Informative, helpful and balanced. Just what I need to keep me abreast of developments. I forwarded it to my trustees as well." - Feedback on our Faith-Based Organisations Update
Our Faith-Based Organisations group brings together expertise from across the firm to help faith based organisations to undertake their activities in a way that is legally compliant, without losing the distinct values that underpin their work. We focus on making advice sensitive to the faith based context in which it is given and practical in its application.
Our advice to faith-based clients benefits from the diversity of the different faiths groups with whom we work. Among out faith based clients we advise places of workship and charities linked to a variety of Christian denominations, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Buddhist communities, as well as inner-faith and umbrella organisations. Many of our lawyers have personal links with one of the faith communities we advise, enabling us to provide insightful and empathetic advice.
We are uniquely placed to assist faith-based organisations facing challenges within charity law, including the need to demonstrate public benefit, or the complexity of how to remunerate religious or spiritual leaders who are also charity trustees, for their work in pastoral care and ministry. As the leading UK charity law firm, we are highly experienced in negotiating such issues with the Charity Commission for our faith-based clients.
Some faith based charities wish to restrict employment to those of the same faith and we have helped clients in negotiating the requirements of the Equality Act and employment law, succeeding in a landmark ‘occupational requirement’ tribunal case to this effect.
Many faith-based charities rely on volunteers to run activities such as youth and children’s work and some require full-time workers to raise their own financial support. We have specific expertise in the Employment issues that face charities and are leading lawyers in the field of volunteer law.
We regularly assist on the specific Immigration beeds of faith-based organisations, including sponsoring visas for religious workers and finding the best immigration option for those joining religious communities, coming to the UK for training, or joining their UK spouse when families return from services overseas.
We know that the buildings religious communities occupy and in which they worship often represent their most valuable asset, both monetarily and spiritually. We are experienced in helping faith based organisations to negotiate complex property disputes, buy and sell property, and finance ventures which will grow capacity and mission.
In addition to legal advice, our Advisory and Impact divisions provide a unique combination of services in the areas of impact measurement, outcomes-based planning (including Social Impact Bonds), corporate finance and strategic advice. Our Advisory team can help faith-based clients create and realise value through mergers, acquisitions, disposals and restructuring. Our Impact team can also assist faith-based clients in planning and achieving impact.
We also advise our faith-based clients on:
- Establishing and registering faith-based charities
- Regulatory compliance cases initiated by the Charity Commission and HMRC
- Governance and constitutional matters
- Internal disputes
- Fundraising and financing
- Mergers and reorganisations
- Establishing international structures for multi-national faith based organisations
- Safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries
- Tax planning and VAT
- Advice concerning property assets and places of worship
- Reputation management and media relations
We regularly run popular seminars specifically for faith-based charities, which have covered issues such as the Equality Act, social media and governance.
We are a Global Connections Network Associate member.