Charities and not for profit
Click to view more

Charities and not-for-profit

Charities and not-for-profit

There are over 170,000 registered charities and other not-for-profit organisations in England and Wales, with many more that are either registered in Scotland and Northern Ireland or exempt from registration. Charities and other-for-profit organisations of all types face legal, regulatory and governance-related challenges and demands on a daily basis as they work to further their charitable objectives.

DAC Beachcroft’s nationwide team provides practical, pragmatic and commercially-focused legal advice and guidance on a wide range of matters impacting on charities and other not-for-profit organisations.

Our specialist lawyers are passionate about the charity sector and many are trustees themselves. They have a deep understanding of the regulatory environment in which charities and other not-for-profit organisations operate and help clients to meet their strategic objectives, and enjoy long-term and sustainable success for the benefit of their beneficiaries.

What we are known for

We are trusted advisers to a large number and diverse range of charities and other not-for-profit organisations, from locally based to high-profile national and international.

We help our clients across the whole sector, including:

  • medical charities, health and social care charities, hospices, housing associations, almshouses and supported living providers;
  • universities, colleges, independent schools and academy trusts;
  • research charities and learned and professional bodies;
  • museums and art galleries;
  • grant giving charities; and
  • social enterprises and other not-for-profits.

Our experienced charity lawyers collaborate with teams from across the firm, advising our clients on matters relating to PropertyCommercialEmployment and Pensions, data protection and cyber security and tax. We have also created specialist teams to work with and advise clients in the public and independent health, healthcare regulatory and education sectors.

What we do

Charity law and governance

We have significant expertise in all areas of charity law and governance, providing guidance to clients on all aspects of their operation. This includes advising on:

  • trustees’ duties and responsibilities;
  • governance reviews;
  • charity start-ups;
  • amendments to governing instruments;
  • mergers, acquisitions and disposals;
  • group structures;
  • trading subsidiaries and relationships with subsidiaries;
  • bank funding and security;
  • fundraising;
  • grant agreements;
  • serious incident reporting;
  • disputes, including trustee or membership disputes;
  • Charity Commission inquiries;
  • financial difficulties and insolvency

We work with charities and other not-for-profit organisations structured in many different ways, including charitable companies, charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs) and unincorporated trusts as well as Royal Charter Corporations, statutory bodies and Community Benefit Societies.

We work extensively with principal regulators including the Office for Students, Department for Education or Welsh Government, Department for Culture Media and Sport, Financial Conduct Authority or Regulator of Social Housing. 

Regulatory and safeguarding

Many of our charity other not-for-profit clients are regulated by multiple regulators and often work with vulnerable beneficiaries. We advise on all aspects of regulatory compliance and support our clients in managing their relationships with regulators including the CQC, Ofsted and Health and Safety Executive.

We work closely with our clients to ensure regulatory compliance but can also support in cases of regulatory intervention, inspection and enforcement.

We understand the complex pressures involved in balancing regulatory, commercial and reputational risk and we often support clients in responding to external scrutiny, whether that be regulators, local authority safeguarding teams, independent investigations and inquiries, courts and tribunals or public and political interest.

In particular, we support our clients in ensuring an environment that promotes and safeguards the safety and welfare of all those that come into contact with it and in particular the legal obligations associated with working with children and vulnerable adults.


Property can often be a charity or other not-for-profit organisation's major asset, and key to furthering its charitable purposes. We advise client's on freehold acquisitions and disposals (including the charity regulatory aspects), leases and lease renewals, property development, construction projects, planning and environment issues, and property litigation.


Charities and other not-for-profit organisations employ a diverse workforce, supplemented in many cases with volunteers. We provide comprehensive legal support to them on all aspects of employment law, and issues affecting their relationship with staff and volunteers. We also advise on pensions and immigration.

Data and cyber security

Many charities and other not-for-profit organisations hold significant amounts of data, including personal data which is critical to achieving successful outcomes for their beneficiaries.  Our specialist team advise clients on data handling, data protection compliance and information law, ensuring they act in accordance with their legal and regulatory requirements and maintain the trust of beneficiaries, employees and other stakeholders.


We advise clients on a range of commercial issues, including commercial contracts, commercial participator agreements and on day-to-day commercial arrangements ensuring they are clear and comply with consumer law, where necessary, and may also include complex grants agreements and charity partnerships. We also advise on intellectual property rights including brand protection and exploitation.

Added value

  • Bespoke training for individual charities
  • Regular client e-alerts and articles on key sector developments
  • Training on hot topics via webinars and podcasts
  • Thought leadership focusing on policy or political change

Our lawyers

Charity law and governance

  Emma-Jane Dalley     Alistair Robertson    Anne-Marie Gregory  


   Stan Campbell     Nicola Fairbairn


   Louise Watson Jones

Information law

   Darryn Hale     Sophie Devlin


   Anna Hart


   Sarah George

Related Articles