Charities

Charity begins at home, for our teams at Harrison Clark Rickerbys and for many of our clients. We support and volunteer for charities, act as trustees, have our own charitable trust and provide legal services to the sector. Our charity experience is wide ranging, we advise organisations across the whole spectrum of charitable activities including education, social care, housing, art, leisure and cultural activities as well as those for animal welfare and children and young people.

Our advice and support covers;

  • charity formation and registration
  • advice on charitable objects and activities
  • advice to trustees on their roles and responsibilities
  • compliance with charity law
  • compliance with regulatory guidance around public benefit, non-charitable trading, acquisition and disposal of property
  • liaison with the Charity Commission and HMRC.

We advise on charity mergers and transfers of engagements as well as joint working arrangements and advice on the use of subsidiaries and gift aid, as well as fundraising and sponsorship and compliance with codes of practice and guidance on the use of professional fundraisers. Also where it unfortunately becomes necessary, we advise on the process of winding up and closing charities and the asset and employment issues which ensue.

Charitable corporate advice and governance is at the heart of what we do, including constitutional issues for corporate charities such as companies limited by guarantee, charitable incorporated organisations and community benefit societies as well as charitable trusts and associations. We also advise on compliance and regulatory issues, including, freedom of information and data protection as well as all issues relating to trustee responsibilities including the employment of staff and use of volunteers and supporters.

For many of our charities, dealing effectively and properly with their assets and ensuring that risks are properly addressed are areas where increasingly our advice and support are sought whether providing advice to the trustees on the legal requirements, dealing with the disposal of property or other assets or advising on risk management.

In a world where fundraising and sponsorship strategies are an important part of a charity’s activities, we can advise on sponsorship agreements which, whilst an increasing source of income, must have suitable terms and adequate safeguards in place.

Similarly fundraising is an area where our advice is increasingly called on; it extends not only to the charity law issues which need to be considered but also the relevance of other statutes and regulations, covering matters such as data protection, unfair trading, consumer protection, distance selling. It is vital for our clients that their activities in this area are compliant with legal requirements as this is one area where there is the potential for a charity not only to suffer financial loss but also reputational risk and damage.