Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 20 August

Bates Wells higlights

On Tuesday 3rd September we are hosting a workshop tackling how Special Category Data can be used lawfully. Now that the GDPR is in force, organisations have an even greater need to treat certain types of data under stricter requirements. If you use Special Category Data and are often faced with tricky questions on how to process it, make sure you book your place now!

The Briefing will take a break next week and return the week beginning 2nd September. Enjoy the Bank Holiday!

At a glance

The Information Commissioner’s Office has updated its guidance on subject access requests to clarify that the month deadline to respond now starts on the day of receipt of the request.

The Department of Health and Social Care is setting up a service to deliver urgent medicines and medical products into the UK within 1 to 4 days as part of Brexit preparations.

The International Development Secretary Alok Sharma has written to civil society organisations who work overseas to update them on the Government’s planning for Brexit.

Charity Commission

Inquiry reports

Name of charityBrief description  Anything unusual e.g. unusual facts or novel/rare use of Commission’s powers
Grangewood Independent School(803492)The charity operated an independent school in Newham; there was media coverage of protests by parents against the announcement that the school faced closure due to financial difficulties. The inquiry found that significant decisions, including to close the school, were taken by a sole trustee, when the quorum required three trustees. The sole trustee had also used charitable funds for personal benefit.An interim manager was appointed to keep the school open until the end of the academic year. New trustees were later appointed to run the charity and the school remains open.The commission accepted an undertaking from the sole trustee that he would not accept any charity trusteeships for a period of 10 years.
Future Vision Consortium (former registered charity 1152454)Originally part of the “double defaulter” class inquiry, the commission opened a separate inquiry when the charity’s accounts which were eventually submitted were for a seemingly-linked separate company called Future Vision Care which was not registered as a charity.The registered charity was removed from the register on the basis that it was not operating.The status of the separate company, including whether it should be registered as a charity, could not be determined as the single director did not co-operate with the inquiry and was no longer living in the UK.


Core costs – This academic paper argues Government should subsidise fixed costs, including core costs, for charities.


Charity General

NCVO have called for funding to help prepare charities for a no-deal Brexit. Chief Executive Sir Stuart Etherington has also made a case for a ‘resilient communities fund’ to particularly support community charities.

International development

The International Development Secretary Alok Sharma has written to civil society organisations who work overseas to update them on the Government’s planning for Brexit.

Health and Social Care

The Department of Health and Social Care is setting up a service to deliver urgent medicines and medical products into the UK within 1 to 4 days as part of Brexit preparations.

The Department of Health and Social Care has published Actions for adult social care providers to prepare for Brexit(guidance). The guidance recommends actions that adult social care providers should take before and after Brexit in order to plan for and manage any potential service disruption. It includes the DHSC’s statements on, among other aspects:

  • Medicines, medical devices and clinical consumables and non-clinical consumables, goods and services. 
  • Staffing, including staff who are EU citizens, and recognition of their professional qualifications
  • Data sharing, processing and access

The guidance includes sources of assistance and support should an adult social care provider have further queries, or encounter problems with, for example, medicine supply.

The Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee, Sarah Wollaston, spoke about the impact of a hard Brexit on the health care system. She also commented on the Stalking Protection Bill and how Brexit could delay this, which could endanger the lives and mental health of vulnerable individuals it seeks to protect.


A confidential five page document written by the DfE (obtained by the Guardian) has disclosed the danger to schools of a no deal Brexit. Extracts of the report can be viewed here but the report references the dangers of food shortages to schools, the potential closure of schools and the disruption of exams.


The Government have released guidance on meeting the climate change requirements in the event of a no-deal Brexit has been updated with confirmation that the Carbon Emissions Tax will apply from 4 November 2019.  The guidance details how the UK’s departure from the EU on 31 October 2019 without a deal would affect:

  • Climate change regulations;
  • Emission trading;
  • Energy using products;
  • Ecodesign and energy labelling.


On 8 August 2019, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published a guidance webpage on how merger control review and antitrust investigations would be affected by a no-deal Brexit.  

Data protection

Subject access requests

The Information Commissioner’s Office has updated its guidance following a recent case – the month deadline to respond to a subject access request now starts on the day of receipt of the request. Previously the ICO guidance said it started the day after receipt. 

GDPR and town and parish councils

The ICO has published this blog “Three top issues for town and parish councils“.



The Gambling Commission has launched a consultation on gambling with credit cards.  Its scope includes banning or restricting the use of credit cards for all forms of remote gambling including lotteries. The consultation closes on 6 November 2019.


New Philanthropy Capital has published “Is devolution the future of health and social care?

Social finance

The new discussion paper, Investing in the enablers of integrated local care, published by Social Finance aims to share insights from the organisation’s experience of investing in local care systems.

Through the Ofgem Energy Redress Scheme, Energy Saving Trust offers £10 Million in grant funding to charities to support energy related projects. The aim of the scheme is to increase support for energy consumers in vulnerable situations and to encourage the development of innovative products or services to provide benefits to consumers.  

Defining impact should not be an issue. Bonnie Landers of Bridges Fund Management writes for Philanthropy Impact Magazine, setting out the case for not defining ‘impact’ narrowly to allow room for the different values of different investors and philanthropists, and noting the work of the Impact Management Project on defining and measuring impact.

Northern Ireland

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has announced that it has opened a statutory inquiry into the Minnowburn Trust (NIC100824) which relates to the governance and administration of the charity.


Join NCVO and Bates Wells on 4 November as we explore what good governance looks like for modern charities. We’ll give you practical tips and guidance to help you develop in your role as a trustee and support your organisation’s governance.

To book your place click here.

Bates Wells BrandAware training for charities

A Charity’s brands – its names, logos and slogans – may be the most valuable things it owns. But is everyone in your organisation ‘BrandAware’? Do they understand how to look after these key assets?

We can offer your organisation brand awareness training by our sector-leading trade mark lawyers. Our training will explore key elements of legal brand awareness for charities and businesses.

Click here to find out more and register your interest with our Head of Trade Marks, Mathew Healey.

Disclaimer – The information contained in this update is not intended to be a comprehensive update – it is our selection of the website announcements 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 August 20, 2019.