Bates Wells Briefing for Charities & Social Enterprises | 24 March

Bates Wells highlights

Charities, Social Enterprise

We are reporting all coronavirus related news and developments in our separate Coronavirus Briefing.  Please do look out for that later today.

And you can sign up here for a webinar on “Coronavirus and your Charity – key legal issues to consider” which is taking place tomorrow (Wednesday 25th March). In the webinar we discuss the range of legal questions that have emerged for charities across the sector as the coronavirus situation has escalated. 

At a glance

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is increasing some of the monetary limits for large society lotteries from 7 April 2020. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a policy paper, Planning for the Future, which sets out how the government proposes to rebuild a home-owning Britain and ensure security for those people who do not own their own houses.

Charity Commission

DCMS reviewing Charity Commission

NCVO, ACEVO and the Small Charities Coalition have submitted evidence to DCMS.  Civil Society Media summarises the key points here

Inquiry reports

The commission has published an inquiry report into Chabad UK (1118547) and seven linked charities and says it is considering its options around the recovery of charity funds. Two trustees have been removed and disqualified from their positions, and the manager of the charities automatically disqualified, after he was convicted of laundering money through the charities from the sale of counterfeit medication, and supplying false information to the commission. See also commission press release.

The commission has also published an inquiry report into Jewish Seminary for Girls (526143) (and see commission press release. Two trustees were disqualified after the inquiry found that the charity had loaned nearly half a million pounds to a former trustee’s company, with no repayments in place.

IM appointment

The Charity Commission has announced that it has appointed interim managers of Sikh Channel Community Broadcasting Company Limited (1136163). The IMs will act in the administration and management of the charity to the exclusion of the trustees.

Data protection

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a policy paper and documents that are intended to help secure an adequacy decision from the European Commission (EC) and ensure the continued free flow of personal data between the EU and UK and Gibraltar, following the UK’s exit from the EU and the end of the UK-EU transition period (transition period).



The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has made the Gambling Act 2005 (Variation of Monetary Limits) Order 2020 (SI 2020/307). This implements the government’s policy as set out in its response to its consultation on whether to increase the amount of money that society lotteries, such as those run by charities and sports clubs, can raise for good causes, while protecting the National Lottery’s fundraising activities. The Order does not provide for any increase in the limits applicable to small society lotteries. For large society lotteries (which are regulated by the Gambling Commission), the Order makes the various amendments to section 99 of the Gambling Act 2005. The context is that, in issuing a lottery-operating licence to a non-commercial society or to a local authority, the Gambling Commission must attach various conditions, including limits to the value of per-draw sales limits, per-draw prize limits, and annual sales limits. Once the new Order is effective, the following limits will apply to:

  • Proceeds. The proceeds of any lottery promoted in reliance on the licence may not exceed £5,000,000 (raised from £4,000,000) (section 99 (3) (a)).
  • Prizes. As a result, the maximum prize limit will increase from £400,000 to £500,000, due to the existing rule that a prize cannot exceed 10% of per-draw sales (section 99 (4)).
  • Annual sales. For annual sales, the current limit of £10 million is raised to £50 million (section 99(3) (b)), with transitional provisions giving licence-holders the benefit of the increase in the year of implementation on a pro-rata basis.

As previously reported, once the government has gauged the impact of the initial £50 million limit, it intends to consult on introducing a second-tier gambling licence to allow for an annual £100 million limit, and will gather views on any additional licensing conditions that should be attached to this.

The new Order comes into force on the 21st day after the day on which it was made, that is, on 7 April 2020.


The NHS Funding Bill 2019-21 has received Royal Assent to become the NHS Funding Act 2020.  It applies to England and Wales. The Act:

  • Requires HM Treasury to ensure the annual supply estimates for its NHS budget cannot be reduced, creating a legal exception in order to protect frontline NHS funding.
  • Places a legal duty on the government to guarantee a minimum level of spending every year, rising to £148.5 billion by 2024.

The Act expires at the end of 31 March 2024.

Social finance

Is your charity’s money where your mouth is? Writing for Civil Society Media, Jay Kennedy from Directory of Social Change comments on the Charity Commission’s consultation on investments.

In this blog on Civil Society Media, the Head of Charities at Barclays Private Bank, Terry Gyorffy argues that ‘Charities should check whether their investments are being greenwashed’.

Why the right investment terms are essential for healthy social ventures. In this blog, John Berger, director of operations and impact solutions at Toniic, writes for Pioneers Post about alternative investment structures available to social entrepreneurs, to help mitigate tensions between creating impact and the drivers of traditional investment.


The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has published a policy paper, Planning for the Future, which sets out how the government proposes to rebuild a home-owning Britain and ensure security for those people who do not own their own houses. The government was also due to publish its Planning White Paper which will modernise the planning system, and a Renters’ Reform Bill aimed at providing stability for those who rent their homes – but these may be delayed due to coronavirus.

Culture and creative

The Nesta Arts & Culture Impact Fund is a £20 million impact investment fund for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage social enterprises. The fund offers loans between £150,000 and £1 million repayable over a period of up to ten years.   

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 March 24, 2020.