Mishcon de Reya page structure
Site header
Main menu
Main content section
Charities, not for profit and philanthropy (Mishcon Private)

Charities, Social Ventures and Philanthropy

Charities, social entrepreneurs and philanthropists play an ever more important role in supporting and shaping a vibrant, healthy civil society and delivering positive social and environmental impact, both in the UK and around the world.

Charities and social ventures can be powerful agents delivering public benefit through their programmes, grant-making and innovation, and their advocacy and campaigns for positive change. For families and businesses, carefully thought through giving can be a powerful tool in delivering on their purpose, reflecting their values and contributing to their social contract with the communities they serve and to which they belong.

We offer a specialist, seamless service to help innovative charities, social ventures and philanthropists to deliver their strategic and operational plans, from start-ups to charities over 350 years old, and both local and globally. We build deep, meaningful relationships with our impact-driven clients, helping individuals and organisations to manage risk, take informed decisions and leverage valuable networks.

Our approach is informed by our own Core Values as a firm, our purpose – to enable our clients and our people to shape the world's possibilities – and our commitment to deliver positive environmental and social impact, including through our dedicated sustainability practice, Mishcon Purpose. Our lawyers are experts in all aspects of charity law, social ventures, and philanthropy, including corporate purpose, family charters and succession, and tax law. Many serve as trustees and volunteers, and we share significant experience leading and working in cause based and charitable organisations.

Today's charities juggle many demands: pressures of regulation, member engagement, fast changing legislation, the day-to-day challenge of providing services, and the need to diversify revenue streams and explore commercial ventures. Our charity clients operate internationally, with donors, operations and beneficiaries across multiple jurisdictions.

Our team is designed to support innovative charities and projects with a seamless service, complementing our broader networks and clients We have particular expertise in:

  • Collaboration within and beyond the charity sector
  • Regulation and risk management, including serious incident reporting
  • Legal and governance structures and design, including governance reviews and best practice
  • Investigations and regulatory inquiries
  • Commercialisation projects to develop new funding streams, including impact investment, spin-outs and new ventures
  • Developing digital products and services for beneficiaries, and digital transformation including data protection and technology contracting
  • Fundraising agreements, grant making, sponsorship, events and commercial participator contracts
  • Campaigns and advocacy
  • Endowments and impact funds
  • Charity proceedings, litigation and dispute resolution
  • Mergers and re-structuring
  • Working internationally, including employment arrangements, financial sanctions and regulatory reporting
  • Brand monitoring and protection in the UK and globally
  • Human rights and environmental impact advice, including training
  • Risk and reputation

We are at the forefront of designing, creating and supporting social ventures throughout their lifecycle, as they tackle the world's big social and environmental challenges, both local and global. We help with:

  • Initial advice for social entrepreneurs starting out
  • Social venture design and legal models, both simple and complex
  • Group structures with multiple legal vehicles
  • Best practice governance frameworks and board dynamics
  • Impact and social investment, including blended finance
  • Grant funding, agreements and frameworks
  • Collaboration and partner agreements
  • Shareholder and member agreements for collaboration and investment
  • Day-to-day legal and risk advice, including contracts, people, data, intellectual property and real property

Please see our dedicated page and resources for social ventures.

We have a deep understanding of the dynamics and politics of families, family businesses and personal relationships. We understand the issues our clients face and what keeps them awake at night. We know that their concerns go far beyond money and wealth preservation: family issues, reputation, their home, the things they love, or their legacy are far more important. Our business is protecting them, their interests and the things that matter most to them.

Our specialisms include advising clients on:

  • Developing family values, purpose statements and charters, embedding core giving strategies and philosophies
  • Establishing effective and efficient philanthropic structures, including charitable family foundations, impact investments, and international partnerships
  • ESG exposure, dependency and impact assessment, mapping, compliance and reporting
  • Creating impact frameworks, grant giving mechanisms, and KPIs and reporting processes
  • Cost efficient giving and tax
  • Reputation and risk management

We provide trusted, pragmatic and strategic advice to individual trustees and executives, and to boards and leadership teams, on:

  • Legal duties, best practice governance and regulatory compliance
  • Contracts, policies and frameworks
  • Remuneration and participation
  • Training and policy-making
  • Disputes and mediation
  • Court and regulatory orders authorising trustees to become involved in litigation
  • Reputation and risk management

Our specialisms include advising corporate clients on:

  • Brand and fundraising partnerships with charities and social ventures
  • Corporate purpose, governance and staff engagement
  • ESG exposure, dependency and impact assessment, mapping, compliance and reporting
  • Establishing corporate charitable foundations and impactful social ventures
  • Cost efficient giving and tax
  • Reputation and risk management
How can we help you?

How can we help you?

Subscribe: I'd like to keep in touch

If your enquiry is urgent please call +44 20 3321 7000

I'm a client

I'm looking for advice

Something else