Charities and not-for-profit in West Midlands

Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP

The charities team at Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP is particularly known for its faith-based charities work as well as its national and international charity work with a key focus on social care charities. It has also developed substantial expertise in assisting with the financing of charities through advising on grants, social investment and secured lending structures and now acts for a considerable number of ethical lending banks. The firm has also expanded its work with the Charity Commission. John Wearing was appointed to the Charity Commission's list of approved interim managers, joining Phil Watts, Edwina Turner and Sarah Tomlinson (all of whom were appointed as interim managers by the Charity Commission previously). Dominic Curran heads the large team that also includes Anna Dabek, who advises charities on a wide range of complex employment law issues.

Practice head(s):

Dominic Curran


The whole team is outstanding. Edwina Turner is technically superb, immensely experienced and has excellent client handling skills – she is a real person of integrity. Phil Watts is also outstanding‘.

It has a deep knowledge of the social care market. John Wearing is dependable and brings a lot of experience‘.

‘Every member of the team has always delivered, on time and with high-quality work. The lawyers know their stuff and I can rely on their advice 100%, which really helps my organisation to be less exposed than it otherwise would be. Each team member has also been really good at explaining concepts of law and answering my questions in plain English which really helps me to do my job advising funders and our board properly‘.

All very responsive and give helpful and pragmatic advice that is suited to our organisation’s needs as a small charity.

Dominic Curran is highly responsive, especially in a crisis. What makes Dom stand out is that he always delivers sage, pragmatic advice and I’m much clearer on what to do after speaking to him‘.

Key clients



Ada (The National College for Digital Skills)

Charity Commission

Thera Trust

Methodist Church of Great Britain


The Salvation Army Trustee Company

Birmingham Hippodrome

Work highlights

  • Advised on registering a charity that puts those with a learning disability at the heart of its leadership, and pushes the boundaries of what the Charity Commission will allow regarding payment of trustees and links to a parent charity.
  • Advising Gideons on a restructure that was resisted by a connected organisation in another jurisdiction.
  • Advising on Mind’s largest commercial participation agreement to date with the Co-operative Group.
  • Continuing to advise Barnardo’s on its exciting new business partnership with fellow adoption charity Adoption Plus.
  • A team of lawyers at the firm is currently advising the Methodist Church of Great Britain on the trusts, governance and development opportunities at Methodist Church House in Marylebone, London.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP has a strong national offering that supports charities at every stage of their journey, from establishment through to support on complex HR issues and the protection of intellectual property and data. It has developed considerable strength in various sectors such as health, sport and religious charities as well as education and research organisations and livery companies. Other strengths include advising on philanthropy and legacy issues. Nationally it has a number of dedicated lawyers who work exclusively for charities and social enterprises, with Cambridge-based Neil Burton at the helm. Locally associate Adam Williams leads the charities practice and also supports charities outside the Midlands including a number of universities and colleges. Williams is recommended for his charity governance/regulatory advice in particular. Lucy Howard is a known name for her work on contested legacies, advising charities on the validity of their will provisions and acting on their behalf when claims are pursued under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975.

Practice head(s):

Neil Burton

Other key lawyers:

Adam Williams; Lucy Howard


Adam Williams has been extremely personable, showing a great interest in understanding our charity and how we work, so that he was best able to give us advice to meet our exact needs‘.


VWV fields a large team of sector specialist lawyers who advise more than 1,000 charities of all types and sizes including some leading national charities. It also acts for a substantial number of charitable independent schools and has a thriving academies practice in addition to a specialism in further and higher education. Head of team Shivaji Shiva continues to deal with complex charity proceedings involving diverse faith communities and the team has won a number of significant instructions recently from major Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Christian charities. Shiva has been busy across the region and nationally working with federated charities as well as charities promoting sport and physical activity. The team advises the wider charity sector too with a particular specialism in advising healthcare, arts and educational charities. It is also recommended for its work at advising public sector bodies such as local authorities on charity law and charity trusteeship. Jaime Hobday is another key member of the charities team. Hobday is a senior associate who has a particular focus on the education sector working for maintained schools and academies.

Other key lawyers:

Jaime Hobday


Shivaji Shiva is exceptionally good, is very invested and passionate about his work and is a talented and knowledgeable lawyer‘.

Shivaji Shiva is outstanding‘.

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

Evolve Academy Trust

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

Solihull School

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

  • Advising the founders of Cycling Without Age UK on the establishment of a new UK-wide charitable federation.
  • Advised the trustees of Malvern Hills Trust on their duties in the context of a complex relationship between the charity and several local authorities.
  • Advised several major faith charities including gurdwaras, mosques and temples on the resolution of complex internal disputes.
  • Continuing to work with Central England Area Quaker Meeting Charities on various matters – this charity has a large property portfolio in and around Birmingham and comprises several constituent charities.
  • Advised The Grantham Yorke Trust on a charity governance review including preparing resolutions to amend the trust’s governing document and now continues to provide the trust with ongoing advice on other matters.

Higgs LLP

Higgs & Sons continues to act for many established charitable and not-for-profit organisations specialising in advising faith organisations and non-denominational religious organisations. The skilled team is also sought after by educational charities, sports bodies as well as arts and heritage charities. Philanthropy continues to be a large part of its work and it advises private and corporate clients on how best to structure their charitable giving whether through the use of private charitable foundations, corporate foundations or legacy giving. Under the leadership of Kirsty McEwen the practice advises on a broad array of matters from the formation and registration of charitable and non-for-profit entities through to constitutional advice and the dissolution and winding up of these entities. Associate Ellie Williams is another name to note.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty McEwen

Other key lawyers:

Ellie Williams

Key clients

Breaking the Silence (BTSUK)

International Society for Trenchless Technology

West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund

Birmingham Dogs Home

Churches Housing Association of Dudley (CHADD)

South Birmingham Friends Institute Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising Birmingham Dogs Home on various matters.
  • Advised West Midlands Police Benevolent Fund on the registration of an existing company limited by guarantee as a charity.
  • Instructed by Breaking the Silence to advise on the process of registering an existing company limited by guarantee as a charity.
  • Instructed by International Society for Trenchless Technology  to thoroughly review and update its articles of association.
  • Instructed by Churches Housing Association of Dudley to provide safeguarding training to the trustees at its offices.

Lodders Solicitors LLP

Lodders Solicitors LLP acts for numerous high-profile regional charities as well as more discreet charitable trusts. It also advises 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. It is also adept at handling complex restructuring and reorganisations of these bodies. The team is skilled too at helping its charity clients on setting up companies. Head of department Mark Lewis has helped in the conversion of charitable companies and community interest companies to charitable incorporated organisations. Lewis also has specific expertise in ecclesiastical, agricultural, equine and engineering charities as well as membership bodies and breed societies. Steven Baker is another prominent member of the team and assists numerous regional and educational charities with their property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lewis

Other key lawyers:

Steven Baker


Mark Lewis is experienced and has excellent client handling skills‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting for a club in relation to its incorporation as a charitable company limited by guarantee, including drafting its new constitution.
  • Acting for a major not-for-profit national sporting body for over 20 years.
  • Continuing to act for a well-respected regional charity that is now expanding its work into the West Midlands and the Black Country.
  • Advised on the incorporation of an ancient charity as a charitable incorporated organisation in accordance with modern charity law practice.
  • Advising a charity that supports the clergy, including providing regular trustee training and amendments to its constitution.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

The charities and not-for-profit team at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is best known for its wide-ranging work in the social housing and education sectors. The team acts for a number of noteworthy educational charitable bodies. It is also adept at advising charities on legacies as well as on corporate and governance issues. Leicester-based Andrew Wilkinson heads the team. Anne Tromans heads the private client team and acts for a number of charities advising both on their initial establishment and on their ongoing administration. In addition Tromans regularly acts as a professional trustee and provides advice to lay trustees on their reporting obligations and their trustee duties. Rachel Gwynne leads the social housing team and routinely advises social housing clients on various charity law matters.

Other key lawyers:

Anne Tromans; Rachel Gwynne


The team is a national team and has an increasing reputation for acting for national charities‘.

Key clients

St Martins’ Trust

Diocese of Birmingham

The ExtraCare Charitable Trust

Work highlights

  • Advising the Diocese of Birmingham on various employment, safeguarding, property matters and other general queries.
  • Advising Staffordshire University on the redevelopment of its campus, specifically the Catalyst Building.
  • Running the day-to-day administration of St Martin’s Trust and Lesley Davis acts as clerk to the trustee.
  • Worked with the Stonewater Group to implement an innovative employee-based shared ownership scheme which is helping eligible employees get onto the housing ladder by buying a home on the open market.
  • Supported Stafford and Rural Homes in the expansion of its property portfolio by acquiring 154 homes in Doxey, Staffordshire from Clarion Housing Group in a tight timeframe (under three months).

Thursfields Solicitors

Thursfields Solicitors advises on a broad spectrum of issues from the establishment of new charities to mergers, property trusts and governance. The group has also been busy advising on various aspects of charity regulation. It frequently advises too on legacy disputes and other issues such as commercial property and employment matters. The practice has established a full-service retainer with a number of charities and not-for-profit organisations in the West Midlands and during the last year has expanded its reach to include charities working in other parts of the country from the West of England to Montgomeryshire. Head of team is the experienced Jenny Smith. Katherine Ellis  is another name to note who has particular expertise in legacy administration and management.

Practice head(s):

Jenny Smith

Other key lawyers:

Katherine Ellis


Jenny Smith’s help has made a complicated matter simpler especially for lay people. She has made a site visit and met the clients in person, establishing an excellent relationship and demonstrating expertise‘.

The team provides the specialist expertise in all the legal services our charity requires and we have prompt and convenient access to advice at all times‘.

Key clients

Birmingham Botanical Gardens

West of England Baptist Association

Sight Concern

Worcester Gymnastics Club

NEW College Worcester

The Egyptian Orthodox Church for the Midlands

Steps to Work (Walsall)

Work highlights

  • Has a general retainer with the Egyptian Orthodox Church for the Midlands in relation to property and operational matters.
  • Has a general retainer with Sight Concern Worcestershire.
  • Has a general retainer with Worcester Gymnastics Club to advise this long-standing not-for-profit organisation as it moves to new purpose-built premises.

Band Hatton Button LLP

Band Hatton Button LLP’s client base covers charities of a wide range of sizes and structures and the team advises these charities on the full array of legal issues. The group primarily advises charities in the education and training sector as well as those in the arts, culture and religious sectors. The practice regularly advises on constitutional, governance and compliance issues as well as on the formation and incorporation of charities. Several of the firm’s partners are governors at local educational establishments. Led by Haydn Jones the group draws on the firm's cross-practice expertise in dealing with employment, property and other contentious matters for its clients. Daniel Blood is another name to note and assists a number of charities and family trusts with their property portfolios.

Practice head(s):

Haydn Jones

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Blood

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

Browne Jacobson LLP

Browne Jacobson LLP covers the full range of matters. Recently it has increasingly been focusing on governance issues and on the establishment of family and corporate foundations. The team operates nationally with Catherine Rustomji at the helm. Rustomji advises charities, not-for-profit organisations, social enterprises, charity trustees and individuals wishing to establish charities. She operates across the health, education, arts, public and private sectors. Rustomji advises organisations, community groups, schools, colleges, churches, welfare and professional associations. Clare Auty has specialist knowledge of trading charities in the health and social care sector.

Other key lawyers:

Clare Auty

Key clients

Baron Davenport

John Taylor Hospice

National Trust


Performances Birmingham Ltd


York Archaeological Trust

Society of Dyers and Colourists

Age UK Staffordshire

Sir Francis Nethersole’s School Foundation

Work highlights

  • Following a competitive tender the team was appointed as the sole legal adviser to York Archaeological Trust in Autumn 2018; it currently advises on governance and employment matters.
  • Continuing to act as advisers to Baron Davenport’s Charity –  recent advice has related to legal structures and governance matters.
  • Advised John Taylor Hospice on charity law and other matters including governance issues, property and commercial advice.
  • Has advised The National Trust in relation to a broad range of commercial matters for over ten years.
  • Advising GUTS UK on various matters such as commercial agreements and intellectual property issues.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has a particular specialism in advising on charity law for universities. It advises across the full range of charity and associated tax issues such as governance and gift acceptance. Other key clients include major insurance companies seeking to enter into ‘affinity’ or similar arrangements with charities and local councils that require advice on the establishment and management of charities. The team has also been busy advising on the establishment of corporate foundations for its commercial clients. Chris Thomas heads the team and has built up a substantial amount of sectoral knowledge in the education sector in particular.

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 the Arts London

Queens University Belfast


University College London

City, University of London

Allianz plc

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Work highlights

  • Advised a university on a number of issues including whether a gift established a distinct charitable trust or was simply made under contract.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP advises charities and not-for-profit clients on various matters such as constitutional, commercial, regulatory and contractual issues. It is also recommended for its work on the creation of charitable trusts and legacy disputes. Consultant Keith Ainsworth is a key contact and has a particular focus on corporate and governance issues. Ainsworth is also adept at advising on charity finance and on dealings with the Charity Commission.

Other key lawyers:

Keith Ainsworth