Governance for faith-based charities

Our team of experienced solicitors take a faith-focused approach to providing governance advice and support to faith-based charities and other organisations.

Good governance is key to the success of any charity. We work in partnership with new and established faith-based charities to advise and support them in all aspects of governance. We work with charities and organisations across all religious denominations, advising trustees, leaders and regulatory bodies of churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, chapels and other buildings or meeting places used for religious purposes. 

The role of the charity trustees is to set strategy, lead the charity, oversee operations and be accountable to members and other stakeholders in an open and effective manner. They might also be responsible for the spiritual oversight of a faith-based charity. It is fundamental to the health of a charity that as the factors underpinning effective governance change, for example, as trustees or key employees leave or the charity restructures, that regular reviews are carried out to ensure that governance remains fit for purpose.

We work with faith-based charities to help them decide on the structure for their organisation and what type of charity they want to be, whether that is a charitable company, a charitable incorporated organisation, a community benefit society, a trust or an unincorporated association. We understand that the faith basis of a charity can affect its unique structure and we work to ensure that all documentation recognises, and terminology used is appropriate to, that faith.

Sadly, even in faith-based charities disagreements can arise, for example, due to personal differences, misunderstandings, theological differences, conflicts of interest or inappropriate conduct. At Anthony Collins Solicitors our experienced governance team works with charities to ensure that appropriate policies and procedures are in place to assist in dealing with governance disputes should they arise. We understand that the faith basis of a charity may affect how a dispute should be handled most effectively. Resolving governance disputes can be a complicated and delicate process dealing with sensitive situations. Failure to recognise this can cause a dispute to escalate and poses a risk to the reputation of the charity.

Our team of specialist solicitors use their extensive knowledge of faith-based charities to advise and support on all aspects of governance including…
  • Structures for charities and restructures, including establishing a new charity and converting from a non-charitable structure to a charitable structure.
  • Federated structures.
  • Group structures including subsidiaries and intra-group agreements.
  • Processes and procedures.
  • Schemes of delegation.
  • Providing board or trustee training and induction to ensure wider awareness of sector regulations, trustee duties, responsibilities and liabilities and understanding the drivers in the sector.
  • Governance reviews to ensure compliance with the law and fit for purpose.
  • Advice on non-charitable trading.
  • Working internationally.
  • Governance dispute resolution, including removing a trustee from the board.

We have been recognised for the work we do

Chambers and Partners UK 2017 – Ranked Practice Areas

Top-Tier Firm 2016

The Legal 500 Top Tier Firm 2021

UK top-five charity law firm in Charity Financials’ 2017 Top Legal Advisors list.

Sector Lead

Edwina Turner

Legal director

Legal director in the governance, funding and corporate team