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UK Guide

Charities — Scotland


Burness Paull - Charities Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 20 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Glasgow

What the team is known for Top-notch advice on charity mergers and legal structures, particularly Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) models. Also assists with property, employment and IP issues faced by clients, many of whom are drawn from the education, housing and healthcare sectors. Recent work includes advice on restructuring, misconduct allegations and charity mergers.

Strengths Clients say the team is "really accessible, very responsive and highly knowledgeable - we know we will get consistent quality of response."

A source states that "without hesitation I would stick with Burness Paull - they are leaders in their field."

Work highlights Worked with Scottish Futures Trust to develop a constitution for a new charity called the Hub Community Foundation.

Undertook a governance review for Falkirk Council in relation to its offshoot trust for the delivery of culture, leisure and other services from local authorities.

Significant clients Glasgow Life, St Andrew's Ambulance Association, Epilepsy Scotland, Action for Children, Thistle Foundation.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Stephen Phillips has experience in working with a variety of organisations, including trust bodies, sporting organisations and local councils. Clients say he is "an expert on charitable organisations" who "gives practical advice and is very user-friendly."

About the Team (content provided by Burness Paull)

Department profile not yet provided by Burness Paull. Please see their firm profile.

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Turcan Connell - Charities Department

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Band 1

第一等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 8 partners
- 6 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Outstanding level of experience and expertise with regard to charities, trusts and endowment funds, private Acts of Parliament, Royal Charter amendments and tax law. Represents historic houses, national collections, independent schools and public bodies in charity law mandates. Regularly advises clients on contentious charities issues.

Strengths An impressed source commends the team's "quality of advice, speed of response and excellent knowledge."

Work highlights Advised the UK Green Investment Bank on the creation of a single purpose company, which may in due course be converted into a charity, as part of the bank's privatisation.

Advised The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in connection with the management of the college's land and estate, constitutional matters and membership issues.

Significant clients RSPB, National Trust for Scotland, Medical Research Scotland, The Shetland Charitable Trust, National Galleries of Scotland.

Notable practitioners

Simon Mackintosh is a highly experienced charities lawyer who advises on a full range of issues in the sector. Sources say he has "incredible knowledge and experience in the charity field" and enjoys a "very good reputation."

Gavin McEwan is the firm's head of charities and regularly advises clients on fund-raising and contractual issues. Clients say he is "highly proficient, effective and thorough," and "offers excellent charity law advice."

About the Team (content provided by Turcan Connell)

Turcan Connell is the largest charity law firm in Scotland, with an unmatched concentration of expertise in the country: seven partners headed by Simon Mackintosh, Chairman of the firm, and Gavin McEwan, Head of Charities since 2016, both accredited specialists in charity law.

Also ranked as Tier 1 for Charities and Not-for-profit by Legal 500.

The team is supported by an in-house body of trust accountants and tax advisers. No other firm in Scotland has a team with the experience or scale to match Turcan Connell.

Key types of work include all aspects of the management and regulation of charities, trusts and endowment funds, governance advice and constitutional reviews, private Acts of Parliament and Royal Charter amendments, with a major focus on philanthropy and assisting philanthropists in structuring their charitable giving.

Areas of recent growth include an increased focus on charity and restricted fund reorganisations to allow charities to use their funds to better and more efficient effect; and advising charities in relation to regulatory inquiries from the Scottish Charity Regulator. In each of the cases where we have supported charities through an OSCR inquiry, the charities have come out with a clean bill of health from the regulator.

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Anderson Strathern - Charities Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 7 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Much sought after by educational bodies and SCIOs for guidance on charity regulation, tax law and litigation. A multi-disciplinary offering able to assist with all manner of commercial issues, from retail income generation to renewable energy matters. Strong client base that includes higher education institutions and heritage organisations, as well as animal-related and art-based charities.

Strengths Clients appreciate that the team is "easy to contact, quick to respond and willing to provide additional support at short notice."

Work highlights Advised Borders Sport and Leisure Trust on all aspects of its proposed takeover of cultural services from the Scottish Borders Council, including advice on procurement issues.

Significant clients Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, University of Stirling, YMCA Scotland, The National Trust for Scotland, Abbotsford Trust.

Notable practitioners

Victoria Simpson leads the firm's charities offering and is experienced in advising on a full range of matters. Sources say she is "an excellent technical adviser and a good communicator."

About the Team (content provided by Anderson Strathern)

Department profile not yet provided by Anderson Strathern. Please see their firm profile.

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Morton Fraser - Charities Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 3 partners
- 3 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Has a strong focus on assisting with social investment. Advises educational, cultural and environmental organisations on new incorporations, charitable governance, employment and data protection mandates. Recent work has included advise on real estate matters.

Strengths Sources say that the firm's approach is "practical and realistic - you feel as if you are dealing with real people that want to help."

Clients say "the team is flexible and responsive," and add that its lawyers "want to actually understand the bigger picture and not just the specific issue."

Significant clients Scottish Wildlife Trust, The Schuh Trust, Scottish Mines Restoration Trust, George Heriot's Trust, Social Firms Scotland.

Notable practitioners

Adrian Bell has extensive experience of advising on charity law for clients within the education, heritage, sport and healthcare sectors. Clients note his "extensive technical skills and practical advice."

About the Team (content provided by Morton Fraser)

Department profile not yet provided by Morton Fraser. Please see their firm profile.

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Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP - Charities Department

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Band 2

第二等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 5 partners
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Acts for sporting, educational and cultural charities on governance matters. Offers cross-disciplinary assistance on sponsorship, tax issues, pension matters and restructurings. Also advises high net worth individuals and families on philanthropy related matters.

Strengths Sources state: "They are pleasant to deal with and have an excellent charity department with considerable strength in depth."

Clients highlight the team's "attention to detail and open-minded and solution-driven approach."

Significant clients Scottish SPCA, St Columba's Hospice, Royal Society of Edinburgh, Bank of Scotland Foundation, Barnardo's.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Malcolm Rust has experience in dealing with animal-related charities, higher education institutions and community trusts. Clients state: "Malcolm is a trusted adviser - he is supportive and very straightforward in his advice," and is "very responsive and gives a good level of service."

About the Team (content provided by Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP)

At Shepherd and Wedderburn, we offer the same high quality, incisive legal advice to all of our clients, whether private, public or charity. We do, however, appreciate the different regulatory regimes under which our charity clients work.

That’s why our charities team is cross-disciplinary, bringing together professionals from different areas of the business, such as employment, property and public sector.

Our clients include high profile national charities, health care providers and universities and educational institutions. We also advise several privately endowed charities. The advice we offer includes: constitutions, the creation, reorganisation and merger of charities; governance, charity trustee duties; and compliance, including interaction with the Charities Commission, OSCR and HMRC.

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Balfour+Manson LLP - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 1 partner
- 4 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Advises charities on all manner of charity law, as well as commercial property, public sector policy, trusts and employment. Often assists faith-based charities with the incorporation process and governance issues. Other areas of expertise include mental and physical health, homelessness and environmental restoration.

Strengths Sources say the firm has "excellent knowledge of the charity sector, is responsive with clarity of communication and is reasonably priced."

Clients note that the lawyers "have illustrated a breadth of knowledge across issues and have offered some creative answers to problems."

Significant clients Free Church of Scotland, Penumbra, Health in Mind, Samaritans, The Rock Trust.

Notable practitioners

Alan Gilfillan is experienced in advising charities on commercial matters such as alliance agreements, data protection issues and reorganisation procedures. One source notes he is "confident and effective in his dealings with clients, clear and responsive and has an excellent knowledge of charity law."

About the Team (content provided by Balfour+Manson LLP)

We act for established charities, as well as individuals and groups who wish to set up new charities in Scotland. The firm has a long tradition of advising faith based organisations, but we work with charities of all sizes, covering the full range of charitable purposes, including education, health, culture, environmental and community themes.

We provide comprehensive services on both non-contentious matters (including commercial property, constitutional changes, policies and reorganisations) and contentious matters (including disputes between charities and former employees, regulatory inquiries and investigations).

The firm also offers additional value to clients and other contacts by providing free seminars at our offices in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  In the past year we have covered a variety of topics including trustee duties, data protection, procurement law and general legal updates including developments at OSCR and new processes that trustees ought to be aware of.

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Brodies LLP - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Provides charities with a full-service offering, acting on a wide range of legal issues, including corporate and tax law advice. Advises clients on the regulatory and governance aspects of charity law, and assists with investigations into trustees. Wide-ranging client base, including higher education, sports and disability related organisations.

Strengths Clients state that Brodies is an "excellent firm to work with" and that the team offers "clear and concise advice."

Sources say the team is "very practical in terms of recognising how advice has to be implemented."

Work highlights Assisted the University of Edinburgh with various matters, including advice on commercial activities, data protection and trust matters.

Advised STV Group on the creation of the Scottish Children's Lottery.

Significant clients Enable Scotland, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, Community Safety Glasgow, Social Investment Scotland, Jobs and Business Glasgow.

Notable practitioners

Alan Eccles has experience in providing advice on governance and fund-raising issues to leading charities. One client describes him as "very incisive in his thinking," going on to say: "He's a very compelling speaker and a very strong practitioner."

Brenda Scott advises on a broad range of charities' issues with recent experience assisting with collaboration projects and due diligence. Clients say she "has been responsive and helps us deal with a wide array of things."

About the Team (content provided by Brodies LLP)

Department profile not yet provided by Brodies LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Gillespie Macandrew LLP - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 2 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Provides charities with a full-service offering, acting on a wide range of legal issues including corporate and tax law advice. Advises clients on the regulatory and governance aspects of charity law, and assists with investigations into trustees. Advises clients from a range of areas, including arts and leisure, heritage and sustainability.

Strengths Clients are "very impressed" with the firm's service, noting that "nothing's too much trouble and they're very accommodating."

Sources note the team is "knowledgeable and able to address unique issues," and that the lawyers are "flexible, approachable and supportive."

Work highlights Advised Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust on the establishment of a social impact fund to grant loans to organisations that furthered the trust's charitable purpose.

Advised Poppyscotland on issues including protection of intellectual property and revision of constitution.

Significant clients Incorporation of Goldsmiths, Royal College of Physicians, Mount Stuart Trust, Atlantic Salmon Trust, North Berwick Trust.

Notable practitioners

Lianne Lodge is a key contact.

About the Team (content provided by Gillespie Macandrew LLP)

Department profile not yet provided by Gillespie Macandrew LLP. Please see their firm profile.

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Lindsays - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- 4 partners
- 5 other qualified lawyers
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Particularly strong on charity governance and constitutional questions. Also assists with the creation of new charities and litigation, employment and property matters. Advises a varied client base, including mental health, animal welfare and children's charities.

Strengths Sources state: "All of the staff we worked with provided the highest level of service - all correspondence and contact was made in a timely and responsive manner."

A client says the firm is "always attentive, encouraging and efficient," and "I cannot speak highly enough of the advice and support they have always given."

Work highlights Advised Horsecross Arts on alternative governance structures and procurement issues.

Advised on implementation of new governance arrangements for the Border Union Agricultural Society, including transition arrangements and recruitment of a new board.

Significant clients Citizens Advice Scotland, Scottish Association for Mental Health, Barnardo's, Scottish Autism, Carr Gomm.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Alastair Keatinge is experienced in advising on matters including procurement issues, governance arrangements and constitutional reviews. One client states: "He provides straightforward, practical and easily understandable advice while giving real confidence."

About the Team (content provided by Lindsays)

Our charities team is experienced in working with charities, not-for-profits and social enterprises on a variety of matters including; governance issues, constitutional matters, funding and mergers and partnership working. We provide multi-disciplinary advice in relation to charity law contracts, corporate, property, litigation and employment.   

We act for a number charities and social enterprises ranging from well-known charities to innovative start-ups, and from international networks to local community groups and sports clubs.

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MacRoberts LLP - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: Edinburgh

What the team is known for Advises arts, educational and social enterprise organisations on all aspects of charity law and regulation. Also assists with community renewable energy projects and the tax, pensions and data protection issues affecting charities. Clients include health-focused charities and public sector groups.

Strengths Clients say: "Their support and passion for the work of the third sector shines through in very practical and accessible support."

Sources state: "MacRoberts is an excellent firm to work with, providing high-quality services and reassurance to clients."

Work highlights Advised the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations on a number of projects, including advising on the terms and conditions of use for the Good HQ website and providing legal advice to SCVO members.

Advised Trust in Fife in relation to a public social partnership involving Fife Council and 13 providers of housing support.

Significant clients Post Code Lottery Trust, Aberlour Child Care Trust, Beatson Cancer Charity, ENABLE Scotland, Royal Conservatoire.

Notable practitioners

Valerie Surgenor heads the department and advises clients on a full range of matters, including assisting charities with governance and in relation to commercial contracts. Clients say she is "very supportive, very positive, confident, knowledgeable, helpful, and we have a very positive working relationship."

Senior associate Robin Fallas is experienced in working for charities within the housing and leisure sectors. Sources state that "Robin has a sound understanding of the third sector operating environment and is a trusted adviser in his field."

About the Team (content provided by MacRoberts LLP)

Our Charities & Third Sector team has a deep understanding of the specific challenges facing the third sector.

In particular, we remain heavily involved in developing and advising upon evolving structures between the public and third sectors, drawing upon combined team specialisms of: public law and procurement; grants; tax; IPR and data-protection in addition to base charity law and charity regulation. This year has seen a step-change in our involvement in fundraising regulation and complex charity structuring involving detailed inputs on all aspects of tax law.

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TC Young - Charities Department

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Band 3

第三等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: Glasgow

What the team is known for Strong focus on advising social housing charities on their constitutional issues, governance reviews and regulatory compliance. Also acts for community regeneration and charitable renewable energy projects. Experienced in advising charities in the healthcare, leisure and sports sectors.

Strengths Sources state: "The team provides an excellent service and they respond promptly to all enquiries."

Clients say the firm has "very supportive and efficient lawyers with a breadth of experience in charity law and housing."

Work highlights Undertook a governance review of the Arran Cancer Support Trust, including preparing a revised constitution and advising on its implementation.

Undertook a review of the governance arrangements of the Urban Studies Foundation, responsible for the publication of the Urban Studies Journal.

Significant clients Erskine Hospital, Glen Kin Outdoor Centre, Money Advice Scotland, The Glasgow Group of the Riding for the Disabled, Glasgow Water Sports.

Notable practitioners

Mark Ewing is head of the firm's charities department, and is experienced in matters including governance and constitution reviews. Sources say that "he is very approachable and knowledgeable, and delivers clear and understandable advice."

About the Team (content provided by TC Young)

Department profile not yet provided by TC Young. Please see their firm profile.

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BTO Solicitors LLP - Charities Department

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Band 4

第四等

Chambers Commentary (based on the Chambers research)

Basic facts about the department
- Office location: Glasgow, Edinburgh

What the team is known for Large client following among housing associations, healthcare and cultural charities. Also assists clients operating in the education sector. Advises on governance, reorganisation, litigation and regulatory issues.

Strengths Sources praise the team's service, saying it is "excellent and very personable - they give you one-on-one service and you feel like you're an important contact."

Clients note: "They are extremely knowledgeable, very conscientious, very dependable and a very strong team."

Work highlights Advised the University of Strathclyde Students' Association on its change in legal form to an incorporated company structure, including revising and tailoring the new company constitution.

Assisted the Grampian Housing Association with a range of issues, including governance matters.

Significant clients Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Family Support Trust, Argyll Community Housing Association, East Ayrshire Carers Centre, Royal National Lifeboat Institute, Quarriers.

Notable practitioners

Head of department Marion Davis is experienced in working with charities from the education, health and social care, and housing sectors. Clients say that she is "proactive, knows the charity sector very well, is innovative in finding solutions to problems and is friendly and approachable."

About the Team (content provided by BTO Solicitors LLP)

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Star Individuals

Turcan Connell

From the Chambers UK guide

Simon Mackintosh is a highly experienced charities lawyer who advises on a full range of issues in the sector. Sources say he has "incredible knowledge and experience in the charity field" and enjoys a "very good reputation."

^ See whole ranking table

Star Individuals

Burness Paull

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Stephen Phillips has experience in working with a variety of organisations, including trust bodies, sporting organisations and local councils. Clients say he is "an expert on charitable organisations" who "gives practical advice and is very user-friendly."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 1

Alastair Keatinge

Lindsays

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Alastair Keatinge is experienced in advising on matters including procurement issues, governance arrangements and constitutional reviews. One client states: "He provides straightforward, practical and easily understandable advice while giving real confidence."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

Brodies LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Alan Eccles has experience in providing advice on governance and fund-raising issues to leading charities. One client describes him as "very incisive in his thinking," going on to say: "He's a very compelling speaker and a very strong practitioner."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 2

TC Young

From the Chambers UK guide

Mark Ewing is head of the firm's charities department, and is experienced in matters including governance and constitution reviews. Sources say that "he is very approachable and knowledgeable, and delivers clear and understandable advice."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Morton Fraser

From the Chambers UK guide

Adrian Bell has extensive experience of advising on charity law for clients within the education, heritage, sport and healthcare sectors. Clients note his "extensive technical skills and practical advice."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Turcan Connell

From the Chambers UK guide

Gavin McEwan is the firm's head of charities and regularly advises clients on fund-raising and contractual issues. Clients say he is "highly proficient, effective and thorough," and "offers excellent charity law advice."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Malcolm Rust has experience in dealing with animal-related charities, higher education institutions and community trusts. Clients state: "Malcolm is a trusted adviser - he is supportive and very straightforward in his advice," and is "very responsive and gives a good level of service."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

Brodies LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Brenda Scott advises on a broad range of charities' issues with recent experience assisting with collaboration projects and due diligence. Clients say she "has been responsive and helps us deal with a wide array of things."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 3

MacRoberts LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Valerie Surgenor heads the department and advises clients on a full range of matters, including assisting charities with governance and in relation to commercial contracts. Clients say she is "very supportive, very positive, confident, knowledgeable, helpful, and we have a very positive working relationship."

^ See whole ranking table

Band 4

J & H Mitchell

From the Chambers UK guide

Colin Liddell is the senior partner of J & H Mitchell and is an accredited charities specialist. He works with clients on a wide range of matters.

^ See whole ranking table

Star Associate

MacRoberts LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Senior associate Robin Fallas is experienced in working for charities within the housing and leisure sectors. Sources state that "Robin has a sound understanding of the third sector operating environment and is a trusted adviser in his field."

^ See whole ranking table

Star Associate

Anderson Strathern

From the Chambers UK guide

Victoria Simpson leads the firm's charities offering and is experienced in advising on a full range of matters. Sources say she is "an excellent technical adviser and a good communicator."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

BTO Solicitors LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Head of department Marion Davis is experienced in working with charities from the education, health and social care, and housing sectors. Clients say that she is "proactive, knows the charity sector very well, is innovative in finding solutions to problems and is friendly and approachable."

^ See whole ranking table

Associates to watch

Balfour+Manson LLP

From the Chambers UK guide

Alan Gilfillan is experienced in advising charities on commercial matters such as alliance agreements, data protection issues and reorganisation procedures. One source notes he is "confident and effective in his dealings with clients, clear and responsive and has an excellent knowledge of charity law."

^ See whole ranking table