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Charities and social enterprises support the fabric of our society, changing lives every day. You’ve got important work to do, delivering support to the communities you serve, but some issues need an expert legal hand. That’s where our charity lawyers can help.

For over 30 years our charity solicitors have been advising charities and social enterprises of all shapes, types and sizes, including foundations, incorporated and unincorporated charities, charitable incorporated organisations, community interest companies, not-for-profits and community benefit societies.

Our varied and extensive experience means we understand the environment and unique regulatory landscape you operate within and the funding and other challenges you face but we can also help you identify take advantage of the organisational and operational opportunities these present. From governance and compliance issues, mergers, fundraising, commercial structures and property matters, joint working, safeguarding, employment and people needs, our charity lawyers can help.

Our seamless service gives you the peace of mind to know all your legal requirements are in safe hands, allowing you can get on with delivering your vital work.

Work we have done

Charity and Social Enterprise Law
  • Advising a grant making foundation on governance and charity law compliance
  • Advising on the establishment of a CIC with a substantial endowment and other funds from Big Society Capital and other major funders to operate an evergreen fund to support social and charitable enterprises
  • Advising a grant making foundation on governance and contract law matters
  • Advising a charity on grant and loan arrangements and reorganisation of previous funding arrangements
  • Advising a foundation on governance and charity law compliance
  • Advising a football charitable foundation on the creation of subsidiary companies to develop and operate a multi-million pound community facility and on related governance, conflicts of interest, funding, property, construction and tax arrangements
  • Advising a children’s hospice on sponsorship agreements, relationships with its subsidiaries, and a review of its governing documents
  • Advising on the creation of a Manchester based social enterprise
  • Advising a religious charity on governance, trustee training, roles and responsibilities and conduct of meetings
  • Advising a charity aimed at supporting the elderly on governance issues and review of its governance arrangements
  • Advising a Durham based charity on governance, contracts and event management arrangements
  • Advising a charity set up to exploit a historic building and its use as a social and economic development hub
  • Advising a company on the establishment of its associated foundation
  • Advising a school charity upon the arrangements consequent upon the school becoming part of a multi-academy trust
Commercial law
  • Advising a University on governance and charity law compliance, including a review of its multi-million pound endowment grant making fund and on use of charitable bequests
  • Advising a contemporary art gallery on a collaboration with a local University
  • Advising a charity on the creation of a group structure and intra group arrangements, contracts and merger
  • Advising a charity on a spin out from the Arts Council
  • Advising a mental health charity on establishing a trading subsidiary
  • Advising the members of a charitable body on the closure of the charity and the application of its assets
  • Advising on TUPE issues in relation to the transfer of a number of community centres to a social enterprise
  • Advising a charity that runs numerous museums on a TUPE transfer and the terms and conditions of employees in relation to the transfer of four museums from the local authority to the charity
  • Advising a community interest company on numerous transfers of staff from NHS Trusts into the community interest company, including 111 and out-of-hours services
  • Advising a large nationwide charity on a large project to harmonise the terms and conditions of staff that had transferred into the charity over many years through mergers and TUPE transfers
  • Advising charities on National Minimum Wage issues related to sleepovers and travel time between appointments and implementing changes to minimise the risks of financial liability
  • Advising a charity and a public funded body on the use of a joint employment model
  • Advising the Dean and Chapter of Newcastle Cathedral on the acquisition of a large multi-let, mixed use city centre building and associated landlord and tenant matters
  • Advising a national charity in relation to the protection of their interests in respect of a number of Development Consent Order applications for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects across the country
  • Advising a charitable trust on property issues in relation to the transfer of Archives to a Council
  • Advising a heritage charity on the transfer of property from the Official Custodian to a new incorporated charity
  • Advising Women’s Health in South Tyneside on its acquisition of premises next door to its headquarters to address increasing demand of their services
  • Advising a Catholic Diocese with legal aspects of their property portfolio including acquisitions, disposals and estate matters
  • Advising a charitable trust on tenancy, leases, property repair issues and negotiating with their landlord, a local Council
  • Advising a charity on planning and rights of way issues in connection with development of property at South Shields
  • Acting for a charity in relation to fit out and refurbishment works being carried out by their tenant, and ensuring that the necessary construction documentation was in place to protect the charity’s position
  • Acting for a large catholic charity on a development project involving several leases for the provision and development of an adult care facility, youth centre and community centre. The firm advised on charity, property, funding and construction issues
  • Acting for Northumberland National Park Authority in obtaining planning consent for “The Sill Project” a £12 million visitor and educational centre situated on a World Heritage Site near the Roman Wall Northumberland. The Sill Project won “National Planning Permission of the Year” in the Planning Magazine Awards 2015. Work for Northumberland National Park Authority included planning advice, general property advice in respect of a joint venture with the Youth Hostel Association and construction and procurement issues
  • Advising a football charitable foundation on, and assisting with, all legal aspects of a major new development providing sports, educational and community facilities together with offices for the charity in a busy city centre location
  • Acting for a charitable cinema in the drafting and negotiation of a building contract and ancillary documentation for refurbishment works
  • Advising a Christian housing provider in relation to its negotiations with the Baptist Union over a property held on shared, special trusts
  • Acting on behalf of an almshouse charity on the property aspects of a number of mergers with other similar charities
  • Advising a Durham based housing and social care charity, founded by a Bishop of Durham, and its related, historic trust corporation body on its permanent endowment assets, on the relationship and the property asset holding arrangements between the two organisations
  • Advising a national charity in a deal with its JV partner (a national joint venture partnership between the charity and a specialist partnering developer) which will see the development of four Grade II-listed canal buildings into luxury housing in Hertfordshire. The £14 million scheme will lead to the development a historic complex of former canal lock workshops on the Grand Union Canal. Profits derived from the joint venture partnership go towards helping the repair and upkeep of historic canals
  • Acting for a national charity who are responsible for over 2000 miles of waterways in England and Wales and an extensive portfolio of landholding. Our transactions have ranged from assisting in tenant portfolio management to more complex matters
  • Advising a charity’s on its involvement to manage and maintain the green space at Whitehill and Bordon which is a complex, £1bn, multi-partner, 15-year collaborative and transformational place-making programme seeking to deliver some 3,350 new homes; 5,500 jobs and create nearly 100,000sqm of new commercial, retail, and leisure floor space. The appointment of the charity working with the partners to manage, protect and enhance the green space through the provision of SANGs (suitable alternative natural green-spaces) and the wider development
  • Advising a charity on its involvement to manage and maintain up to 78 hectares of open space at Linmere (formally known as HRN1) which will deliver an extension to Houghton Regis of up to 5,150 homes and primary schools with employment. The development is being brought forward by Houghton Regis Management Company, a consortium of Lands Improvement, Aviva and the Diocese of St Albans
  • Advising a charity on its involvement to manage and maintain 176 acres of parks and open spaces at the Beaulieu development on the outskirts of Chelmsford with the Developer Countryside (Zest) LLP
  • Advising the Land Trust on the acquisition, management and maintenance of 325 acres of open space at New Lubbesthorpe. This is a large scale greenfield development on the outskirts of Leicester which will ultimately will comprise the development of 4,500 homes
  • Advising on the management arrangements of 310 acres of open space in south Yorkshire, which was formerly the Orgreave Colliery on the outskirts of Sheffield. This development is ultimately going to comprise 3,890 homes
  • Acting for a charity on the agreement to acquire 130 hectares of land at Canvey Wick Nature Reserve in Canvey Island, Essex from a supermarket chain. The land acquired was equivalent to 180 football pitches and involved overcoming significant challenges given that the site was a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a former oil refinery
  • Advising a charity on the acquisition of their long leasehold interest in Northumberlandia in Cramlington, Newcastle (otherwise known as the “Lady of the North”) which was voted the Landmark of the Year in 2020 at the prestigious BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards
  • Advising a trust as part of their 2 to 3 year disposal programme which comprised the disposal of approximately 125 residential properties and 100 non operational commercial properties by way of both freehold and long leasehold disposals (whether by way of private treaty or auction disposal)
  • Acting for a charity in relation to:
    • Redevelopment of a former concrete batching plant near Tring, Hertfordshire into a small scale residential development. Work included advising on the development agreement, infrastructure documentation and residential sales to end users
    • Joint venture development agreement over a site in Gloucester conditional on planning, remediation, vacant possession and viability. This involved dealing with the initial site assembly, negotiation of pre-lets and ultimate disposal to an investor
  • Advising a national charity on the infrastructure and utility aspects of large scale development projects for the a charity. Recent projects have involved:
    • Advising on the impact of the Thames Tunnel Project on their property and infrastructure
    • Advising on a variety of infrastructure agreements needed for a development at Banbury which comprised circa 2,000 homes, a supermarket and a new school
    • Advising on the Maida Vale Flood Elevation Scheme
    • Advising on the various infrastructure agreements to authorise the use of the gas network (with entities such as National Grid, Cadent, Northern Gas Networks, Wales and West Utilities and Southern Gas Networks

Contact a specialist

Colin Hewitt

Senior Partner

+44 (0) 330 137 3402

+44 (0)797 985 8315

Email Colin Hewitt

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Gaynor Jackson

Consultant | Wills, trusts and legacies

+44 (0) 330 137 3344

Email Gaynor Jackson

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Kevin Weston

Partner | Built Environment

+44 (0) 330 137 3526

+44 (0) 0791 232 8153

Email Kevin Weston

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View all contacts

What people say

  • The go to team for excellent technical ability and the experience needed to advise on more complex affairs.

    Legal 500
  • I have worked with Gaynor Jackson for over 10 years and I trust her wholeheartedly. Gaynor is always quick to respond, and sensible in her advice, which is needed when feeding back to charities.

    Legal 500, client quote
  • They are responsive and work well as a team – the mix of skills was productive.

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners
  • Ward Hadaway ‘provides timely and appropriate legal advice, delivered in a professional yet warm and approachable manner, irrespective of the value of work involved’.

    Legal 500
  • It would be difficult to better the knowledge that the team has and the fees that it charges.

    Chambers & Partners
  • Gaynor Jackson is an excellent communicator; she is both intuitive and incredibly user-friendly. She thinks outside the box and gets results through a combination of thorough research and determination.

    Client quote, Chambers & Partners

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