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.
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.
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.
Guarding against divorce when married couples are on charity boards
Following the divorce of Bill and Melinda Gates, Victoria Mahon de Palacios considered how trustees should respond to the risk of a divorce situation when married founding benefactors sit on… Read more →
There is no question that the Covid-19 crisis has hit the charity sector hard and as the country emerges from “lockdown” restrictions, it will be interesting to see how the… Read more →
Keeping to the rules when borrowing from a trustee
Funding is key to any charity meeting its charitable objects. As part of raising funds, borrowing will inevitably be one of the options for a charity to consider where other… Read more →
Part 1- The Resurgence of the Benevolent Society
The Covid-19 pandemic has sparked a tremendous amount of interest in employee benevolent societies or hardship funds. Sometimes described as one of the charitable sector’s best kept secrets these occupational… Read more →
How to choose the right legal structure for your charity
If you are planning on starting up a charity, or changing your charity’s structure, then it is important to give consideration to the type of structure you choose, as this… Read more →
Wedlake Bell – Charity Services
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Emily Minett explores common issues that COVID-19 poses for grant-making charities.
Can we use video or telephone conferencing to hold trustee meetings? The first step is to review your charity’s governing document to see if it contains any express provisions enabling… Read more →