Practice Areas & Industries: Withers Bergman LLP


Charities and Not-for-Profit Return to Practice Areas & Industries

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Practice/Industry Group Overview

Providing legal services to charities has always been a core area of work at Withers. Our team helps not-for-profit organizations at every stage of their development involving lawyers from many of the firm's different practice areas.

We are recognized as one of England's leading charity law practices. We act for many of the UK's top charities and are frequently referred work by other lawyers and intermediaries because of our in-depth knowledge of charities and the laws that apply to them.  We have particular experience in relation to charities operating in the fields of education, healthcare and the arts.

Many of our charity and philanthropy team are themselves charity trustees, giving our team a very real insight as to the concerns, governance and aspirations of not-for-profit organizations.

We work with a broad spectrum of clients, including well-known registered charities such as the British Red Cross Society, the NSPCC and Macmillan Cancer Support, exempt charities and public bodies such as The TATE and the UK Film Council. We act for more NHS-related charities in the UK than any other firm. We also help to set up new charities for clients ranging from entrepreneurs, wealthy families and companies to existing charities with innovative ideas for making a difference.

Recent work

  • Assisting with the establishment of US/UK dual qualified charities for the NSPCC and RNLI.
  • Working with the British Olympic Foundation and the British Olympic Association on the structuring of their charitable activities in the light of London's successful bid to host the 2012 Games.
  • Advising the British Red Cross Society on various issues, including their leading role in operating the London Bombings Relief Fund, the UK's National Floods Appeal and their reconstruction work in Indonesia following the Asian Tsunami.
  • Advising Yale University on negotiating and drafting various economic development agreements with a municipality and its economic development corporation.
  • Advising the Girls' Day School Trust on its ground-breaking conversion of two fee-charging schools to Academies and working with the Trust on its international joint ventures in India and China. 
  • Advising private foundations on domestic and foreign grantmaking, program related investments and structuring loans to public charities.
  • Working with Macmillan Cancer Support on its re-branding.
  • Advising on the merger of GuideStar UK and Civil Society Systems to form GuideStar International.
  • Representing a 501(c)(3) organization in connection with the sale of approximately $700 million of operating assets to a for-profit purchaser.
  • Advising a prominent New York healthcare organization on property tax exemption issues and on a $100 million secured financing.
  • Advising 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(4) organizations on impermissible political activities and 501(h) elections.
  • Drafting applications for private letter ruling requests on a variety of tax matters, including obtaining church status for St. Regis Hospital and allowing a private foundation to make a liquidating distribution to an entity abroad.