CPD Hours Level
Conference expert panelInformation 6 UpdateInformation
SRA Competency B


Chaired by Joss Saunders, general counsel at Oxfam, this popular annual conference examines a range of subjects from the most recent update on the CIFF case, through to recent case law on the charity exemption and the Equality Act and how the ethics of investment and major gifts are changing.

Conference Agenda

This Conference will cover the following:

9.30am - 10.15am: Charity Law Update

Nicola Evans, BDB Pitmans

This session will provide a round-up of recent and expected charity law developments, covering:

  • Updated Charity Commission guidance
  • An update on the CIFF case (Lehtimaki and others v Cooper) on members of charitable companies and the court’s charity jurisdiction
  • Developments in charity business rates relief across the UK
  • An update on charity trustees and disqualification
  • Charity law in the new government - what policy developments have been announced or might be expected?

10.15am - 11.00am: The Ethics of Investment & Major Gifts - A Changing Environment?

Laetitia Ransley, Farrer & Co

Charities are increasingly expected to be more transparent and accountable to supporters, beneficiaries, regulators and the public at large and are held to high standards in how they operate - including who they take money from and how they choose to invest it.

In an era of climate change and protesters holding corporations to account, this frequently means that trustees are being faced with ethical questions which it is not always straightforward to reconcile with their legal, fiduciary duties to act in their charity’s best interests and further its purposes for the public benefit.

This session will focus on key areas where ethical issues are increasingly driving changes in behaviour within charities - but are the law and regulators keeping up? Or do trustees risk losing sight of their core mission by trying to cure the ills of modern society?

The session will cover:

  • The legal position in relation to investment
  • Justifying ethical/responsible investment approaches in an evolving governance environment
  • Legal and ethical considerations around acceptance, refusal and return of gifts
  • What to consider when drafting policies relating to gifts and major giving

Morning break for refreshments

11.15am - 12.00pm: Risk Management for Charities - Entering the Twilight Zone

Peter Parker, Wrigleys Solicitors LLP

Considering the ever-increasing number of macro and micro economic and political pressures facing charities, this session will look at how charities should manage risks in times of financial uncertainty.

The session will cover:

  • Why charities can be susceptible to financial problems
  • When has a charity entered the ‘twilight zone’
  • What duties do charity trustees have when their charity has become financial distressed
  • What practical steps charity trustees should, and should not take, to meet those duties
  • What can prevent a charity effecting a successful turnaround, and how can a charity overcome them

12.00pm - 12.45pm: The Equality Act - The Charity Exemption

Matthew Smith, Maitland Chambers

Section 193 of the Equality Act contains a specific exemption for charities. This session will explore the effect of the Court of Appeal decision in R(Z) v LB Hackney & Agudas Israel Housing Assn where the Court upheld the right of the charity in question to limit its housing facilities to adherents of a particular faith.

This session will cover:

  • The scope of the charity exemption in the Equality Act
  • The role of the governing instrument in invoking the exemption
  • The role of proportionality in charity discrimination cases
  • Possible implications of the decision

12.45 - 1.00pm: Questions

2.00pm - 2.50pm: Money Laundering & Charities

Jacqui Lazare, Royds Withy King

This session will examine the current issues facing charities regarding money laundering along with the most recent developments.

The session will cover:

  • The impact of the requirements under the Trust Registration Service and the Fifth Money Laundering Directive
  • A review of ‘know your’ principles as part of risk management for charities
  • Powers available to the Charity Commission by virtue of s46 Charities Act 2011
  • Recent case law

2.50pm - 3.40pm: Charity Governance - Getting it Right

Hannah Kubie, Stone King

With the Charity Commission continuing to ramp up expectations on charity boards and the recent review of the Charity Governance Code, charity governance remains a hot topic.

This session will cover:

  • Some of the problems with charity governance - issues unique to the sector
  • The Charity Commission’s changing approach to governance - current strategy and enforcement
  • Charity Governance Code - consultation and areas of challenge
  • Challenging the status quo

Afternoon Break for refreshments

3.55pm - 4.45: Understanding Charity Liability

Joss Saunders, Oxfam and Blake Morgan

This session will cover the range of alternative types of liability that charities can be exposed to, including:

  • When are trustees potentially liable, notwithstanding limited liability?
  • Claims in tort, under equality law, agency and whistleblowing
  • Wolff v Trinity Logistics; Timis and Sage v Osipar
  • Criminal law and public law
  • Trustee indemnity insurance

4.45pm - Close: Questions

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Conference | 19.05.2020

London | 9:30am - 5:15pm

Charity Law - 2020 Annual Conference

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9:30am - 5:15pm
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