Wedlake Bell has a wide range of experience acting for charities and other NFPs, whether constituted by trust or Charter, as a foundation or incorporated as companies of various types, as well as their settlors. These range from small charities to university colleges, livery companies, sporting bodies, schools and other educational charities, large religious organisations, philanthropists, social care and housing providers, and those helping development in the Third World.
The legal services we provide to charities and other NFPs and their settlors range right through from establishment and registration of charities and other third sector structures (including CIOs and foundations) to their ongoing administration, dealing with contracts and commercial disputes, reorganisations, mergers and sales, and in some cases closure or winding up. Our services cover a broad range of issues including:
- charity law, including compliance and regulatory matters;
- governance and constitutional law;
- trustees’ duties and responsibilities;
- reorganisation, mergers, and corporate sales or acquisitions;
- intellectual property;
- employment law;
- data protection;
- commercial, residential property and property development;
- property litigation;
- joint ventures;
- commercial financing; and
- investment fund structuring and review.
We have recently acted in a number of complex transactions for our charity clients, including mergers, development agreements and overage, sale of development sites, funding of school developments, and the winding up of a charity in financial difficulties and disposal of its assets. We have established foundations, and frequently advise on the interpretation of the constitutions of existing charities (both registered and exempt), and liaise with the Charity Commission, the FCA and other regulatory bodies. We also work closely with charitable clients in relation to asset protection and management, and advise organisations and individuals on ways that they may invest into entities and initiatives to achieve both a social and a financial return.
A number of our members of Wedlake Bell are charity trustees themselves, offering genuine insight into the concerns and aspirations of voluntary sector organisations.