Charities and social enterprise

Leaders in charity and social enterprise law

As a leading charity law and social enterprise law firm, the charities and social enterprise sector form a core part of our business. We have an established charity and not-for-profit practice and reputation and we are committed to a continued review to develop our services to meet the rapidly changing needs of the sector. Our Charity and Social Enterprise solicitors look after our clients with a comprehensive and can-do approach through a dedicated national team working across the firm’s four offices.

“We are delighted to be ranked in the top 10 of specialist legal advisers to the UK’s biggest charities. The continued expansion of our client base demonstrates our long-term commitment to this sector.”

The Charity and Social Enterprise solicitors at Hempsons are experienced in advising on all elements of charity law and regulation that impact on the sector, including the changes introduced as a result of the Charities Act 2011 and the Companies Act 2006. In addition, our Charity and Social Enterprise solicitors incorporate specialists from across the firm enabling us to advise and assist our charity and social enterprise clients in every aspect of their operations.

Covering every aspect of charity and social enterprise law

We are also committed to contributing to the continuing development of the Charity and Social Enterprise sector. Hempsons has co-authored a number of publications copies of which can be found below.  We not only get involved in ‘blue sky’ thinking, epitomised by our series of round table discussions with recognised leaders in the sector, but also operate at research and policy level with sector bodies and clients. We are members of ACEVO, CFG, Social Enterprise UK, the Executive Committee of Charity Law Association and take part in their working parties. We recently wrote the content of the NCVO’s toolkit titled, ‘Trading: Choosing the Right Legal Form’ (see below) which is the latest product of their Sustainable Funding Project.

We are at the forefront in assessing the likely legal issues surrounding ‘personalisation’ in the health and social care sector, and having provided an ACEVO Masterclass on the subject, wrote the main section of the recently published booklet, Personalisation: Exploring the Legal Implications (see below).

Ian Hempseed, the Head of Charities and Social Enterprise at Hempsons, is a Mutuals Ambassador for the Mutuals Programme run by the Cabinet Office. One of the aims of the Mutuals Programme  is to drive the creation of new public service mutuals across public service.

Who we work with:

  • Charities
  • Professional bodies
  • Learned societies
  • Trade associations
  • Commercial organisations working with the third sector

Charity Sector Governance 2017 SEUK_preferedsupplierWEB_PINK

Case studiesView all

  • Acquisition of charity headquarters

    Acted for Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on the acquisition of its new headquarters in Theobald’s Road, London and on its related sale of its headquarters building near London Regent Street.

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  • Biota! National Aquarium development

    National Aquarium development. This project is for the development of a £100 million new National Aquarium in London’s Docklands. A section 106 Agreement with Newham Borough Council requires the Aquarium to be the trigger for the wider development of Silvertown Quays.

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  • Charity merger

    We advised Deafness Research UK on its merger with Action on Hearing Loss. We advised the Chief Executive and the Board of Trustees on the options for structuring the merger and helped the client to identify their core requirements which should be protected in a merger.

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  • Charity merger

    We advised the NSPCC on its merger with ChildLine. We worked closely alongside our client, the NSPCC, in advising on the transfer of the ChildLine charity to the NSPCC.

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  • Charity merger: National Childbirth Trust

    We advised the National Childbirth Trust on its merger with the Midwives Information and Resource Service (MIDIRS). We advised the National Childbirth Trust on this merger including negotiating and concluding a framework merger agreement.

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  • Conversion of a housing association to a charity

    Converted Franklands Village Housing Association to an exempt charity and subsequently complete its merger with a local charity. Franklands Village Housing Association is a community benefit society and therefore could not register with the Charity Commission.

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  • Cross border charity merger

    Advised Outward Bound on the transfer of the Omani operations of a subsidiary charity to an NGO registered in Oman. Outward Bound operated a subsidiary charity in Oman to use its wild deserts and mountain landscape to develop life skills through challenging outdoor journeys.

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  • Governance review of a Royal Charter body

    Advised the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists on the introduction of an entirely new governance structure. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is the medical Royal College for its speciality established by Royal Charter. Ian Hempseed was appointed as the legal advisor to the College’s Governance Working Party, whose recommendations were approved by the College’s Council.

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  • Manor Church of England School Fund

    New secondary school development. We were appointed by the Governors of this Church of England School to advise on the construction documentation for their £17 million new secondary school site developed on a Greenfield site in Poppleton, York.

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  • National rebranding of a charity

    We advised Arthritis Research UK on its national rebranding. We provided a legal project plan and then handled all stages of implementation, including obtaining consents from the Charity Commission and OSCR, passing the resolutions of the charity and its subsidiaries and licensing of the new name to its trading company.

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  • Chambers UK 2017
    “Excellent - the lawyers knew exactly what was needed and were quick to get on with the job. ”
  • Chambers UK 2017
    “The lawyers are proactive and give clear and concise advice to a high standard. ”
  • Chambers UK 2017
    “Ian Hempseed is efficient, prompt and gives all the support you could ask for. ”
  • Legal 500 2016
    “Clients single out Ian Hempseed, who shines for his expertise in relation to social enterprise in the health and social care sectors. ”