I have a broad practice covering general charity law and governance matters. I have a particular focus on dealing with technical charity law issues and structures.
I am often called on to help charities with more complex structures, such as charities governed by Royal Charter, Act of Parliament or scheme or charities with tricky property-holding structures. I also regularly advise on charitable trusts, restricted funds and endowments, including setting up new endowments and releasing out of date funds.
I co-lead Bates Wells’ Charity Legacies group. We give practical guidance to clients on all aspects of legacies from fundraising and administration through to legacy disputes.
I am also a member of our philanthropy group.
- Merger of seven charities I successfully assisted a group of charities established by a Victorian philanthropist, which were operated together but remained legally separate, with a governance review and subsequent modernisation by merging and re-structuring into a charitable incorporated organisation.
- Governance I regularly advice on governance issues. I recently assisted a professional membership body with a review of its governing documents which had become extremely out of date. I am currently assisting a large charity with its key policies including conflicts and investment among other things.
- Amending Royal Charters I have been working with a number of charities established by royal charter to amend their charters and byelaws to bring them up to date.
- Establishing endowment fund I have been helping a school charity to establish an expendable endowment fund to raise funds for the long-term future of the charity.
- Unlocking restricted funds and endowments I have been helping a school charity to establish an expendable endowment fund to raise funds for the long-term future of the charity.
- Charity governed by Act of Parliament I work with a number of charities governed by Act of Parliament. For example, we are currently assisting a charity governed by Act of Parliament in relation to the interpretation of its statutory provisions and are helping another in relation to its associated charities.
- Major gifts I regularly advise on major gifts. I am currently assisting a charity with model documentation for donations towards its capital project and am helping a University with a number of significant donations for scholarships and educational programmes.
- Legacies I support many charities in relation to legacies, from legacy fundraising and administration issues through to dealing with difficult legacies. A recent interesting matter related to the validity of a legacy for maintenance of a grave of the donor’s family member.
- Charities Act 2022 I was a member of the Charity Law Association’s working party on the Law Commission’s paper on “Technical Issues in Charity Law” and led on Bates Wells’ own submission to the Law Commission as well as appearing before the House of Lords’ committee considering the draft Charities Bill. I have led on the firm’s training and updates on the Charities Act 2022, including providing training for clients.
- I contributed to The Charities Acts Handbook: A Practical Guide on trusts and endowment