Charities

Wedlake Bell has a wide range of experience in acting for charities, foundations and other not for profit organisations, as well as for their founders. These clients range from philanthropists and small charities to university colleges, livery companies, schools and other educational charities, large religious organisations, social care and housing providers, large art associations and general grant-making charities.

A number of members of Wedlake Bell are charity trustees themselves, offering valuable genuine insight into the concerns and aspirations of voluntary sector organisations.

Set up and registration

We advise on setting up new charities, establishing English and Welsh arms of existing international charities and using donor advised funds. Our advice includes choosing the most suitable structure and drafting charitable objects. We regularly establish charitable trusts, charitable limited companies and charitable incorporated organisations (“CIOs”). We deal with Charity Commission registration and HMRC registration for our clients.

Once a new charity has been established, we assist with the administration.

Mergers and conversions

We advise on reorganisations, merging existing charities and converting charitable trusts and companies to CIOs.

Administration

We assist charities with a wide and varied range of ongoing administration matters including: change of trustees; running meetings and taking minutes; administering grants; complying with the Common Reporting Standard and the UK Trusts’ Register; correspondence with the Charity Commission and completing annual filings.

We also regularly advise on trustees’ duties and responsibilities, claiming Gift Aid, investment fund structuring and review, interpretation of (and amendments to) the constitutions of existing charities and, when necessary, the winding up or dissolution of charities.

Full service

Our charity work is not limited to the Private Client team. As a firm, we work closely together across all departments to provide comprehensive and holistic advice to charity clients. Our banking, property, pensions, corporate and financial services, data protection, intellectual property and employment teams also regularly advise charities on a wide range of matters.