Legal advice for charities

The law regulating the constitution and operation of charities has changed substantially over the last few years, making it imperative for charities to keep up to date through specialist legal advice.

Recognising that the law applying to charities often has much in common with that regulating business – albeit with an extra tier of regulation – we at Gaby Hardwicke house our Charity Law team within our Commercial department.

Specialist solicitors for charities

Our team of solicitors acts for a wide range of charity clients, from small local charitable trusts to national organisations operating via corporate vehicles.

We work closely with trustees, chief executives and boards of management to advise on the widest range of issues facing charities today, including:

  • Advice on the choice of operating vehicle for the charity itself
  • Incorporation of the chosen form of corporate entity
  • Modernising the charity’s constitution and governing instruments
  • Registration with the Charities Commission and amendments to registration
  • Creation of the charity’s trading entity
  • Securing and maintaining the charity’s property and other assets
  • Advising directors and trustees on compliance issues
  • Merger and de-merger of local charities with and from national charities
  • Advising charities on terms of trade and employment of staff

Many of the largest and highest profile charities in Sussex rely on us for sound yet innovative advice. We produce a range of Briefing Notes for charities – see the list to the right of this page.

Contact us with no obligation

We are happy to discuss any aspect of the running of a charity or the conduct of its business without obligation. Call us on 01323 435 900 or email our specialist lawyer Mark Williams.


What our clients say

QuoteI took the opportunity to apprise the trustees of the considerable assistance and guidance so expeditiously and expertly provided by you, without which I am sure negotiations would still be ongoing. The trustees' thanks and appreciation was duly minuted. Thank you very much for all your help.

Peter Magnay, The Catherine Cookson Charitable Trust

QuoteThis is a note to thank [you] for all [your] help in getting us over the line in the acquisition of our new warehouse. Your persistence and patience in protecting the Hospice's best interests has been exemplary.

Julian Avery, Chairman, St Michael's Hospice


Recent cases

Changing a charity's objects

The team acted for a Bexhill-based housing charity in making an application to the Charity Commission to change the charity’s objects by way of a Charity Commission Scheme.

Separating and incorporating a charity

The team acted for a large charity in separating the charity into two separate entities and incorporating the trading arm as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation. The charity had two distinct elements to its operations which would benefit from being separated, not least in terms of allocation and management of risk. Incorporating the trading arm of the charity also provided the charity’s trustees with additional protection from personal liability.

Dispute resolution advice for a local charity

The team assisted a local charity with several issues surrounding misconduct of an officer, the resignation of trustees and a reorganisation and restructuring exercise. The client was under tight time constraints as there was a real danger of the charity being wound up. Happily, we helped to ensure that all the issues were resolved and the charity continues to operate.


Based in East Sussex but serving a much wider area, Gaby Hardwicke Solicitors has offices in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Bexhill and Hastings.

Contact us

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Briefing Notes

Community Interest Companies

Clarity on Charitable Relief

Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs)

Incorporating a Charity

Relationships Between Businesses and Charities

Data Protection


A warning for all charities: 11 charities fined for data protection breaches

Charity closed and trustee disqualified for serious misconduct and mismanagement

Charities warned to report serious incidents or face regulatory action

The legal status of volunteers

High Court provides clarity on charitable rate relief

Charity fined £70,000 for data protection breach

Protect your charity’s brand