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Charity solicitors

Parkinson Wright charity lawyers provide tailored legal advice to large charities, smaller charities and not for profit organisations in the UK.

We have expertise across the charity sector, including social enterprises and education. Our specialist team supports independent and state funded schools with school initiatives and community projects.

How we can help charities

Our charity lawyers work with experts in different legal departments at Parkinson Wright. This means charitable organisations can benefit from a bespoke legal service. 

We can guide you through the process of establishing a charity and setting up a corporate structure that best suits your charity’s activities. 

Our guidance includes:

  • Advising you about charity law compliance.
  • Registering your charity with the HMRC and Charity Commission.
  • Advising you about legal structures. For example, are you going to set your charity up as a trust or a charitable incorporated organisation?
  • Providing you with ongoing legal services and offering practical solutions to issues.

Our specialist charity lawyers have years of experience in company formation. This includes setting up new charities and advising how to make strategic changes to existing charities. 

People can leave gifts to charity in their will by simply naming the charity. Alternatively, assets might be left in a trust so charity trustees can make decisions about how money is donated. 

When assets are left to charity, there are not usually any problems, but sometimes things do go wrong. There can be delays in legacy payments, executors may administer an estate incorrectly, or a will may have been drafted negligently, so the charity suffers a loss. 

Sometimes family members do not agree with the amount of money that has been left to a charity. Even if a charity wants to surrender money to a family, it cannot legally do so unless there are sufficient grounds. 

Generally, a family member can only contest a gift to charity if they were financially dependent on the person who has died and they have not received adequate provision.

Our charity lawyers advise both individuals and charities on estate administration and wills and inheritance disputes. Disputes about wills are particularly stressful, and emotions can run high, so we take a calm and sensitive approach. We aim to settle disputes as quickly and amicably as possible for the benefit of everyone involved.

As a charity, you have to fulfil certain legal requirements to maintain your charitable status. However, the same business processes apply to charities as profit-making companies. 

Our legal services include: 

Parkinson Wright charities team has the knowledge and experience to help you make the best use of your assets in the interests of your beneficiaries.

Our solicitors support charities with dispute resolution. We know it is important to resolve legal issues quickly to avoid damage to reputation and loss of funds.

We can advise on disputes between a charity’s trustees, contractual disputes, employment disputes, contested legacies, property disputes, public law disputes, debt recovery, defamation and brand protection and other matters.

If you anticipate a dispute arising, please seek our advice as soon as possible. Seeking the right advice early can prevent a dispute from escalating.

Employees and volunteers are the key to the success of a charity. Our experts can support you with:

  • Employment legislation compliance. Legal compliance is vital to ensure your workforce’s rights are protected and legal claims are not brought against you.
  • Contracts of employment. We draft contracts of employment. A contract is the foundation of a productive working relationship as both employer and employee know what is expected of them.
  • Employment documentation and policies. We advise you on what policies and documents you need and what they should cover. Documents might include an employee handbook, equal opportunities policy, social media policy etc.
  • Human resources advice. If you do not have a human resources department, our experts can advise you as and when required.
  • Health and safety. We advise you on the law and the steps you need to take to protect the physical and mental health of employees and volunteers. 

At Parkinson Wright, we can offer you employment solutions to meet your charity's needs.

Your charity may own leasehold or freehold property. When a property is bought, sold, leased, mortgaged, or transferred by a charity, special requirements and procedures must be followed.

Our solicitors can advise you about:

  • Buying or selling business property. Under the law, you must try to get the best possible financial deal for your charity. You are likely to need a surveyor’s report prior to sale or letting of your property. Contracts will need special wording in them regarding your compliance with charity law.
  • Protecting your investment if you are a charity landlord
  • Business leases and licences.

We can also advise you on other matters such as mortgaging charity land and how to dispose of land with a permanent endowment.

If your charity is owed money, this can prevent you from continuing with essential work. 

Our debt management and recovery team offer effective solutions to debt recovery, and we settle matters without issuing court proceedings whenever possible.

Why choose Parkinson Wright solicitors?

Our charity lawyers at Parkinson Wright work with other legal experts in our firm to provide comprehensive support for charities and not for profit organisations. Each lawyer is highly skilled and experienced in their field and dedicated to supporting charitable organisations. 

We provide a cost-effective, flexible service, so your charity can benefit from legal advice whenever you need it.


Parkinson Wright charity team has several accreditations, so you can rest assured you will receive the highest quality legal advice and level of customer service.

  • Solicitors Regulation Authority

    Regulated and authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
  • Lexcel Quality Mark

    We have achieved the Law Society’s Lexcel Legal Practice quality mark which sets the standard for client care. 
  • Resolution

    As members of Resolution we are focussed on settling disputes outside of court through mediation. 


Get in touch

We offer a Free Initial Assessment, so you can call us without charge or obligation to find out how we can support your charity.

To arrange your Free Initial Assessment at a time convenient to you, please call 01905 401 893

Team Members

Jeremy Redfern
Partner, Commercial
Douglas Godwin
Partner, Head of Commercial & Agricultural Services


Charities must follow charity law, regulations and best practices as well as the legislation that applies to all businesses. 

Our commercially focussed charity lawyers will not only advise you about legal compliance, but they will work proactively to help you maximise funds so you can continue to support your beneficiaries.

The Charities Act 2011 is the main piece of legislation that affects charities. 

However, as well as charity law, there is a vast amount of legislation charities must comply with. This relates to employment, equality, health and safety, data protection, property and more.

Yes, normally you can change the structure of your charity. You may wish to change from a trustee model to a charitable company or a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (C.I.O) for example. Sometimes you can do this under your articles, sometimes you will need the consent of the Charity Commission to do this. We can advise you of your options, the benefits of each option, and the next steps.

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