- Charities and Social Enterprise
- 01423 724035
Helen advises a wide variety of charities and social enterprises from start-ups to established organisations including academies, NHS charities and social care charities.
Helen’s expertise includes advising charities and social enterprises on choosing the most appropriate structures, as well as governance more generally. This involves registering of charities and CIOs with the Charity Commission, CIC requirements, varying governing documents, mergers of charities and contractual queries. Recent advice includes providing critical support to charities in relation to governance, funding and mergers required as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the education sector, Helen’s experience includes steering community, foundation, faith and PFI schools through Academy conversions and transfers to multi academy trusts. Helen supports academies and independent schools in respect of day-to-day advice they require including governance and contracts.
Helen completed her training in local government where she gained a solid grounding in public law and gained further experience in local government post qualification. During this time Helen worked for three different Councils advising on projects in the education, housing and waste sectors.
Helen joined Hempsons in 2018 as an Associate in the Charities and Social Enterprise department.
Areas of expertise
- Charity law
- Academy conversions
- Academy transfers
The clients Helen works with
- Social Enterprises
- Multi Academy Trusts
- Single Academy Trusts
- Independent Schools
- Three ways sixth-forms can prepare for academisation, TES
- A to Z of Academy Governance, Education Executive
Qualifications and memberships
- Legal Practice Course (2005)
- Law (LLB) (2003)
- Member of the Charity Law Association
“Helen Hirst is an exceptional individual who provided a wonderful training programme to our Corporate Trustee, supporting them in understanding their roles and accountabilities.” (Legal 500 2020-21)
Hempsons' Free Trustee Training Webinars September 2021: Session One - Legal duties and responsibilities of charity trustees - The legal duties and responsibilities of charity trustees, including managing conflicts of interest. We will explore the need for trustees to take responsibility for their organisations and how boards have been responding to the challenges of the pandemic.View Event
Hempsons' Free Trustee Training Webinars September 2021: Session Two – Improving governance at Board and Senior Management level - Making governance work better at Board and Senior Management level, looking at Board effectiveness and its role, how this relates to the work of the Chief Executive, efficient delegation and how to approach taking the difficult decisions.View Event
Hempsons' Free Trustee Training Webinars September 2021: Session Three - Trustees’ responsibilities for both external and internal financial reporting, examining key areas such as the different types of funds and how they can be spent and the linking of reserves policy to strategy, taking the difficult decisions.View Event
The Law Commission has made a series of recommendations for legislative change to the Charities Act 2011 following extensive consultation.
The Charity Commission has recently published 5 new 5 minute guides that trustees and charity operational staff may find a useful reminder of the basic principles for running a charity
How do you know when a safeguarding matter is a “serious incident” for the purposes of the Charity Commission?
Safeguarding of those involved in the charities sector, and particularly beneficiaries of charities, has become of increasing importance to the Charity Commission in recent years. Some headlines involving major charities such as Oxfam and Save the Children Fund have brought this topic to the top of the Charity Commission’s agenda.
During the last few weeks we have had a number of questions and queries from Charities and Social Enterprises regarding the impact COVID-19 has had on their organisations. Hempsons specialist legal teams have collated a Frequently Asked Questions document that may help you with your own current situation.
The Charity Commission has published guidance for the charity sector in respect of difficulties they may be facing due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. For some charities, this may be an increase in demand for others a stark financial picture.
With a new academic year starting, Academies will need to be familiar with the requirements of the Academies Financial Handbook 2019. Published in June and taking effect on 1st September 2019, here are the key changes for Academies to be aware of.
Now that schools are fully into the autumn term, it’s helpful to recap on the education news from the last few weeks.
Autumn/Winter 2019 edition of Hempsons’ Charities and Social Enterprise Newsbrief.
We are committed to the education sector and understand the challenges and opportunities it faces in this time of change. Whether you are considering academy conversion, transferring to a multi academy trust or expanding your mult academy trust, Hempsons are able to guide you through the process and beyond.
Helen Hirst shares her experience of advising academies on governance matters by providing her top ten questions for academy trusts to consider when reviewing their Articles.