BWB and Bond present: Working Overseas in High-risk Situations

BWB and Bond would like to invite you to a workshop on common issues faced by charities, NGOs and other development organisations when operating projects abroad, with a particular focus on conflict zones and other high risk situations.

Dates & Times

December 12, 2013 @ 12:00 am

Please click here to book via Eventbrite.

Running aid and development projects in high risk countries involves a complex web of persons and organisations and presents particular challenges for NGOs with limited capacity. With experts from the legal, accountancy and charity sectors, this workshop will highlight the key legal and financial issues trustees, support and programmes staff should consider when their organisations operate overseas, including:

Funds and Governance

  • The Charity Commission’s expectations in relation to due diligence, monitoring and end use of funds;
  • HMRC requirements for overseas funding by charities;
  • How to manage and mitigate risks;
  • Counter-terrorism legislation (including proscribed and designated lists)
  • Anti-bribery legislation and its impact on charities working overseas.


Duties of care for different persons, such as employees, volunteers, trustees, third party contractors and consultants, journalists, celebrity ambassadors and other supporters, and the relationships with local offices and partner NGOs;
Practical considerations for NGOs’ including pre-travel planning, dealing with issues that arise during the project, and post project debriefing.

Case study

The session will also feature a case study from Oxfam based on their recent experiences operating in Syria with a panel discussion covering key issues faced by organisations from a practical perspective.


Augustus Della-Porta, Associate, BWB: Gus regularly advises charities that operate internationally on a wide range of legal issues including counter terrorism law, and has a particular focus on organisations operating in and around Syria and the Middle East more widely. He has previously lived and worked in Palestine and Syria and speaks Arabic.

Sarah Bull, Senior Associate, BWB: Sarah specialises in employment law and regularly advises international charities on a number of issues including contracts with peripatetic staff, and their duties to employees posted overseas. Sarah is a trustee of a charity which operates internationally.

Matthew Orme, Solicitor, BWB: Matthew regularly advises on health and safety law and organisations’ duty of care in a very wide range of circumstances, including high risk overseas activities. He previously worked in public sector management.

Lin Ashby, Outreach Officer, Charity Commission: Lin Ashby came to the Charity Commission in 2008 after 28 years in the voluntary sector. Bringing a valuable insight from the sector into the Commission, she became part of the Collaborative Working and Merger Unit and worked on many big mergers, such as that which became Age UK. After re-structuring at the Commission, Lin worked as part of the Specialist Casework section which specialised in Educational, Accommodation, and Armed Forces charities. Now working in the Outreach Team Lin has worked with faith and international charities – facilitating workshops on good governance, due diligence and monitoring the delivery of charity work abroad.

Noelia Serrano, Senior Audit Manager, Sayer Vincent: Noelia qualified as a chartered accountant with Sayer Vincent and has a Diploma in Charity Accounting awarded by the ICAEW and Cass Business School. Noelia manages a variety of audit clients who have wide-ranging activities. These include UNICEF UK, Disasters Emergency Committee, Minority Rights Group, Toybox Charity, Anti-Slavery International and Medical Aid for Palestinians.


£30pp (excl. VAT) for Bond members; £50pp (excl. VAT) for all other organisations