Maitland is recognised as one of the leading sets for charity law. Several of our members, from silk downwards, have direct regulatory experience, acting or having acted as counsel to the Charity Commission and to the Attorney General as the protector of charity.
Our members have also offered specialist advice to the Charity Law Association and acted for charity regulators in other jurisdictions. As well as this, they regularly speak on issues of current importance at seminars and conferences.
We have been at the forefront of developing charity law, including appearing in almost all of the leading cases on the impact of the Charities Act 2006 (having indeed participated in the debate as to what form that legislation should take), obtaining registration of innovative charitable objects, resolving issues as to tax liabilities in fundraising and rating relief, and helping charities seeking schemes to enhance or modernise their workings. We have experience across the breadth of the NGO sector, including medical charities, educational establishments and religious bodies.
Though much of our charity law work has been advisory, Chambers is increasingly involved in the field of charity litigation as members regularly appear at all levels of the Courts system from the First-tier Tribunal (Charity), and the Tax Chamber of the First Tier Tribunal of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.
Recent experience includes advising and acting for The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church, The Independent Schools Council, numerous poverty relief charities potentially affected by the Charities Act 2006 (including in particular Henry Smith’s Charity), Catholic Adoption Agencies, The Wellcome Trust, Alexandra Palace, The Natural History Museum, The Charity Commission and Great Ormond Street Hospital. Generalized advice has ranged from issues such as freedom of speech (or “no-platforming”) to politics and questions of ethical or purposive investment and the scope to invest on a total return basis. Members of Chambers also advised and acted for some of the directors of Kids Company in connection with the Official Receiver’s failed attempt to have them disqualified as directors.
Several of our members also have hands-on experience having acted as trustees of charities both great and small.
Maitland is ranked in Charities in the Chambers UK Bar Guide and The Legal 500.
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