Charities & Communities

We provide a quick response to Charities needing advice

Whether you are considering setting-up a charity or are already involved in the management of a charity, we can provide both practical and legal advice to help you and your organisation evolve and achieve its charitable objectives.

We offer a reduced charging rate for all charities and community organisations we look after and assist.  

Charity Law has evolved significantly in recent years and continues to change with the introduction of further regulations.

Our charity team are great advocates of good governance within the sector and regularly deliver training seminars to help charity trustees understand their roles and responsibilities.

For existing charities we offer a free Constitutional health check where we will review your charity’s constitution or governing document at no cost so as to provide our recommendations for change. Please contact us for more information.

We know that it can be a challenge for a charity’s trustees or executive team to ensure that they set realistic strategic objectives and to adhere to their legal obligations at the same time. That is why we are here, to provide legal, practical and sound advice at every stage.

We have also been involved with assisting charities where there has been a breakdown of trust or communication between its Board and management team, in providing assessments of a charity’s governance, as well as mentoring trustees and particularly Chairs of charities, and in providing specific training for Chairs and Vice-Chairs of charities.

Our Partner Sarah Brown, who is accredited by the Law Society of Scotland as a specialist in Charity Law, heads up our charity team dedicated to serving charities and community organisations throughout Scotland and further afield. Together with our Consultant Colin Liddell, Sarah and Colin are the only accredited specialists in Charity Law outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow. 

Our Charities Team have developed a leading role and an outstanding reputation in Scotland in the provision of legal advice, governance training, and Company Secretarial and administrative and financial services for charities.

We act for a growing number of charities and other non-profit-distributing organisations, locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. The charities we look after work in every variety of charitable activity and we have significant knowledge and experience of almost all issues which can arise. One of the charities which we helped to bring into being chose Scotland rather than Geneva for its base, and now operates in over 40 countries.

Specifically, we can provide:

  • honest advice about whether charitable status is appropriate for your ideas or for any existing organisation which is contemplating becoming a charity
  • the type of organisation to choose
  • making a change to type of organisation your charity is and whether it should be single-tier 9without a membership) or two-tier (with an active membership)
  • the running and development of your charity
  • financial services for your charity, including payroll services
  • advice and assistance in fund-raising schemes and obtaining tax relief
  • advice on non-charitable trading and setting up a separate trading company
  • changing the structure of existing charities and all aspects of charity reorganisation
  • the reorganisation of Restricted Funds
  • amalgamation of one or more charities
  • dissolution of a charity.

Sarah Brown and Colin Liddell lecture regularly throughout Scotland and deliver webinars, both to professionals and to charity trustees, on a variety of topics, but mainly relating to the governance and day-to-day running of charities and on relevant aspects of Charity Law and practice.

Colin is also the author of two chapters to 'A Practical Guide to Charity Law in Scotland’ published by W. Green (ISBN13: 9780414032569), one on ‘Variation, Reorganisation and Amalgamation’ and the other on ‘Dissolution’.

We look forward to have an opportunity to help you

If you have an enquiry or would like to join our mailing list to receive updates, including our Annual Charity Newsletter and advance notice of upcoming training seminars, please complete our Contact Form by clicking here.