In my experience, charities need their lawyers to see the bigger picture as well as having specialist knowledge.

Many of the clients I advise value a combination of skills including – understanding the aims of trustees and senior management; interpreting the requirements of regulators (including the Charity Commission,  the Fundraising Regulator and the Information Commissioner) as well as government departments such as DfID and DCMS; advising on and negotiating with partners and third parties (whether on grant agreements, service contracts, or mergers), and how to navigate through charity law – from establishing an organisation with (often novel) charitable objects, through to minor or fundamental constitutional or governance changes.

  • Charity Commission interventions Whilst the specifics of clients are confidential, I have had detailed and intensive experience of aggressive Charity Commission investigations and other regulatory intervention in relation to governance, safeguarding, fundraising, reputational issues and serious incident reporting. Sometimes it is necessary to push back firmly. At other times that is not at all the right approach!
  • Sightsavers funding and collaboration agreements I have advised Sightsavers for more than a decade, during which time they have moved from a turnover in the mid tens of millions, to a turnover of over £300m. I have recently advised on a single contract with DfiD for nearly £100m, with multiple dimensions, including the subcontract with partner organisations, and documentation of the relationship with overseas governments.
  • Brexit One of the sad consequences of Brexit is the loss to the UK of outward facing internationalist organisations. Some of the fantastic clients, which I helped establish in the UK such as European Council on Foreign Relations and International NGO Safety Organisation (INSO) have chosen to make this move and have sought my advice.
  • Open Society Foundation general legal advice I am proud to have been external counsel for 12 years for this international foundation established and funded by financier-philanthropist George Soros.
  • Advice to the Royal Albert Hall... ...on its 150 year old constitution which includes a Royal Charter, several statues, and a unique membership structure.
  • I overturned a House of Lords decision in obtaining charitable registration for the English Theosophical Society
  • I established and provide on-going advice to Girls Not Brides, set up to advocate for an end to child marriage, including negotiating on major funding agreements.
  • I have carried out a constitutional reorganisation of over 200 Samaritans branches including multiple simultaneous mergers.
  • I am currently advising a UK-based international network of organisations in 60 countries on international governance arrangements and licensing of intellectual property (including brand and methodology)
  • I provide on-going advice to an international organisation with UK headquarters on structures related to overseas fundraising
  • I advised on the merger of nine charitable companies around the UK into a single UK entity
  • I advised an internationally recognised UK arts festival on restructuring, including board training and negotiations with members
  • I have established an international human rights and conflict resolution NGO operating in countries with intractable political issues
  • I am retained external counsel in the UK for one of the world’s largest, US-based philanthropic foundations, advising on issues ranging from grant-funding to regulatory compliance
  • I assisted on a high profile arts centre in its negotiations with a major funder and its outreach work with community groups and partner organisations
  • I advised a household name organisation on data protection issues including a recent major breach of security, relationship with subsidiaries, and information governance policy
  • I review contracts for a leading UK charity including fundraising and grant-making
  • I produced a report to a leading international NGO on its duty of care to individuals deployed overseas in high-risk situations