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Charities Solicitors

Our Charities team exists as a grouping of charity law practitioners, property and trust lawyers and probate professionals supported by a full-service company and commercial team. This enables us to tailor our charity service to the specific needs and requirements of individual clients.

We act for a wide range of charities across a number of sectors from large charity division enterprises to sole endowments, giving us insight and experience we can use to the benefit of our clients.

We strongly believe that our advice should add value to charities of any size and at any stage in their development. With our knowledge and experience, we can provide you with practical solutions to problems and ultimately work to solve them.

How we can help you

  • Setting up of a charity and general charity formation and governance
  • Charity Commission registration
  • Incorporation of charities and trustee bodies
  • Creation, administration and variation of charitable trusts
  • Advice on compliance and interaction with corporate and charity regulators, including advice on charity mergers
  • Trustee advice, remuneration and insurance, trustee disputes
  • Mergers and collaborative working, distribution agreements and manufacturing agreements
  • Employment advice including service contracts, employment and consultancy contracts and advice on employee disciplinary processes
  • Funding issues and commercial arrangements
  • Acquisition disposal, letting and development of property (buying, selling or leasing property)
  • Commercial contracts and procurement
  • Community engagement and development
  • Administration of estates (including buying and selling charitable land)
  • Charity Commission schemes, investigations and reviews
  • Advice on effective legacy administration, including assisting charities in defending litigation arising out of will disputes from disappointed beneficiaries
  • Winding up dissolving charities

Examples of our work

  • Working closely with a large national children's charity which has a portfolio of shops and offices which need active management to maximise their use and minimise their overhead to ensure that the portfolio is working for the charity at maximum efficiency.
  • Working with a national environmental charity expanding its landholding by purchasing a number of parcels of land to develop a streamlined system of working and reporting which ensures that they always know where they stand in terms of progress, fees and timescales.
  • Providing a dedicated helpline to give assistance to the members of a professional Royal Institution. Our team has access to a full range of industry-specific advice and provides specialist sector support to members on an ongoing basis.
  • Working with one of the UK's biggest conservation charities on a £5,000,000 project to purchase and restore 825 acres of ancient woodland in Devon.

Focused teams

As a broad-based firm, we have the ability to bring together focused teams to meet a charity's needs.

  • With dedicated commercial lawyers we can advise on mergers and collaborative working; arrange and draft distribution and manufacturing agreements (across international borders where appropriate) - always ensuring that commercial partnerships benefit the charity in a commercial as well as an ethical manner.
  • Our property team manages the property portfolios of many charities, from shop and office leases to multi-million-pound property sales, purchases and transfers (such as buying, selling or leasing property).
  • As employers with staff on a number of different contract arrangements from full-time directors to part-time volunteers, charities need specialist HR planning and employment advice. Our employment law team ensures that all contracts comply with the fast-changing legislation (complex contracts, disputes and employment law issues, constitutional amendments and advice for trustees and directors) whilst our regular e-mail updates keep HR managers of charities informed of the very latest changes and what they need to be doing about them.
  • We are involved in local and national pro-bono services. The local Pro-Help Group (part of Business in the Community) aims to support voluntary organisations with free professional advice and guidance. The group is made up of professional firms from the Peterborough area to provide their professional services to local community projects in the region free of charge.
  • We have particular expertise in social media and the legalities of social media in the workplace. Social media can open up businesses to risk. We can help organisations manage and control their on-line risks by giving guidance and advice on social media policies and why a social media policy should be one of the bedrocks of your organisation. We can also give guidelines for protecting your reputation and also how to maintain a balance between your corporate image and the more personal style that social media demands.
  • Many members of our Charity team are members of the Charity Law Association (CLA) or the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). We are members of the Charities’ Property Association, which provides a national forum for those involved in the management of charity property assets. Our membership enables us to keep up to date with the latest developments for the benefit of our clients.
  • Charities often find themselves embroiled in contentious probate litigation through no fault or choice of their own. We advise and assist charities in respect of their interests, ensuring that their interests are protected and their risks carefully managed.

We can give you the advice and assistance you need in relation to these matters, taking into account the specific charity law implications which may arise.

Working with charities

Our approach is to create focused project groups to support each client, providing them with access to cross-disciplinary expertise.

The work we undertake is as varied as the charities for whom we act. From formation through to growth, expansion and mergers, we have the skills to help.

Our Charity of the Year

Each year we select a charity to which we offer our support. The selection process is designed to be as fair and as transparent as possible; to closely involve the Roythornes staff and ensure that the selected charity means something to them. The process is overseen by our Charities and Social Committee Team.

By having a chosen charity, allows us to focus our fundraising efforts and highlight aspects of particularly good causes throughout our offices.

Get in touch with our charities solicitors

For further information about our charities services, get in touch with our team in AlconburyBirminghamNottinghamPeterborough or Spalding.

Read our charities brochure