Charities and not-for-profit

Our highly experienced group advises charities and other non-profit-making organisations on all legal and regulatory aspects applicable to them.

Group contact

Katie Burley

Katie Burley

The Charities team at FSP "always responds quickly" and "applies original thinking to help the client break new ground."

Legal 500 2017

We understand and fully appreciate that dealings within the charity, not-for-profit and voluntary sector (NFP) can be very different to similar dealings within the business sector; often requiring an alternative or adaptive approach to be taken.

Our Charity group was established to ensure that the needs of our NFPs are properly accommodated. This group, made up of a specialist team of multi-disciplinary lawyers, has an established track record of advising clients in the NFP sector across a variety of organisations; from charities to sports clubs, tenants associations, parish councils, and schools. Our clients include both UK and international NFPs and we cover a wide range of legal areas such as incorporation and mergers, structuring, governance and constitution, and pension and property matters. We also advise on the practical day to day requirements associated with managing an NFP; including data protection, tax, employment, litigation (including contested legacies), advertising, and contracts.

We are able to offer our clients a more holistic legal service than many of our contemporaries outside of London because, as well as appreciating the need to employ a different approach when advising in the NFP sector, we also cover a far wider category of legal specialisms. This means that we do not have to seek external advice or assistance in order to provide a comprehensive, well-rounded set of recommendations while retaining exceptional value for money. For example, if your NFP is considering purchasing a property then we can assist you not only with the title investigation and transfer of the property, but also provide you with advice on stamp duty land tax treatment and discuss VAT issues if you are considering whether or not to opt to tax the property.

We pride ourselves in providing workable and practical advice for our clients; pragmatism and commercialism are characteristics that we firmly believe all lawyers at FSP should embody, and our Charity group members are no exception. Wherever possible we provide considered proposals on courses of action, delivering clarity in the face of a multiplicity of options, so that our clients can find solutions that best suit their unique requirements.

This dedication to ensuring our clients’ ongoing success means that our involvement does not automatically end with the completion of a project, and many of our NFP clients choose to continue using our legal services to provide them with ad hoc and informal advice on a variety of issues. Many of our Charity group members are actively involved with local NFPs, some taking on director or trustee positions, or even getting involved with clients on a more personal basis by assuming voluntary roles. This personal experience makes our team particularly well attuned to the needs of NFPs and the complex practical issues they face on a daily basis.

What clients have said about the charities and not-for-profit team:

"Purley Park Trust have worked with Field Seymour Parkes LLP for many years and we’ve always found them to be helpful and efficient. This is why we approached them in relation to assisting us with a merger with another charity that needed to be completed to an exceptionally tight timescale.

The initial response from FSP was immediately reassuring – and communication throughout the process was excellent, I cannot think of any way the process could have worked better for us."

L Grady, Purley Park Trust

"FSP have supported me over the last three years in creating and developing of a number of sports charities. In this time, the environment for volunteer led sports organisations has changed radically under austerity. Those that survive and prosper have had to look at their legal status, their methods of operating and how they involve stakeholders.

The team at FSP understand these pressures and have helped considerably to manage the necessary changes. Understanding the legal process is one thing, having empathy, tolerance and understanding of the significance of change for a volunteer organisations is another. They are very good at it."   

J Bolan, Falkland Cricket Club

"Everyone we deal with at FSP understands our business and that as a charity we need to keep a close eye on costs.”

Mandy Williams, CEO, Child Autism UK