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Cases Charities

Keeping Kids Company

Judgment Date: 12 Feb 2021

In a judgment handed down today following a 10 week trial, Falk J dismissed the Official Receiver’s claim for the disqualification of the former directors (“the Trustees”) of the well-known charity Kids Company, which went into liquidation in 2015.

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Cooper v Lehtïmaki; Re The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) [2020] UKSC 33

Judgment Date: 29 Jul 2020

The Supreme Court has today delivered a landmark judgment on issues of equity and charity law. In Cooper v Lehtïmaki; Re The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (UK) [2020] UKSC 33, the Supreme Court held that the members of a charitable company stood in a fiduciary relationship vis-à-vis the objects of the charity, and that the court had an “inherent” and “exceptional” jurisdiction to direct a (fiduciary) member of the charity to vote in favour of a resolution to approve a payment of US$360 million to a charity under the management of a retiring trustee.

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Members
Ryan Turner

Practice areas
Charities

Derby Teaching Hospitals v Derby CC & Charity Commission (2019)

Judgment Date: 12 Dec 2019

12 December 2019 wasn’t merely a momentous day for the nation politically, it also saw the High Court hand down judgment on one of the year’s most interesting charity cases.

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Charity Commission for England and Wales v Cambridge Islamic College (2018)

Judgment Date: 26 Oct 2018

When determining whether a registered charity's name was "too like" another registered charity's name for the purposes of the Charities Act 2011 s.42(2)(a)(ii), the words "too like" were to be given their ordinary meaning; that was a broad and open-ended meaning rather than one that focused entirely on visual or aural similarity.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

(1) Michael Rittson-Thomas (2) Hugo Rittson-Thomas (3) Rupert Rittson-Thomas (4) Kim Hughes v Oxfordshire County Council (2018)

Judgment Date: 09 Mar 2018

The Schools Sites Act 1841 s.2 allowed land to be granted as a site for a school and to revert to the grantor when that use ceased, unless s.14 applied and the land was sold or exchanged for a more eligible site. Section 14 did not mean that in order to avoid the statutory reverter, the sale or exchange always had to be carried out before, or at the same time as, the school was moved to new premises.

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Bisrat v Kebede (2017)

Judgment Date: 26 Jun 2017

Reference to "the mother church" in a charity's trust deed giving control of a church building was to the Addis Ababa synod of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. Although a rival Seattle synod had claimed subsequent revisions to the church's byelaws had led to their appointment as trustees instead, their adoption had not changed the meaning of the trust deed.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

Choudhury v Stepney Shahjalal Mosque and Cultural Centre Ltd (2015)

Judgment Date: 12 Feb 2015

Proceedings concerning the trustees of a company limited by guarantee that was a registered charity were charity proceedings under the Charities Act 2011 s.115(2) that required permission from the Charity Commission or the court. The proceedings were stayed and an interim injunction preventing a trustee election was continued pending a decision on permission.

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Mountstar (PTC) Ltd v Charity Commission for England & Wales (2013)

Judgment Date: 17 Oct 2013

The Charity Commission for England and Wales had acted lawfully in deciding to open a statutory inquiry into a charity and in appointing an interim manager on the basis of concerns that the charity's sole trustee might be conflicted by virtue of the charity's involvement in a gift aid tax fundraising scheme in whose success one of the trustee's directors had a personal interest.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

Pollen Estate Trustee Co Ltd & Ors v Revenue & Customs Commissioners (2013)

Judgment Date: 26 Jun 2013

Where a charity acquired property, the exemption from stamp duty land tax provided by the Finance Act 2003 Sch.8 applied in respect of that proportion of the beneficial interest that was attributable to the undivided share held by the charity for qualifying charitable purposes.

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Practice areas
Charities
Real Estate

Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) v Charity Commission For England & Wales (2012)

Judgment Date: 02 Nov 2012

A Roman Catholic charity failed to show that there were weighty and convincing reasons which justified a change to its memorandum of association to enable it to lawfully continue a discriminatory practice under the exemption in the Equality Act 2010 s.193 so that it could restrict its adoption services to heterosexual couples.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

In the Matter of Wedgwood Museum Trust Ltd (2012)

Judgment Date: 19 Jul 2012

Although administrators' costs were generally justified as the point upon which they sought directions required a definitive answer, their retention of leading counsel where two other leading counsel had been retained was clearly inappropriate. Accordingly, the administrators' costs of briefing leading counsel were disallowed.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

Helena Partnership Ltd v Revenue & Customs Commissioners & Attorney-General (2012)

Judgment Date: 09 May 2012

The provision of housing accommodation, otherwise than for those in some relevant charitable need, was not a charitable purpose within the spirit and intendment of the preamble to the Charitable Uses Act 1601, either directly or by analogy with any other recognised purpose. It followed that the objects of a housing association were not exclusively charitable and it was accordingly liable for corporation tax on the rents that it received.

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Pollen Estate Trustee Co Ltd, King’s College London v Revenue & Customs Commissioners (2012)

Judgment Date: 08 Mar 2012

Relief from stamp duty land tax was not available in circumstances where the beneficial interest in the relevant property was owned jointly by a number of persons or bodies, only some of which were charities or Ministers of the Crown. The relevant land transaction for the purposes of stamp duty land tax was the acquisition of the whole beneficial interest in the property, and not each separate acquisition of an undivided share by each tenant in common.

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Practice areas
Charities
Real Estate

Attorney General v Charity Commission for England and Wales & 10 Ors (2012)

Judgment Date: 20 Feb 2012

Charities and benevolent bodies whose objects were the relief of poverty for a restricted group of beneficiaries nevertheless met the express requirement in the Charities Act 2006, and in case law prior to the coming into force of the Act, that they be "for the public benefit" and were therefore charitable.

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Practice areas
Charities

Independent Schools Council v Charity Commission for England (2011)

Judgment Date: 02 Dec 2011

The court determined the appropriate form of relief to be granted following its finding that guidance issued by the Charity Commission regarding the public benefit requirement contained in the Charities Act 2006 s.2 and s.3 was wrong in law and obscure.

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Members
Matthew Smith

Practice areas
Charities

Helena Partnerships Ltd (Formerly Helena Housing Ltd) v Revenue & Customs Commissioners (2011)

Judgment Date: 06 Apr 2011

The tribunal found that a registered social landlord had not been established for purposes that were exclusively charitable and was therefore not entitled to extend the charitable exemption from corporation tax under the Income and Corporation Taxes Act 1988 s.505 and s.506 to tax years pre-dating its registration as a charity.

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Catholic Care v Charity Commission For England & Wales & Equality & Human Rights Commission (2010)

Judgment Date: 17 Mar 2010

The exception from the prohibition of differential treatment on the grounds of sexual orientation under the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 reg.18 applied potentially to all types of benefit provided by a charity to persons of a particular sexual orientation in pursuance of a charitable instrument, whether or not those persons were the supposed ultimate beneficial class of that charity.

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Prize Provision Services Ltd v Revenue & Customs (2005)

Judgment Date: 18 Aug 2005

The court could not apply a formulaic test to decide whether a scheme was a lottery or a series of lotteries, or whether it amounted to fixed odds betting. Common sense should be applied to ask if, overall, a given scheme more closely resembled the classic description of betting or of a lottery.

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Practice areas
Charities

Attorney-General v Trustees Of The British Museum (2005)

Judgment Date: 27 May 2005

The express prohibition in the British Museum Act 1963 s.3(4), on the disposal of objects in the collections of the British Museum, prevented the defendant trustees from returning drawings to their owners. The fact that the trustees were under a moral obligation could not justify a disposition in breach of s.3(4) and neither could the Attorney-General sanction their return by relying upon the decision in Re Snowden (1970) Ch. 700. Only legislation or a bona fide compromise could entitle the trustees to return the drawings.

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Simon Fraser v Canterbury Diocesan Board of Finance (2004)

Judgment Date: 28 Jan 2004

The trustees of an 1866 trust deed were entitled to the proceeds of sale of part of the site of a school since the land had reverted to the successors in title of the grantor under s.2 School Sites Act 1841, because there had been a cessation of the purpose stipulated in the trusts on which the land was donated for use as a school.

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