Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 3 April

The Commission has published its long awaited new guidance for charities connected with a non-charity. See here for commentary from Bates Wells’ Partner Simon Steeden, and to sign up for a Bates Wells’ seminar exploring the practical implications for charities.

Charities, Social Enterprise

The BWB Briefing takes a break next week and will return the week of 15th April.

At a glance

The Fundraising Regulator has published a report about complaints received about fundraising in 2017/18.

Big Society Capital has launched a new research report for investors “Maximising your Philanthropy – a Guide to Social impact investing and Donor Advised Funds.

A Kent pensions company which relied on ‘misleading’ professional advice has been fined £40,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office.

Charity Commission

Guidance for charities connected with a non-charity

The Commission has published its long awaited new guidance for charities connected with a non-charity. See here for commentary from Bates Wells’ Partner Simon Steeden. Simon has also been quoted on this topic in this Civil Society article. Bates Wells intends to organise a seminar to discuss the new guidance and its implications. Please contact Simon Steeden at [email protected] if you would be interested in attending.

Inquiry report

The commission has published its inquiry report into Relief for Distressed Children and Young People (1103969). The charity (now dissolved and removed from the Register) was a trust with objects relating to the relief of poverty, sickness and distress, in particular relating to citizens of Iraq. The inquiry found that $5.5m of expenditure in 2005/6 had been passed to non-charitable organisations or friends and family of the trustees, which was a misapplication of charity funds. There was immediately repayment of these funds by the trustees when the inquiry was told about this. An Interim Manager was appointed to take over management and administration of the charity and to deal with potential tax liabilities discovered as a result of the sale of commercial properties by the trustees. Action was taken against the former trustees for costs incurred as a result of misconduct and mismanagement and a financial settlement was reached and paid to the charity. The IM awarded grants totalling £13m to other charities in furtherance of the charity’s purposes before the charity was dissolved. The three trustees were suspended; the Chair was subsequently removed and is now disqualified from being a trustee or holding a senior management position in a charity.

Trustee names on the Register of Charities

The commission has postponed displaying all legal trustee names on the Register of Charities (unless a dispensation is granted) until 1 September (this was previously going to happen at the end of March). The guidance on updating your charity details has been amended accordingly.

Charity Commission investment guidance

We have reported previously on Bates Wells’ support for a coalition seeking a reference to the First Tier Charity Tribunal to clarify trustee investment duties in the light of climate change. Bates Wells’ Partner Luke Fletcher comments in this Civil Society Media article on the Charity Commission’s response to the coalition so far.

Charity law cases

A new appeal has been brought in the First Tier Charity Tribunal by Samson Ochieng (no details given).


Data protection

The Information Commissioners Office has launched a new podcast which discusses data protection in the event if a no-deal Brexit.


The government has published new guidance for students on continuing their study overseas, and the status of their financial preparations if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.


The NHS confederation has:

  • updated their ‘Brexit latest updates’ information including a piece on the National Supply Distribution Response for Brexit. Professor Keith Willet’s letter reminds patients and organisations that there are already systems and processes in place for supply disruption and that people should continue to use these in the event of any supply issues during the uncertain periods. His letter includes information on how to receive vaccines, medicines and organs in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Please see his full letter here.
  • released a brief summary on how to ‘prepare your organisation for a no-deal Brexit’. This summary includes advice on staffing issues within the NHS and how to deal with patient data should the UK leave the EU without a deal and the effects of GDPR. Please see the full summary here.

The Department of Health and Social Care are continuing to plan for a no-deal Brexit and state that everyone within the sector should continue with their plans with the view that there will be a no-deal Brexit. Please see the link here for an update on this from the NHS confederation.

The government has published this reading list for the general debate on the effect of leaving the EU on the UK’s health and social care sector.

Local government

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government has published:

1) Guidance for local authorities on community engagement in the lead up to Brexit and beyond. The guidance focuses on:

  • Effective community engagement and the role of local leaders in “generating trust”.
  • How to support the EU Settlement Scheme, which enables resident EU citizens and their families to obtain UK immigration status and remain in the UK permanently post-Brexit.
  • Tackling hate crime and preparing for any raised tensions, particularly in areas with large minority groups. The guidance also highlights the need for authorities to ensure that they are able to respond to incidents in their communities, such as through their roles on local resilience forums.

2) Guidance for local housing authorities on the rights of EEA nationals in the UK to access social housing and homelessness assistance in the event of a no-deal scenario. The guidance confirms that:

  • The rights and status of EEA nationals and their family members who are living in the UK by 29 March 2019 will remain the same and they will be eligible for assistance on the same terms as they are currently.
  • The position regarding EEA nationals arriving in the UK after 29 March 2019 is still being considered, however, any approach will be in line with the Home Office’s future immigration system.

Company law

Here is a list of the Companies House forms that will change if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Data protection

See under Brexit above.

ICO fines

A Kent pensions company which relied on ‘misleading’ professional advice has been fined £40,000 by the Information Commissioner’s Office for being responsible for sending nearly two million direct marketing emails without consent. The ICO found that Grove Pensions Solutions Ltd had instructed a marketing agent to use third party email providers to carry out hosted marketing campaigns that advertised the company’s services. The company had sought specialist advice from a data protection consultancy as well as independent legal advice about the use of hosted marketing. However, the advice proved to be inaccurate and the ICO found that the marketing activity fell foul of the regulations.

Data and advertising

The Committee on Advertising Practice has changed two parts of the CAP Code, relating to:

  • the age at which consent to marketing can be given by children in the absence of consent from the holder of parental responsibility – rule 10.15; and
  • the lawful basis for publishing the personal data of prizewinners – rule 8.28.5.

This Regulatory statement sets out the new rules.


Fundraising Regulator

The FR has published a report about complaints received about fundraising in 2017-18. The most common Code breaches related to breach of the general principles, third-party fundraising and personal data. Of the 21,851 complaints received by the 58 charities spending the most on fundraising in the charity sector, door-to-door fundraising was the most complained about method, with addressed mail being the second most popular complaint.


See here for the latest round-up from the Bates Wells’ legacy team.

Online giving sites

As you’ve probably seen, Just Giving has abolished its 5% platform fee.


See under Brexit above.


See under Brexit above.

Social finance

Pioneers Post have published an impact finance round up, sharing news from Belu, Unity Trust Bank and CAF/Power to Change, as well as stories from outside the UK.

The latest round of funding from the Tampon Tax Fund focuses on initiatives for victims of domestic violence; 10 organisations have shared £15m, including UK Community Foundations, Homeless Link, Comic Relief, Hestia and Crisis UK.

Big Society Capital has launched a new research report for investors, Maximising your Philanthropy – a Guide to Social impact Investing and Donor Advised Funds, to help them understand how to maximise impact via social investment and DAFs.

A blog by TI Group for Access – The Foundation for Social Investment, breaking down its new report on the first two years of The Reach Fund, a grant programme that helps charities and social enterprises raise investment.

Local government

See under Brexit above.

Modern slavery

The team appointed by government to review the Modern Slavery Act has published two further reports – one about Independent Child Trafficking Advocates and the other on the legal application of the Act.

The government has put out a tender seeking an organisation to support it undertake an audit of compliance with section 54 of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 (MSA 2015). The placing of this tender comes after the government wrote to the chief executives of over 17,000 UK companies in October 2018 regarding their duty of compliance with the section 54 requirement and warning them that a list of non-compliant companies would be published following an audit of such statements.


OSCR has published details of its “Meet the Regulator” events this year.

OSCR is publicising SCVO’s Cyber Essentials Grants Scheme to enable third sector organisations to achieve Cyber Essentials Accreditation.

Stephen Lloyd Awards

LAST WEEK to apply! Applications are closing this Friday 5 April for the 2019 Stephen Lloyd Awards in search of entrants with an early stage project addressing a social problem in an innovative manner. Anyone with a unique idea with a vision for systemic change, are encouraged to apply before 5 April. The Awards provides emerging innovations with the vital encouragement needed to cultivate their ideas and spread their impact. Winners will receive funding of up to £20,000, along with valuable pro bono support from experts in the social enterprise sector.

For full details on the application process and how to apply, please visit or email Mona Rahman at [email protected].

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 April 3, 2019.