Guides & Advice. Charities and Education

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1 Guides & Advice Charities and Education

2 Our Charities Team Many charities have faced challenging times in recent years, experiencing reduced income from the private and public sectors, against greater demand for their services and increasingly stringent regulation. Balancing these demands requires both your in-house team and your external advisors to have the relevant expertise and a full understanding of the context in which you operate. Because we have been advising charities, schools and other not for profit organisations for many decades, we understand the challenges that you face. We provide a full range of legal services to help you deal with every aspect of running your organisation including constitutional issues, governance arrangements, trustee duties, commercial and operational issues, tendering and procurement, brand protection, collaborative working and mergers, property and planning, employment matters and dispute resolution. You ll find our highly experienced team enjoyable to work with. We strive to provide quick, sensible, realistic and clear advice in the rapidly changing legislative and regulatory environment affecting the sector. We adopt a flexible approach and aim to work with you in the way that suits you best. Our broad client base ranges from nationally recognised charities and leading universities, colleges and schools to newly established or smaller organisations. We act for charitable trusts, charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), companies limited by guarantee, community interest companies (CICs), social enterprises and philanthropists. Charities and Education Blandy & Blandy has an exemplary charities and not for profit team. The Legal 500 Excellence Integrity Approachability

3 Our Legal Advice and Services Registrations & Incorporations Constitutions & Governance Operational & Commercial Issues Tendering & Procurement Regulators Collaborative Working & Mergers Trustees Duties & Training Employment matters Property & Planning Brand Protection Registrations & Incorporations It will help you in the long term if you start with the right structure - one that is best suited to meet your objectives. We will help you choose the legal structure that is best for you and we are experienced in: Registering new charities (involved in, for example, education, religion, healthcare and relief of those in need) at the Charity Commission as charitable trusts, Charitable Incorporated Organisations (CIOs) or charitable companies limited by guarantee Registering other not-for profit organisations as companies limited by guarantee, community-interest companies and social enterprises at Companies House and the Community Interest Company Regulator Incorporating unincorporated charities as CIOs and charitable companies, so that existing charities may obtain the benefits of being a corporate entity and trustees liabilities are limited Constitutions & Governance In an increasingly stringent regulatory environment, it is important that your initial constitution and your on-going governance meets both your and the regulator s needs.

4 We understand that constitutional structures and governance arrangements must be effective and practical to help you work. Our services include advice on: Constitution reviews in light of changes introduced by new charity and company legislation and your changing circumstances Restructuring governance arrangements and making Board changes Specific constitutional and governance issues Conflict of interest and loyalty issues Paying trustees and connected persons Dissolution and closure of activities Operational & Commercial Issues It is important for any not-for-profit organisation that you minimise your operational outgoings and maximise any potential commercial arrangements to obtain revenue. We strive to help you achieve your commercial goals and regularly advise on the following operational, commercial and regulatory matters: Commercial contracts such as framework, service level and grant agreements Intellectual property matters such as registering and licencing trademarks Fundraising and sponsorship arrangements Commercial trading activities Safeguarding issues Data protection queries Freedom of Information Act requests Dealing with permanent endowment Excellence Integrity Approachability

5 Tendering & Procurement Formalised procurement is growing in importance and frequency in business. Whether your organisation is tendering or procuring goods and services from others, it is essential that you do so legally and effectively. We act for many charity and third sector clients involved in both formal and informal tender processes whether under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006 or other procedures. We can advise on: The tender process itself The content of your tender and, in particular, in relation to the terms of any standard contract that forms part of the tender The outcome, and whether or not you may be entitled to challenge an unfavourable decision The merits of any potential claim for Judicial Review of any tendering decision or process. The negotiation of the terms of any standard contract The drafting and advice in relation to any sub-contract or flow-through arrangements you may need following a successful bid The consequences of replacing a former supplier, including in relation to employment, property and other matters Regulators In an increasingly stringent regulatory environment, it is important that you handle the regulator s needs swiftly and effectively. We are experienced in dealing with the primary regulator of charities, the Charity Commission, on a regular basis and so are able to establish a good working relationship with the Commission, its lawyers and its executive staff. We work with the Commission in the following ways: Registering new charities Registering new constitutions Applying for schemes, orders and consents Supporting you through regulatory investigations by the Commission

6 We have a poven track record in all of our dealings with Commission, including the closure and non-publication of regulatory compliance cases. We are also experienced in dealing with other regulators and bodies such as: Companies House The Community Interest Company Regulator HM Revenue & Customs Collaborative Working & Mergers Third sector organisations often rely on business affiliations and collaborations with non-competing third parties. We want to help you to do business with other organisations and put the best possible arrangements in place to help you work together successfully. We advise on different types of formal and informal collaborative and partnership working including: Sharing of information and resources Co-locating and sharing accommodation and premises Streamlining of costs and service delivery Collaboration agreements Joint venture vehicles and agreements Formal partnership projects Formal mergers by way of membership or asset transfer Trustee Duties & Training Third sector regulators place increasing emphasis on the role of trustees, who are subject to an ever-growing body of legislation. We are committed to helping your trustees to carry out their duties to the best of their ability, as we appreciate that the effectiveness of a trustee board is fundamental to your organisation s success. We deliver training to trustee boards to ensure that they fully understand their obligations as a trustee and the requirements for compliance with charity law, other areas of law and the Charity Commission.

7 We deliver training to trustee boards to ensure that they fully understand their obligations as a trustee and the requirements for compliance with charity law, other areas of law and the Charity Commission. We provide: Induction training to new trustees On-going, tailor-made trustee training on any issues affecting your charity Regular charity law updates to keep you updated of developments affecting your charity and their role as a trustee Employment Third sector organisations generally rely heavily on their people whether they are full or part-time employees, contractors or agency workers or volunteers. Our Employment team has particular expertise of the third sector and advises charities and not-for-profit organisations on a wide range of matters including: Day to day HR support, covering all aspects of the employment relationship, both contentious and non-contentious General employment issues such as drafting employment contracts, the impact of equality legislation and employment status Handling disciplinary and grievance issues Implementing efficient and legally compliant redundancy procedures and drafting settlement agreements Managing complex employment issues such as long-term sickness and disability, performance problems and dismissals and all forms of discrimination claims Advising on TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment)) issues, both in terms of asset transfers and service provision change transfers Advising on the employment aspects of pension scheme closures

8 The team also undertakes all aspects of employment litigation, including proceedings in the High Court, County Court and at Employment Tribunals. In all cases, we ensure that our clients can approach a hearing with confidence. Most often, disputes can be resolved through negotiation, without the need for litigation. Property & Planning Apart from your people, your property interests are likely to represent the greatest chance of both opportunity and liability. Our Property & Planning team is one of the largest and most highly regarded of its kind in the Thames Valley and has particular expertise in the third sector. The team regularly assists charities and third sector clients, allowing us to advise on sector-specific issues arising under the Charities Act 2011, including: The requirements on disposals, leases, charges, and trusts, such as the need for valuations and financial advice Obtaining Charity Commission consents Governance issues relating to the holding of property connected to holding trustees, special trusts and incorporated trustees The tax aspects of property sharing arrangements The team also deals with a wide range of property and planning matters including: General property matters for both occupiers and users of buildings Commercial leases and taxation issues Secured lending, options and conditional contracts Acquisitions and disposals of all types of properties and development sites Property disputes Planning acquisitions and appeals Licencing of new and existing premises Environmental issues

9 Our service We are committed to providing our clients with the best service possible at sensible rates and believe that we offer outstanding value for money compared to large national practices other leading regional firms. We do not believe in over lawyering and make a point of matching the level of experience to the work to be done so that each matter is handled in the most cost effective manner. Every client is different. By understanding your needs and the issues you face we aim to provide you with access to relevant information and training. We keep our clients up-to-date on the latest news and events through seminars, workshops and other events; our regular blog posts and quarterly bulletins. Supporting charities and good causes At Blandy & Blandy we are immensely respectful of our longstanding position in the heart of Reading and our valued contribution to the wider Thames Valley region. We are equally as proud of our commitment to working closely with our community and to supporting a broad range of charities and good causes. In Blandy & Blandy is supporting two charities; Camp Mohawk and Younger People With Dementia. A total of 6,000 was recently donated to previous recipients; the Thames Valley Chiltern Air Ambulance and the Berkshire County Blind Society. In recent years we have supported over 25 causes across the Thames Valley. In 2015 we hosted a charity event which welcomed 17 leading firms representing the region and raised 3,000 for our charities. Each year colleagues at Blandy & Blandy support a wide range of causes through events, volunteering and fundraising. From entering a team in the Reading Charity Pancake Race, which takes place in the town centre annually, to presenting at the Berkshire Community Foundation s charity symposium. This guide is provided free of charge by Blandy & Blandy LLP for information purposes only. This information is not legal advice or to be applied to any specific situation. The Firm assumes no responsibility for how this information is interpreted or used.

10 Nick Burrows, Partner and Head of Charities T: E: Nick heads up the firm s charities team and has been ranked in both Chambers UK and The Legal 500 directories for his specialist work in charity law. He is described as absolutely fantastic in Chambers UK and as an extremely experienced practitioner by The Legal 500. Nick is highly experienced in providing commercially driven advice to charities and educational institutions including a number of the former Connexions partnerships, independent schools across the region and the Rhodes Trust in Oxford. Nick is a member of the Charity Law Association and the Institute of Directors. He is a school governor. Rosie Brass, Solicitor, Charity and Commercial Law T: E: Rosie joined the firm in 2006 and qualified as a Solicitor in the Company and Commercial department in Rosie advises charities, schools and third sector organisations on all aspects of charity, commercial and intellectual property law. Her experience includes registering new charities, incorporating existing charities, constitutional and governance matters, registering trade marks, drafting commercial contracts, data protection issues and dealing with regulatory investigations by the Charity Commission. She is a member of the Charity Law Association. Rosie recently presented at the Berkshire Community Foundation s annual symposium. Excellence Integrity Approachability

11 David Few, Partner, Corporate Law T: E: David has many years experience advising schools and other charities on a variety of legal issues. He is also a recognised expert in mergers and acquisitions and a specialist in the area of corporate reorganisations and non-contentious insolvency. David holds a diploma from the Association of Certified Accountants and is one of only a handful of corporate lawyers who is a Notary Public. He speaks regularly at seminars on issues affecting schools and he is a school governor. His expertise is recognised in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories. Tim Clark, Partner, Employment T: E: Tim is a litigator by training and concentrates primarily on contentious employment work at both the pre and post issue stages of Tribunal proceedings. He undertakes his own Tribunal Advocacy and has extensive experience of handling a full range of Tribunal claims including multi-party actions, complex discrimination cases and claims involving Health and Safety and pension loss. His expertise is recognised in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories and includes advising on redundancy situations, the employment aspects of business transfers including TUPE and the resolution of any subsequent issues. Jane Gunnell, Partner, Commercial Property T: E: Jane heads up the firm s Commercial Property department. Her work includes complex commercial property transactions, the sale and purchase of development sites and investment properties, business leases, secured lending work for banks and finance companies, and VAT on commercial property. Her expertise is recognised in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories.

12 Katja Wigham, Partner, Commercial Property T: E: Katja joined the firm in 2003 and is a Partner in the commercial property team. She specialises in sales and purchases of development land, commercial freehold and leasehold premises, landlord and tenant matters and secured lending. She has particular expertise advising charities, educational bodies and third sector organisations. Her expertise is recognised in both The Legal 500 and Chambers UK directories. Katherine Caswell, Associate, Dispute Resolution T: E: Katherine joined the joined the firm as a trainee solicitor in 2005, qualifying in She advises clients on a wide range of commercial litigation issues, with broad-ranging experience acting for companies, professional bodies, partnerships, not-forprofit organisations, public bodies and individuals. Katherine is an experienced negotiator, having extensive knowledge of Alternative Dispute Resolution, in particular, round table meetings and mediation - used to facilitate early settlement. She has conducted and assisted in disputes both in the County and High Courts. Jessica Irwin, Associate, Dispute Resolution T: E: Jessica trained with the firm and, following qualification in 2000, has specialised in contentious property work. This includes landlord and tenant matters such as possession and dilapidation claims, general advice on tenancies, renewals and adverse possession claims. Her work also includes more general property-based disputes concerning property ownership and trusts of land.

13 About Blandy & Blandy LLP Blandy & Blandy is a regional firm of solicitors, based in Reading and London. The Thames Valley has been our home since 1733 and we have the heritage and reputation that comes with this longevity. We enjoy working closely with our clients and are committed to achieving success with them. For nearly 300 years we have advised generations of clients on all aspects of their personal, family and business lives. Commercially, we provide a full range of legal services to both public and private sector organisations, ranging from national and multinational companies, through to banks and lenders, SMEs and owner-managed businesses, charities and educational institutions, professional practices, landowners and developers and venue and event operators. Our partners and many of our associates are acknowledged as experts by the two major legal directories, Chambers UK and The Legal 500, and we are top ranked as a firm by both. We have also held the Law Society s Lexcel quality mark since Of the 11,000 legal practices in England and Wales fewer than 10% have achieved this gold standard. We are a people business. We place our clients best interests at the heart of all that we do, while ensuring, through our partner led approach, that we embody our values of excellence, integrity and approachability. Feedback from both our clients and peers confirms this we know that actions speak louder than words. We seek to balance our heritage with a modern and progressive approach, in terms of the services we offer and the way in which they are delivered. This, underpinned by our independence, means that our clients continue to trust and recommend us year after year. Contact us If you would like to speak to us about our legal services or for further information, please contact Nick Burrows. T: E: W:

14 Blandy & Blandy LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. It is incorporated as a limited liability partnership under number OC and its registered office is at One Friar Street Reading Berkshire RG1 1DA. A list of Members may be inspected at our Registered Office. Partner denotes a Member or a senior Employee of Blandy & Blandy LLP.

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