Lawyers For Charities | Setfords

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Charity Lawyers

Charities don’t just have to adhere to the usual laws, rules and regulations — they also have to comply with additional laws, regulations, requirements and guidance that specifically apply to charities and their activities. So, it’s vital for them to have the right legal advice and representation to navigate this. Setfords’ lawyers for charities have a wide range of experience in this area to assist charitable organisations of all sizes, causes and types of legal structure.

Whether you are looking to start a new charity, restructure, revise your governance, collaborate with another charity, raise funds, enter into any kind of contractual arrangement, deal with property of any sort, or employ staff, our specialist charity solicitors can help you. We can also provide you with ad-hoc support akin to having an in-house legal team. This is a very valuable service — especially to those charities that are not large enough to justify employing their own in-house counsel.

Find out more about our charity lawyers and how they can help your organisation below.

Charity Lawyer Specialisms

How exactly can our charity solicitors help you? Check out our main specialisms below. 

  • Governance and commercial issues

    Governance and commercial issues

    Our lawyers for charities can provide expert legal advice on the full range of governance and operational issues that charities face. Some areas we can assist with include:

    • Advising on governance matters, including structure and potential restructure, constitutional and policy reviews, trustee duties and responsibilities, safeguarding, conflicts of interest, etc.
    • Advising on the interpretation and implications of new laws and guidance for your charity
    • Ensuring day to day compliance with applicable laws and regulations
    •  Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating charity-compliant agreements and contracts on your behalf
    • Advising on employment, data protection, intellectual property matters
    • Dispute resolution
    • Advising on British Isles cross border considerations
    • Advising charities working overseas
  • Assets

    Assets

    Charities often hold assets that are important to their reputation, brand and operations. Our charity lawyers can assist with protecting, licensing and exploiting your assets and rights, such as intellectual property, real estate, branding, and more. 

    For example, we can help with negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, negotiating favourable terms on agreements for the exploitation of assets, protecting and enforcing IP rights, compliance, dispute resolution, and more. 

  • Fundraising

    Fundraising

    When it comes to fundraising, Setfords’ charity law solicitors can help your charity in numerous ways. For example: 

    • Advising on different types of fundraising events and activities
    • Advising on arrangements with corporate partners, like commercial participation and sponsorship, as well as working with professional fundraisers
    • Compliance with fundraising regulations
    • Legal insights on fundraising strategy and planning
    • Fundraising agreements and contracts
    • Compliance with data protection and privacy laws
    • Identifying and mitigating legal risks associated with fundraising activities
  • Charitable trading and tax, grant-making and social investment

    Charitable trading and tax, grant-making and social investment

    Our lawyers for charities are experts in all things to do with tax, grant-making, and social investment for charities. For example:

    • Helping charities understand the tax implications, exemptions, and relief they may be entitled to
    • Guiding charities on maximising fundraising efforts through Gift Aid and other schemes
    • Assistance with grant-making activities, including advising on policy, procedure and terms and conditions
    • Advising on social investment opportunities and structures
    • Conducting due diligence on potential granted or social investment opportunities
    • And more — please get in touch to discuss your requirements
  • Crisis management

    Crisis management

    Charities aren’t immune to crises, and it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible when something does occur.

    Our lawyers can advise on all areas of crisis management for charities, including advice on how to avoid a crisis before it happens. We can also assist with complaints, such as advising on complaints procedures and policies, and drafting Serious Incident Reports for the Charity Commission.

  • The Charity Commission

    The Charity Commission

    When it comes to applications to or necessary dialogue of any nature with the Charity Commission, Setfords’ solicitors for charities can guide you through the entire process.

    For example, we can advise you on when it’s necessary to engage with the Charity Commission, help you prepare comprehensive applications and engage in technical correspondence on your behalf and apply for a decision to be reviewed, if required. We can also advise on and guide you through a regulatory investigation or enquiry.

Governance and commercial issues

Our lawyers for charities can provide expert legal advice on the full range of governance and operational issues that charities face. Some areas we can assist with include:

  • Advising on governance matters, including structure and potential restructure, constitutional and policy reviews, trustee duties and responsibilities, safeguarding, conflicts of interest, etc.
  • Advising on the interpretation and implications of new laws and guidance for your charity
  • Ensuring day to day compliance with applicable laws and regulations
  •  Drafting, reviewing, and negotiating charity-compliant agreements and contracts on your behalf
  • Advising on employment, data protection, intellectual property matters
  • Dispute resolution
  • Advising on British Isles cross border considerations
  • Advising charities working overseas

Assets

Charities often hold assets that are important to their reputation, brand and operations. Our charity lawyers can assist with protecting, licensing and exploiting your assets and rights, such as intellectual property, real estate, branding, and more. 

For example, we can help with negotiating and drafting licensing agreements, negotiating favourable terms on agreements for the exploitation of assets, protecting and enforcing IP rights, compliance, dispute resolution, and more. 

Fundraising

When it comes to fundraising, Setfords’ charity law solicitors can help your charity in numerous ways. For example: 

  • Advising on different types of fundraising events and activities
  • Advising on arrangements with corporate partners, like commercial participation and sponsorship, as well as working with professional fundraisers
  • Compliance with fundraising regulations
  • Legal insights on fundraising strategy and planning
  • Fundraising agreements and contracts
  • Compliance with data protection and privacy laws
  • Identifying and mitigating legal risks associated with fundraising activities

Charitable trading and tax, grant-making and social investment

Our lawyers for charities are experts in all things to do with tax, grant-making, and social investment for charities. For example:

  • Helping charities understand the tax implications, exemptions, and relief they may be entitled to
  • Guiding charities on maximising fundraising efforts through Gift Aid and other schemes
  • Assistance with grant-making activities, including advising on policy, procedure and terms and conditions
  • Advising on social investment opportunities and structures
  • Conducting due diligence on potential granted or social investment opportunities
  • And more — please get in touch to discuss your requirements

Crisis management

Charities aren’t immune to crises, and it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible when something does occur.

Our lawyers can advise on all areas of crisis management for charities, including advice on how to avoid a crisis before it happens. We can also assist with complaints, such as advising on complaints procedures and policies, and drafting Serious Incident Reports for the Charity Commission.

The Charity Commission

When it comes to applications to or necessary dialogue of any nature with the Charity Commission, Setfords’ solicitors for charities can guide you through the entire process.

For example, we can advise you on when it’s necessary to engage with the Charity Commission, help you prepare comprehensive applications and engage in technical correspondence on your behalf and apply for a decision to be reviewed, if required. We can also advise on and guide you through a regulatory investigation or enquiry.

Setfords’ Approach to Charity Law

No matter your needs, Setfords’ solicitors for charities are highly experienced professionals who can provide expert advice particular to your sector.

What sets us apart from other law firms is the fact that all of our lawyers are experts in their area, ensuring that you always receive advice from seasoned professionals, not unqualified juniors. With us, you can expect a world-class service that is completely focused on your needs.

Our Charity Solicitors

Charity Law FAQs

  • What is charity law?

    Charity law refers to the rules and regulations that govern the establishment, operation, and regulation of charitable organisations, their trustees, and their activities.

  • What are the responsibilities of charity trustees?

    Charity trustees are typically volunteers who have legal responsibility for the management and administration of a charity. Their duties can vary, but, among others, will always include ensuring the organisation is complying with rules and regulations and its own governing document, the responsible and prudent management of the charity’s resources, and acting at all times in the charity’s best interests and in furtherance of its charitable purposes.

  • Can charities engage in commercial activities?

    Yes, as long as the reason for doing so is to further the charity’s objectives. Activities of this nature could include selling goods or services, fundraising events or using investments to generate income. Note that there are limits on the extent to which charities may engage in non primary purpose trading.

  • Can charities claim tax benefits?

    Yes, in the UK there are various tax advantages available to charities and to those who donate or bequeath money to charities. . For example, charities can claim Gift Aid on donations made by UK taxpayers, allowing them to receive an additional 25% on top of the amount donated.

    Charities also don’t pay tax on most of their income and gains if they use them for charitable purposes. Other benefits can include business rates relief, relief from stamp duty land tax and special rules on VAT. Charities are exempt beneficiaries for inheritance tax.

  • What happens if a charity breaches the law or regulations?

    If a charity breaches the law or regulatory requirements, it may face penalties, fines, or other enforcement actions. This can include sanctions such as loss of charitable status, disqualification of trustees, or legal proceedings to address the breach and protect the public interest.