Samaritans’ branch restructure

We took on a large project with Samaritans.

Charities, Not For Profit

It had around 200 branches which were all unincorporated separate charities. The trustees wanted to restructure this to allow the branches to either merge into the main charity, or to incorporate as separate but affiliated CIOs. This was to help the local trustees with the risks of managing unincorporated associations and to create greater cohesion across the organisation. It was a huge undertaking and after assisting with a pilot, we then oversaw the transfers in three stages. We helped with branch consultations, model documents and project managing the different strands. We also liaised extensively with the Charity Commission to secure consents and make sure the different registrations were made at the right time.

We’re lucky to have a large team of charity specialist lawyers here, so we were able to place the right size of team to work on this exclusively and ensure the project ran smoothly.

The project has been a great success for Samaritans. Bates Wells provided valued support on a range of matters including governance structures & documentation, due diligence and legal transfers. The structural changes have placed us in a strong place for developing and implementing organisation-wide strategic changes, managing risk and ultimately achieving our vision that few people die by suicide.

Andrew Robarts, Head of Governance, Samaritans