Bates Wells’ latest Legacies outing

Thank you to everyone who attended our recent Legacies event on 24 June and helped to make the event such a wonderful success. ‘When to look a gift horse in the mouth: legacies and ethical and reputational risks revisited’ built on our headline session at the ILM conference in 2018 and looked at when charities might consider when choosing to reject or return a legacy for ethical and reputational reasons and when to involve the Charity Commission.

With charities facing ever increasing scrutiny of the gifts they receive, following the Presidents Club scandal and the Sackler Trust attention in the media, the session touched on a number of tricky but important issues. We were delighted to be joined by Rebecca Massey and Sianne Haldane from Cancer Research UK, and James Stebbings from MacMillan Cancer Support, who were able to provide us with some background on how their charities balance the considerations which apply to potentially controversial gifts.

We were also delighted to be joined by Kirsty Weakley of Civil Society who was able to give us a journalist’s perspective and some practical tips on how to ensure charities are prepared for any media attention which may arise.

Some of the key issues discussed at the event were:

  • when to carry out due diligence on donors when receiving legacies;
  • what a good gift acceptance policy should include;
  • key considerations when deciding whether to accept or reject a legacy;
  • how to refuse, reject or return a legacy;
  • documenting the decision making process;
  • the importance of protecting reputation and making sure charities are prepared with a positive PR response;

We had some wonderful feedback which we are very grateful for, with attendees describing the event as:

“Very informative, it was a good follow on from ILM 2018”

Very good – a lot of food for through particularly around policies which we may need to put in place”  

“Great to hear how other charities handle these issues and check our policies are sufficiently robust”

We hope that everyone who attended enjoyed the event. If you were unable to attend and would like a copy of the slides, please email Victoria.

Please do keep your eyes peeled for our next events and updates.

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 July 8, 2019.