Key proposals in the consultation, which can be found here (see A-Z of projects > Charity Law), include:-

  • simplifying the process for a Royal Charter charity wishing to amend its governing document;
  • extending the statutory power for smaller unincorporated charities to amend their charitable purposes and administrative provisions;
  • simplifying the process of dealing with the proceeds of failed fundraising appeals;
  • significantly altering the regime in relation to the disposal of interests in land by charities;
  • extending the financial threshold within which the capital in a permanent endowment fund can be expended where the trustees consider it appropriate to do so;
  • providing a statutory power to allow a charity to remunerate a trustee in relation to the supply of goods to the charity (subject to certain safeguards);
  • simplifying the regime in relation to ex-gratia payments by charities;
  • revising the arrangements in relation to charity mergers (including incorporations) which would ensure that any legacy to a charity which has merged or incorporated would automatically transfer to the merged/incorporated charity;
  • giving the Charity Commission new powers to require a charity registering with the Commission to change its name in some circumstances and to determine the identity of a charity’s trustees; and
  • clarifying some processes in relation to the Charity Tribunal.

The aim of the proposed changes is reduce bureaucracy for charities whilst maintaining sufficient safeguards to protect public trust and confidence. Some of the proposed changes if brought into law will represent the most significant change in charity law since the Charities Acts in 1992 and 1993. We have submitted a full response to the consultation - [media type="link" id=651]. The Law Commission will publish its response to the consultation along with a draft Bill in 2016. The Bill would then need to go through the Parliamentary process and so a new Charities Act is unlikely before late 2016 or more likely into 2017.

 For more information

Contact Phil Watts.