on diverse matters such as constitutional, commercial, regulatory and contractual issues. It is also sought out on the creation of charitable trusts and legacy disputes. Keith Ainsworth has a particular focus on corporate and governance issues, group structures, charity law, regulation and governance, charity finance and on dealings with the Charity Commission. Ainsworth also has significant experience of safeguarding matters. Monica Macheng joined Bevan Brittan LLP.

Practice head(s):

Keith Ainsworth

Key clients

Warwick Independent Schools Foundation

British Dressage

The National Association of Charity Shops

The University of Warwick

The Romero Catholic Academy

Work highlights

  • Advised Old Leamingtonians Rugby Football Club on an extensive suite of contract documentation in relation to a new training facility.
  • Advising a care provider on the construction of a new £7.5m care home that is being built to incorporate new technology and innovative ways of supporting dependent residents.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Led by practice head Haydn JonesBand Hatton Button LLP's team advises a broad mix of charities, including those in the education/training, arts and culture, and religious sectors. Its work covers constitutional, governance and compliance advice, as well as the formation and incorporation of charities, among other areas. The group can draw on the firm’s cross-practice expertise to advise on employment, property or other contentious matters.

Practice head(s):

Haydn Jones

Key clients

Albany Theatre

Ambulance Services Charity

City College Coventry

Coventry & Warwickshire YMCA

Coventry Cyrenians

Coventry Rugby Community Foundation

Midland Group Training Services

Nanaksar Gurdwara Gursikh Temple


Solihull School

Nicholas Chamberlaine’s School Foundation

Work highlights

  • Advising a charity on a land swap with a developer in return for the construction of a new club to an agreed specification.    
  • Advising a charity on the revision of its charitable scheme.
  • Advising a charity on an option agreement for the development of agricultural land.

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP, which advises on the full spectrum of charity matters, is increasingly sought out to advise governance issues, as well as on the establishment of family and corporate foundations. Team head Catherine Rustomji acts for charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, charity trustees and individuals. Her expertise includes the duties and responsibilities of charity trustees.

Practice head(s):

Catherine Rustomji


‘A very helpful and receptive team‘.

Key clients

John Taylor Hospice Charity

Wyggeston’s Hospital

Age UK Birmingham

Age UK Staffordshire

The James Charities

Berrow Cottage Homes

National Association of Round Tables of GB & Ireland

Baron Davenport’s Charity

Thomas Corbett’s Charity

Heart of England Baptist Association

Retired Baptist Ministers Housing Society

Work highlights

  • Provided charity advice and social enterprise advice to John Taylor Hospice, as well as advising on the legal structures and the interrelationship between the two different types of organisations.
  • Recent advice to Baron Davenport’s Charity has related to the status of permanent endowment investments and on the options that are available to the trustees
  • Advising The James Charities on legal structures, governance and on appointing a corporate trustee.
  • Advised Age UK Staffordshire on the merger of this charity with two others.
  • Recent advice to Berrow Cottage Homes includes advising on property and banking matters.

Higgs & Sons

At Higgs & Sons, philanthropy continues to be a large part of the work undertaken by the team, particularly in the context of advising private and corporate clients on how to best to structure their charitable giving. Kirsty McEwen leads the team, whose expertise includes the use of private charitable foundations, corporate foundations and legacy giving. The group also acts for many established charitable and not-for-profit organisations, such as specialist faith organisations and non-denominational religious organisations, educational charities, sports bodies, and arts and heritage charities.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty McEwen

Other key lawyers:

Claire Hamlin


We are very pleased with the first-class service we have always received from Kirsty McEwen, Claire Hamlin and all the team at Higgs & Sons. They are not only very professional but also friendly and approachable‘.

Kirsty McEwen and Claire Hamlin are particularly supportive‘.

Key clients

The Mary Stevens Hospice

See Beyond Borders

British Glass Foundation

Fisher Frederick Pearson Charity

John Amphlett’s School Charity

Dudley Canal Trust

Margaret Westwood Memorial Charity

Alan Robert Laken Charitable Trust

Anthony and Gwendoline Wylde Memorial Charity

Rachel Baker Memorial Charity

Claude Ballard Southall Memorial Charity

Ken Wrigley Memorial Trust

Hilda Farr Charitable Trust

Michael Gardner Trust

The Joan Braithwaite Sailing Trust

Wollaston Free Church

Christadelphian Hall

Ian Addison Charitable Foundation

Severn Valley Railway Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Since 2017, the team has been advising on the complex reorganisation of Mary Stevens Hospice’s trading activities, in particular its retail units.
  • The team is assisting British Glass Foundation with the complex project work involved in the transfer of the undertaking of the museum service at Broadfield Glass Museum to the client.
  • The team advised Fisher Frederick Pearson Charity on bringing its governing documents up to date with the Charities Act 2011, and on governance best practice and prepared the documents that were required to formalise the change, including minutes and resolutions.
  • Instructed by John Amphlett’s School Charity to advise on the complexities of incorporating the unincorporated Trust to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation) structure.
  • Providing ongoing strategic advice to Dudley Canal and Tunnel Trust Limited on constitutional, governance and regulatory matters in respect of the merger of two existing charitable organisations.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP is well-known for providing specialist charity law advice to universities, as well as assisting commercial clients with the establishment of corporate foundations. It also acts for major insurance companies on their entering into ‘affinity’ arrangements with charities, and also generates work from local government charities. Legal director Chris Thomas is the name to note.

Practice head(s):

Chris Thomas

Key clients

London School of Economics

University of Sheffield

University of Leeds

Sheffield Hallam University

University of Surrey

Coventry University

University of Edinburgh

University of Huddersfield

University of New South Wales

University College London


Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advice to a university and exempt charity on restructuring of relationship with subsidiary company which operated a university sports park.
  • Advice to a university and exempt charity on difficult and sensitive charity law issues arising from terms of a gift and request by donor for its return.
  • Advice to a university client on the establishment of a new vehicle to operate and expand its law clinic.
  • Advice to a university and exempt charity on the governance and charity law issues arising from proposed monetisation of royalties.