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          Charities & Social Enterprises

          The charities and social enterprise sector is complex and varied; both in terms of compliance and regulation but also the size, scope and mission of the different organisations operating in this area. It is also highly competitive.

          Charities and social enterprises

          Our team of experienced and reliable advisers provide practical as well as technical advice to professionals within the charity sector. Our aim is to empower charity trustees through training and legal guidance, enabling them to achieve their organisations ambitions more effectively and confidently.

          “I think in all cases attention to detail was excellent without being overbearing. I would say they were good at speaking to clients in plain English, in addition to understanding our business and the problems we were dealing with.”
          – Client testimonial

          We deliver a range of key benefits including:

          A team that understands your charity and the challenges it faces and has a genuine interest in building a close and effective working partnership with you. Proven charity expertise which delivers results for you. A cost-effective approach, providing value for money and cost certainty, enabling you to plan your budget effectively.

          We understand that you face a complex regulatory and commercial landscape. Our legal experts understand your issues and provide advice in plain English.

          Our specialist core services include:

          • Charity law
          • Charities and trading
          • Collaborations and joint ventures
          • Company law
          • Constitutional and governance issues
          • Fundraising
          • Incorporation of existing charities
          • Legacies and contested trusts and probate
          • Mergers
          • Social enterprises and mutuals
          • Start-ups and registrations for charities, CICs and social enterprises
          • Trustee training

          We have a close working relationship with the Charity Commission enabling issues to be resolved quickly and with a greater chance of success.

          About our specialist charities practitioners:

          Our core team members are all genuine charity sector specialists with a cross-disciplinary approach. As well as highly technical advice on charity law issues, including governance and constitutional issues, structuring, incorporation and trustee duties, we advise charities, social enterprises and other not for profit organisations on a huge range of matters, encompassing everything from general commercial, employment, pensions and property advice, to IP/IT and dispute resolution.

          Recent examples of our work

          Community Foundation

          We worked with a £13 million endowed Community Foundation where the trustees required bespoke training and strategic advice on the direction that the charity should take going forward. In addition, the charity facilitated social enterprise legal structures training for those in the community interested in establishing new projects. Catherine Rustomji delivered both training and guidance.


          We advised a well-known charity, operating with a turnover of approx £20m, on trustee duties and responsibilities, risk, health and safety and governance matters. Catherine Rustomji was the lead partner and delivered bespoke training for the trustees and she continues to give ongoing governance advice.

          Welfare Board

          A £7m charity wanted to conduct a governance review in relation to its Articles of Association and other terms of reference. The charity had attempted to conduct a governance review in the previous year but this had been unsuccessful. We drafted bespoke Articles of Association and advised on the process for adopting the new Articles including attending the general meeting to respond to questions raised by members.

          Social care provider

          We were asked to advise this longstanding client in relation to the proposed transfer of the business and assets of a care operation and the future management of the operation by our client. There were a number of different parties involved including two charities and our client which is a community interest company. Advice was required on constitutional and compliance issues but also detailed corporate and commercial advice together with employment, pensions and property.

          DWF is delighted to have been appointed to the Crown Commercial Services framework for 'Wider Public Sector – Legal Services' (RM3788). This means that if you are a public sector organisation and you qualify to use this CCS framework, you can now appoint us through the contract. Find out more and download our prospectuses.

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          Partner-led expertise with an innovative approach

          The Public Sector team are experts in working with sector organisations to improve of the economic and social wellbeing of their communities, and deliver high quality and cost effective services.

          Jonathan Branton

          • Partner // Head of Public Sector // Head of EU Competition

          John Toon

          • Partner // UK Head of Tax

          Ed Meikle

          • Partner // Head of Retail Group
          Connected Services offers a range of stand-alone consultative services that complement our legal offering in each of our core sectors.