Charity Law

Our Charities Team has developed a reputation for providing clear and unequivocal advice to the third sector focusing specifically on the needs of charitable and “not for profit” clients. We provide practical and cost effective advice to a range of charities on corporate structure. In the current economic climate with pressure on resources, our team has been able to advise on collaborative arrangements and partnerships between charitable groups and provides assistance with funding arrangements. Specialist areas of expertise include corporate advice, public procurement, property advice, employment advice and information management.

The team comprises lawyers with specialist experience advising third sector clients. Their individual expertise in corporate governance, property, employment and information management allows us to provide a comprehensive service to our charitable clients dealing with all their legal requirements.

In addition to the clients we advise, partners and solicitors in the firm serve on a variety of trustee boards and committees bringing their wealth of experience to this sector.

Key Contacts

Clare Bates, Partner, Head of Not For Profit Team

Rosemary Carson, Partner, Real Estate

Orlagh O’Neill, Partner, Head of Employment Team

Dawn McKnight, Partner, Corporate and Commercial

Neil Bleakley, Partner, Private Client

What We Do

  • Advising in relation to corporate structure and ensuring compliance with the Companies Act 2006 and the Charities Act (NI) 2008
  • Providing advice in relation to compliance with the requirements of the NI Charity Commission and whether clients will meet the public benefit test
  • Advising in relation to corporate governance both for charities in Northern Ireland and GB to include organisational restructures, constitutional reconfigurations, officer induction training and directors duties
  • The specialist Public Procurement team have extensive experience (both contentious and non-contentious) advising charities under the Public Contracts Regulations 2006
  • The Real Estate Team led by Rosemary Carson has wide experience acting in the acquisition and disposal of sites for charitable bodies and in particular advising them of their duties in relation to land dealings pursuant to the Charities Act (NI) 2008
  • Employment issues specific to the third sector to include contentious and non-contentious advice
  • Advising clients on the impact of the Historical Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland
  • Information management advice on data protection, confidentiality and Freedom of Information issues

What Others Say About Us

What Others Say About Us

​Chambers and Partners UK 2014:

What the team is known for

Remains a prominent name for charities work in Northern Ireland, providing in-depth knowledge of the local market and all relevant regulations. Advises on corporate governance, property and employment issues, and has developed a particular aptitude representing charity clients who operate in the education sector.

What's new?

Gerard Armstrong was promoted to partner, strengthening the team's offering, particularly in the area of governance.

Work highlights

Acted for the Simon Community Northern Ireland in relation to a review of the roles of the Chief Executive's Office and of the Senior Management Group, as well as advising on corporate governance issues.

Advised the Fields of Life Trust in connection with a reorganisation of its internal group structure and a review of its operations on both a domestic and international level.

Notable practitioners

Clare Bates is head of the department and a key contact for charities work.

Significant clients

Fields of Life, Simon Community, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Youth Action, Belfast Music Therapy.

Back