Bates Wells Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprises | 18 October 2017

Bates Wells Highlights

Charities, Social Enterprise

Next week is Charity Fraud Awareness week.  Bates Wells will be hosting a “Fighting charity fraud” event on Monday 30th October.  See here for details.

There will be no BWB Briefing next week – our next Briefing will be sent out the week beginning 30th October.

At a glance

The Charity Commission has issued a regulatory alert to military charities.

The government has published a Green Paper on internet safety strategy. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office has published a list of 12 steps to prepare for the Data Protection Bill. 

The Department of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office have published the terms of reference for an independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Several reports on Adult Social Care have been published, one by the Care Quality Commission and another by The Local Government Association.

Charity Commission

Military charities group case report and regulatory alert

The Commission has published a group regulatory case report following a proactive review into military charities. The review focused on two main issues:  safeguarding (of vulnerable veterans) and fundraising practices.  As a result of the review, one charity (Support the Heroes) is under statutory inquiry, the Commission is still engaged with the trustees of three other charities, one charity has ceased operating and another is in the process of closing down, two have had actions plans issued to them by the Commission and many of the others have received regulatory advice and guidance from the Commission.

The Commission issued an accompanying regulatory alert alongside the case report, providing advice to military charities, as well as a press release.

Regulatory case reports – individuals associated with terrorism

The Commission has published case reports for two regulatory cases involving individuals convicted of terrorism offences and whose actions were linked to charity. For more information see this press release.

The first case involved registered charity Shade (1149699) and individual, Syed Hoque, who was a volunteer for the charity and was convicted of offences under section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000. Mr Hoque had been given a letter of credential by the charity following which he travelled to Syria as part of a convoy, wearing t-shirts promoting the charity whilst there.  The charity issued the letter of credential and material belonging to the charity without conducting any due diligence on Mr Hoque nor establishing appropriate measures of control or monitoring for the activities that he was expected to perform on the Charity’s behalf. The Commission considered the naivety and action on the part of the trustees to be misconduct and/or mismanagement.

The second case involved a company called Helping Humanity (not registered as a charity, although there is a different charity now registered with that name). The organisation made repeated references to charitable funds on its website and on social media and said that it was awaiting registration as a charity. The case involved Mashoud Miah, who was convicted of offences under section 17 of the Terrorism Act 2000 in December 2016. During the criminal investigation, the police found documents relating to the organisation in Mr Miah’s possession, including meeting minutes and correspondence, which suggested he was closely involved in the organisation’s administration. Following the Commission’s intervention, the organisation’s directors ended its activities. The Commission actively monitored the directors’ actions in winding it up, including closing its bank account, and taking down its website.

Registration response times

The Commission has stated that the registration team is currently experiencing very high demand and response times are currently up to 12 weeks.

New inquiry

The Charity Commission has announced that it opened a statutory inquiry into Jole Rider Friends (1112914) on 5 September 2017 a charity with objects to advance education, in particular by providing or assisting in the provision of facilities and equipment at educational establishments in Africa.  The trustees failed to submit their charity’s annual accounts on time for the last two financial years.  The charity’s 2015 accounts contained an independent examiner’s report which highlighted concerns surrounding potentially unauthorised payments and the charity’s stock control. The Commission has opened a statutory inquiry to address regulatory concerns with regard to the administration, governance and management of the charity.


The Parker Review Committee has published its final report into the ethnic diversity of UK boards

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has published this case study of how it changed its recruitment practices to bring gender parity to its board.

Civil Society Futures

This ongoing initiative led by Julia Unwin is publicising some progress to date:

  • It has produced a draft map of 50 trends which will shape the next decade in England.


Government paper has been published comparing EU and UK positions on citizens’ rights.


Fundraising Regulator Code consultation

The IOF’s Daniel Fluskey has published this blog of initial thoughts on the consultation.  

Fundraising Regulator (FR) blog on “Lessons learned from Selling Barbara”

Last week we included a link to the Radio 4 programme “Selling Barbara”.  The FR has now published this blog referring to the programme and arguing that charities should be:

  • auditing the personal data they hold;
  • reviewing how and when they collected the data from individuals and what the individual was told at the time of collection; and
  • reviewing the basis that the charity may be using to justify contacting donors.

Also see under Northern Ireland below.



The Office of the Schools Adjudicator has published a decision notice relating to published admission numbers at Merton Infant School.

The Department of Education has announced the names of 32 academy leaders elected to help shape the future of schools in their local areas.

Health and social care

The government has:

  • Announced a new £15 million programme to help train one million people in “mental health first aid”.
  • Announced a £20 million improvement programme for children’s social care.

The Department of Health and the Prime Minister’s Office have published the terms of reference for an independent review of the Mental Health Act 1983.

The Local Government Association has published “Adult social care funding: State of the nation: October 2017”, a report on the funding of adult social care. The report examines the immediate outlook for social care funding and the actions that are required to secure the longer term sustainability of adult social care.

The Care Quality Commission has also published a report on the state of health care and adult social care in England 2016-17. 

And the Care Quality Commission has published a report on “The state of hospice services in England 2014 to 2017”. 

The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) has launched a survey seeking views from charities on how much they know about ways they can work with the NIHR and what they hope to achieve from collaborations. The results will be used to make it easier for charities to collaborate with NIHR research programmes, research schools and units, infrastructure and faculty on shared areas of interest. The survey closes on 7 December 2017.

Social finance

Pioneers Post reports on the annual impact report published by Social Investment Scotland. The 2017 Social Impact Report provides that over 1 million Scottish people have benefited from social investment over the past year. The report also highlights the social and economic impact for customers working across a range of sectors including the environment and mental health.

According to Pioneers Post, a new database developed by, Sphaera and ImpactSpace was launched at SOCAP17 in San Francisco. The aim of this is to help social entrepreneurs around the world find the support and finance they need to grow their businesses while providing valuable social enterprise and market trend data to impact accelerators and investors.

Seb Elsworth (chief executive of Access) writing for Third Sector shares that the process of securing a loan and managing repayments helps charities be disciplined and efficient alongside being focused on achieving social change. Additionally, this investment mindset if applied to philanthropy will help funders build strong resilient organisations by backing the ones with great potential and those which are already achieving impact.

On Big Society Capital’s blog, Joanna Heywood (Relationships Director at Big Society Capital) provides an overview of thoughts and experiences of speakers at the Social Investment Forum organised on 26 September 2017 by Sarasin & Partners, Big Society Capital and Cass Business School.  

See here for a Philanthropy Impact article about the social investment landscape in Asia.

Clubs (including sport)

The England and Wales High Court’s Chancery Division recently had to decide whether to distribute the assets of a now-defunct amateur tennis club among its known current members, or whether all members and former members also had a claim. The judge determined it was a matter for interpreting the rules of the club.  Being based in London, the club’s premises, acquired in 1927, now had significant value, and the trustees were granted an indemnity from the proceeds of sale in respect of legal costs and expenses (Hardy v Hoade, Re North Harrow Tennis Club 2017 EWHC 2476 Ch).

Also see under Governance above.


The government has published an internet safety strategy green paper and consultation. The strategy proposes, amongst other things, a new social media code of practice to tackle bullying, intimidating or humiliating online content, an annual internet safety transparency report to show progress on addressing abusive content and support for digital and tech start-ups on online safety. The consultation covers various aspects of online safety including transparency reporting and developing children’s digital literacy. The consultation closes at midday on 7 December 2017.


As you will have heard, the government has launched the ethnicity facts and figures website.

Data protection

See under Fundraising above.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published “Preparing for the law enforcement requirements (part 3) of the Data Protection Bill: 12 steps to take now”.  

Recent ICO fines include:

  • A Liverpool firm which made more than 100,000 nuisance calls has been fined £70,000.
  • Vanquis Bank Limited, based in Bradford, instigated a campaign to send 870,849 spam text messages and 620,000 spam emails to promote its credit cards. Both the emails and texts broke the law because the recipients had not consented to being sent such messages. Vanquis Bank has now been fined £75,000 by the ICO.
  • London company Xerpla has been fined £50,000 by the ICO. The firm sent nearly 1.26 million spam emails promoting products and services as far ranging as dog food, wine, competitions and boilers on behalf of other firms. Xerpla did not have the right consent needed from people to send the emails.


The European Commission has published a new public procurement initiative intended to ensure that procurements are carried out more efficiently and in a more innovative way. The overall aim of the initiative is that member states and stakeholders focus on the overall benefit to society of public procurements rather than solely considering the lowest priced tender.

Registration of trusts

HMRC has issued updated guidance on the registration of trusts under the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on the Payer) Regulations 2017.  You can download it from here.  It’s helpful, as it includes a specific section on charitable trusts which confirms the trustees of a charitable trust will not have to register with HMRC unless they incur a liability to pay any of the relevant UK taxes.  However, trustees of charitable trusts do need to  keep information about the trust and its so-called “beneficial owners” (including trustees and the settlor) to hand and may be required to disclose it in the context of certain business relationships, and to law enforcement agencies.


OSCR is recruiting two new board members.

Northern Ireland

The Fundraising Regulator is looking for a board member for Northern Ireland.

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Disclaimer – The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of the website announcements made in the week up to last Friday which we think will be of interest to charities and social enterprises. The content is necessarily of a general nature – specific advice should always be sought for specific situations.

This information is necessarily of a general nature and doesn’t constitute legal advice. This is not a substitute for formal legal advice, given in the context of full information under an engagement with Bates Wells.

All content on this page is correct as of October 18, 2017.