Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 18 June

Bates Wells has worked in conjunction with the Institute of Fundraising and the Information Commissioner’s Office to produce an important guidance note which should be of help to all charities who may receive legacies. See today’s Briefing for details.

Charities, Social Enterprise

Bates Wells has responded to a recent HM Treasury consultation which proposes that all charitable trusts should register with the Trust Registration Service.

At a glance

The Charity Commission has launched a new online form for reporting a serious incident.

HMRC has published information about the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services that starts on 1 October 2019.

An unincorporated sports club has obtained an order requiring a company with the same name to change its name.

Charity Commission

New online form for serious incident reporting

The commission has launched its new online form for reporting a serious incident. The reporting guidance has been updated to include a link to the form and the previous email address has now been removed. The commission has also published a new privacy notice about its processing of personal data from the serious incident report form.

Inquiry reports

The Charity Commission has published the following in relation to the recently concluded inquiry into Oxfam GB:

The commission has also published an inquiry report into the Busoga Association (former registered charity 1081149). The CEO of the charity was disqualified from being a trustee or senior manager for a period of 10 years.


A sports club run as an unincorporated association (Marchwood Yacht Club) has successfully obtained an order from the Company Names Tribunal requiring a company called Marchwood Yacht Club Ltd to change its name. See here for the detailed decision.

Tax and VAT

See under General below.

HMRC has published information about the VAT domestic reverse charge for building and construction services that starts on 1 October 2019.


Labour has published its Civil Society strategy, “From paternalism to participation”. See here for comment from BOND. Charity Tax Group reports:

  • It promises a review of the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme to encourage more small-scale giving. CTG has been invited to meet members of the Labour team to discuss this and other tax issues currently affecting charities.
  • It confirms that the Labour Party will launch a review into social investment and particularly the role of Big Society Capital to ensure it is effectively supporting the sector, and review how it can do more to build social capital and incorporate models of community reinvestment in our poorest communities.

Data protection

See under Fundraising, Legacies below.

ICO fines

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a home security company £90,000 for making nuisance calls to people registered with the Telephone Preference Service (TPS).

Call for evidence for National Data Strategy

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has announced an open call for evidence for the government’s intended National Data Strategy (NDS). The stated aims of the NDS are that it will empower government and the economy through the use of data, and ensure public trust in its use. The call for evidence is structured according to three key areas: people, economy and government. The DCMS has set out objectives and several questions specific to each area. The DCMS has invited submissions on the following issues specific to data protection by 14 July:

  • Are organisations (private, public or third sector) using personal data in ways that may damage trust?
  • Do people know how information provided to, or inferred about them by, an organisation (private, public or third sector) is being used, stored and shared?
  • Are people aware of how to manage personal data about them? Do they know about tools to control access?
  • Have the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 made people more concerned about how personal data is managed? How has it influenced their behaviour?

The DCMS has stated that it will use the evidence it receives to formulate the draft NDS, which it will consult on later in 2019.


Fundraising Regulator

The FR’s latest newsletter includes the following about FR investigations:

  • if the FR decides to investigate an organisation, it will send a letter to the charity’s executive team and the Chair of Trustees asking for information. When the FR shares its final decision, it will also ask the Chair of Trustees to make sure the recommendations are acted on by the charity. (NB the FR has not updated the summary of its Complaints process to include this.)
  • In September, it will publish the first group of investigations in which it names the charities involved.


Bates Wells has worked in conjunction with the Institute of Fundraising and the Information Commissioner’s Office to produce an important guidance note which should be of help to all charities who may receive legacies. “Legacy Fundraising, Contested Wills, & Data Retention” helps charities and fundraisers navigate the tricky issues surrounding data protection and legacies, and provides helpful advice on how charities can appropriately record and retain personal data so that it can be accessed at a later date in the case of a contested Will. Hannah Lyons (one of the co-authors) comments: “We believe this advice can really make a difference. It can often be difficult for charities to reconcile their obligation under data protection law not to retain data, with their need to ensure they do not lose out in the event that a will is contested by demonstrating evidence of a longstanding relationship with the supporter. We believe this is the first guide to tackle this issue since GDPR came into effect and demonstrates how it may be possible to retain data lawfully, despite the common orthodoxy that it has to be deleted.”



The Department of Education has announced 22 new free schools have been approved to open, and a bid has been approved for a new faith school.

Higher education

Up to 2,500 people are to have the opportunity to retrain and become experts in data science and artificial intelligence (AI), due to a £13.5 million government investment to fund new degree and Masters conversion courses and scholarships at UK academic institutions over the next three years.

Also see under Sport below.

Health and social care

A new government campaign ‘Let’s Talk Loneliness’ brings together charities, organisations and businesses including The Marmalade Trust, the Co-op Foundation, the British Red Cross, the Campaign to End Loneliness, Mind, Public Health England and the Jo Cox Foundation to help people talk about their feelings. The government has also announced it is partnering with the Co-op Foundation to match-fund a new £1.6 million initiative that supports activity in community spaces to promote social connections.

The £5 million Carers Innovation Fund is to invest in innovative ways of supporting unpaid carers, outside of mainstream health and care services.

Social finance

Big Society Capital has released its Annual Review for 2018, revealing £90 million of new commitments were made over the year. Alongside other investors, BSC has also made £1.7 billion available for social enterprises and charities. The landing page for the report provides some commentary.

Shifting product: Making social impact investment better. Nesta’s reflections on what characterises useful social impact investment products.

Social value

The government consultation on placing greater emphasis on social value in procurement closed last week. See here for an article from Social Enterprise UK about how the changes could affect social enterprises. This Civil Society Media article reports charities think the proposals don’t go far enough. Bates Wells prepared a detailed response to the consultation which we will be sharing on our website shortly.

International development

See under General above.

BOND has published a blog “The Tory race to be PM: What does it mean for international development?

Faith based organisations

See above under Education.


See first item under Health and social care above.


See under Names above.

See this Department of Education press release about Arsenal FC helping school children learn and engage with modern foreign languages through its Double Club.

Company law

See under Names above.


Bates Wells has responded to HM Treasury’s consultation on the transposition of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive into UK law, particularly the proposed requirement for all charitable trusts to register with the Trust Registration Service.

Charity property

A recent High Court case held that a contract to dispose of charity property was not invalid because of a failure to include the statement required under the Charities Act 2011 s.122(2) where the information was in a draft transfer annexed to the contract. It could also not have been intended that a transaction which the trustees were satisfied had achieved the best price reasonably obtainable was unenforceable under the Pt 7 regime because a valuation report was obtained later than s.119(1) envisaged, or where the property had not been advertised and advice obviating the need to advertise had not been obtained. David Roberts Art Foundation Ltd v Riedweg [2019] EWHC 1358 (Ch) NB The judge held Bayoumi v Women’s Total Abstinence Educational Union Ltd [2003] EWCA Civ 1548, [2004] Ch. 46, [2003] 11 WLUK 105 could be distinguished because the trustees in that case had made no effort at all to comply with the statutory requirement.

Bates Wells’ Partner Jamie Huard comments “This decision highlights the importance of following the Charities Act requirements regarding the regarding the advice that must be obtained in trustee decision making for property transactions. It suggests courts will take an approach of assessing the purpose of the various requirements in sections 117-122, refusing to apply strict compliance to those elements that are more formulaic, such as the form of statements. However, if the charity had not been able to show it had actually taken steps to comply with the statutory advice requirements, the decision could have been very different.”


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 June 18, 2019.