DWF logo


DWF logo

            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.

            DWF | CSS

            Legal Insight

            UK Government updates guidance to public bodies in respect of Covid-19 supplier relief measures

            10 June 2020

            The UK Government has issued the new PPN 04/20  guidelines to public bodies inviting them to review and consider implementing appropriate exit plans for any relief measures which they have put in place to assist their "at risk" suppliers pursuant to the PPN 02/20 guidelines issued in March 2020.  

            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

            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.
            DWF 360

            DWF 360

            As the technology arm of DWF Law we help you use technology to reduce your cost and improve customer service. Our suite of market leading risk mitigation products are all built on our robust, scaleable and flexible software platform, EvoSuite.

            We use cookies to give you the best user experience on our website. Please let us know if you accept our use of cookies.

            Manage cookies

            Your Privacy

            When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. We mainly use this information to ensure the site works as you expect it to, and to learn how we can improve the experience in the future. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
            Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change permissions. However, blocking some types of cookies may prevent certain site functionality from working as expected

            Functional cookies


            These cookies let you use the website and are required for the website to function as expected.

            These cookies are required

            Tracking cookies

            Anonymous cookies that help us understand the performance of our website and how we can improve the website experience for our users. Some of these may be set by third parties we trust, such as Google Analytics.

            They may also be used to personalise your experience on our website by remembering your preferences and settings.

            Marketing cookies

            These cookies are used to improve and personalise your experience with our brands. We may use these cookies to show adverts for our products, or measure the performance of our adverts.