Charities and Philanthropy


We provide advice to wealthy individuals who wish to share their wealth, expertise or influence through philanthropy in order to benefit the wider community.  Our areas of expertise include advising philanthropists and other charitable organisations on the formation and governance of charitable structures, general administration and the creation of policies and procedures, restructuring and legal issues arising around fundraising activities.  In these areas, we work closely with our Corporate team.

Formation, registration and restructuring

We have extensive experience and provide specialist advice on the appropriate structure and registration process for new charities.  We are also asked to review and, where appropriate, alter existing charity constitutions to ensure they are fit for today’s charitable purposes.  In many cases this involves applying to the Charity Commission to extend the terms and benefit of the original charitable objects.  However, we have also advised an number of older charitable trusts on winding up and the transfer of assets to other registered charities.

Charity governance and administration

Our charity and trust administration team assist with the preparation and filing of annual accounts and all other day to day regulatory matters.  We also have extensive experience in assisting charities with matters of governance; including fundraising and grant making activities and the formulation and review of policies and procedures.

We are also on hand to provide advice to charity trustees and governing bodies on their fiduciary duties and responsibilities to enable them to act in the best interests of their beneficiaries and the ensure continued smooth running of their charitable organisation.


  • Advisors to the John Lyon’s Charity, of which Andrew Stebbings is Chief Executive
  • Advising on the structuring and the setting up of the charitable organisation The Thames Diamond Jubilee Foundation Limited, which staged the celebrations on the River Thames to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.  Subsequent advice has included matters of corporate governance, charity guidelines and regulations, compliance with data protection legislation and commercial agreements with contractors involved in the event
  • The Head of the Corporate team, Andrew Millett is Clerk to the Governors of the Harrow School Foundation (comprising Harrow School, The John Lyon School and John Lyon’s Charity and associated entities).  This has involved advising on a broad range of matters relevant to the two schools and the charities and includes advice in connection with the franchise arrangements with the three Harrow International Schools (in Bangkok, Beijing and Hong Kong)
  • Advising four large UK charities on their joint approach to the trustees of a medium-sized grant-making charity, seeking capital grants for particular projects. This involved co-ordinating individual pitches and presentations, liaising with five sets of trustees, preparing all the necessary legal documentation and liaising with the Charity Commission for approval to make the grants and wind-up the charity.
  • Advising a number of small to medium sized UK grant making charities on financial management, administration and compliance services.
  • Advice to the trustees of a charity on the widening of its charitable objects to enable the charity to make substantial grants to other charities and to be wound up