Helen Hirst

Helen advises charities and social enterprises, assisting clients to choose the most appropriate charitable and social enterprise structures, as well as governance more generally.  Helen’s experience includes registering of charities and CIOs with the Charity Commission, varying governing documents, mergers of charities and contractual queries.  Helen works with a wide variety of charities including start-ups, social enterprises, established charities, academies and independent schools. 

In the education sector, Helen’s experience includes steering community, foundation, faith and PFI schools through the Academy conversion process. In addition, Helen advises multi academy trusts on acquiring existing academies through re-brokerage arrangements, as well as assisting academies who are themselves being transferred to multi academy trusts.  She attends quarterly meetings with the Department for Education regarding academy conversion issues and policy decisions. Helen supports academies and independent schools on a wide range of day to day issues including governance, contracts, freedom of information and data protection.

Helen completed her training in local government where she gained a solid grounding in public law and remained in local government for three years post qualification. During this time Helen worked for three different Councils advising on projects in the education, housing and waste sectors. This included delivering a number of Building Schools for the Future schemes. Helen draws upon this background in the advice she provides to education clients.

Helen joined Hempsons in 2018 as an Associate in the Charities and Social Enterprise department.

Areas of expertise

  • Governance
  • Charity law
  • Contracts
  • Academy conversions
  • Academy transfers

The clients Helen works with

  • Charities
  • Social Enterprises
  • Multi Academy Trusts
  • Single Academy Trusts
  • Independent Schools

Recent publications

Qualifications and memberships

  • Legal Practice Course (2005)
  • Law (LLB) (2003)
  • Member of the Charity Law Association

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