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Charities and Philanthropy

We advise clients on commercial issues and agreements, tax implications for charities and charitable giving, fundraising and investment, employment law, intellectual property issues and resolving complex disputes. We also advise charity trustees on their obligations and responsibilities. Special rules apply when a charity wishes to buy, sell or mortgage land and, working with our Property team, we can advise on all stages of such transactions.

Whether yours is an existing charitable organisation and you need advice in dealing with the Charity Commission or whether you are starting out and need guidance through the most efficient structures and methods of administration, we can assist.

We also advise on governance for charities and the mergers, amalgamations and incorporation of charitable entities. We act for a significant number of charities, including those in the animal, medical, religious and educational sectors.  We also advise a broad range of individuals on the tax implications of charitable giving and set up and run many family charities.

We sometimes act for charities where an estate (with charitable beneficiaries) is disputed and a particular specialism is the area of disputed estates containing high value artwork.

Legal 500 commentary

Druces charities practice has been recognised in the Legal 500 2019, as it notes.  “The ‘conscientious’ team at Druces LLP ‘takes really great care of its lay clients. The team is willing to go that extra mile’. The ‘readily available’ Richard Monkcom is ‘very realistic and is able to respond quickly to problems. He has extensive knowledge of charity law’. The ‘excellent’ Helen Freely  is ‘always really pleasant and willing to fully engage with her clients while at the same time showing a great degree of humanity’. Senior associate Caroline Cropley regularly advises charities on various corporate issues.”

Recent work

  • We act for one of the UK’s largest animal welfare charities across a range of property, governance and commercial issues.
  • We have developed a particular expertise of advising charities on publishing agreements, especially important where a charity relies on that material as a primary source of funding. That advice has extended to advising on international co-operation and affiliation agreements with other European charities.
  • We advised a charity protecting the elderly on an employment dispute. We successfully sought to resolve a potentially complex problem within a very small team in the most constructive and least damaging manner for the charity.
  • We advised on the formation of a new charity for overseas clients who anticipate significant funding for the charity in the future, especially from the USA. This in itself created tax issues that we advised the charity on.
  • We have advised a large number of individuals on the tax implications of their charitable giving (usually involving very significant sums) in the context of their personal affairs.
  • We advised a religious order in relation to the amendment of its constitution.

Who to contact

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Briefing notes

  • Disclosure requirements relating to Charitable Incorporated Organisations

    A Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) is one of the f...

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