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Charities, not for profit and philanthropy (Mishcon Private)

Philanthropy and Charities

Philanthropy and charitable giving play an ever more important role in supporting and shaping a vibrant, healthy civil society. 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. Charities can be powerful agents delivering public benefits, including through advocacy and campaigning for change.

We build deep, meaningful relationships with private and corporate clients in advising them how to have the greatest impact through their giving; with charities to deliver maximum impact; and with trustees and executives in the discharge of their duties. 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.

Our lawyers are experts in all aspects of philanthropy, including corporate purpose, family charters and succession, tax and charity law. Many serve as trustees and volunteers, and a number have significant experience leading and working in cause based and charitable organisations. We seamlessly bring together specialists from across our Firm's departments, and work closely with external experts, in conjunction with our dedicated sustainability practice, Mishcon Purpose. We are passionate people, focussed on the value that well considered giving can generate, for donors and beneficiaries alike.

Charities are besieged by demands: pressures of regulation, fast changing legislation, the day-to-day challenge of providing public services, and the need to act commercially and tax efficiently. Increasingly, charities operate internationally, with donors, operations and beneficiaries across multiple jurisdictions. Growing public and regulatory demands for increased accountability and reporting, especially in relation to Environmental, Social and Governance issues, mean that charities need increasingly sophisticated and nuanced advice, delivered in a pragmatic, cost effective manner. We establish longstanding relationships with the charities we advise, working as trusted partners. Where our focus on impact aligns, we look to work together with charities, to leverage our attributes and networks to scale positive impact.

Our specialisms include advising clients on:

  • Regulations and compliance
  • Fundraising agreements, grant making, sponsorship, events and commercial participator contracts
  • Campaigns and advocacy
  • Endowments and impact funds
  • Charity proceedings and applications to be joined as a party to proceedings
  • Dispute resolution both on behalf of and against charities including Charity Commission inquiries and appeals against their decisions
  • Mergers and re-structuring
  • Property, employment and brand
  • Investigations and assurance
  • Human rights and environmental impact advice, including training
  • Risk and reputation

Our corporate giving is a key part of how we deliver on our commitment to have a positive impact on society and the environment. It is informed by our Firm's Core Values and purpose, driven by our people, and informs the approach we take to advising on corporate philanthropy.

Our specialisms include advising clients on:

  • Corporate Purpose, governance and staff engagement
  • ESG exposure, dependency and impact assessment, mapping, compliance and reporting
  • Establishing corporate charitable foundations, impact ventures and partnerships
  • Cost efficient giving and tax
  • Legacy fundraising and contested probate, including rectification proceedings and claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, challenges to validity and interpretation of wills and caveats
  • Reputation and risk

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

  • Duties, governance and compliance
  • Contracts, policies and frameworks
  • Remuneration and participation
  • Training
  • Disputes
  • Beddoes applications authorising trustees to become involved in litigation
  • Risk and reputation.
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