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Legal advice for Charities & Social Enterprises

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 & social enterprises

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

We work closely with directors, 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 or social enterprise itself, including advice on charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) and community interest companies (CICs)
  • Incorporation of the chosen form of corporate entity
  • Modernising constitutions and governing instruments
  • Registration with Companies House and/or the Charities Commission and amendments to registration
  • Creation of the charity’s trading entity
  • Securing and maintaining 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 and social enterprises 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.

Recent Cases & Deals

  • Mark Williams is acting 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.
  • Our 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 has 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 will also provide the charity’s trustees with additional protection from personal liability.
  • Our 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.

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 435900 or email our specialist lawyer Mark Williams.

What our clients say:

Key Contacts

Business Services

Briefing Notes

Contact us

To discuss how we can help you email or call one of our offices:

Eastbourne: 01323 435900

Bexhill: 01424 735000

Hastings: 01424 457500