Episode 2: Jonathan Brinsden Introduction to Charities


In this episode I ask Jonathan Brinsden, partner in the Charities and Social Enterprise team at law firm, Bircham Dyson Bell, about some charity law basics: what are the requirements to be a charity in England and Wales, how are they regulated and what are the various structures available – and what are some of the pros and cons of each.

Jonathan advises on a wide variety of commercial and constitutional issues affecting charities and is the first point of contact for many charity chief executives. He has assisted a number of charities with Charity Commission schemes and other regulatory issues relating to their activities.

He has considerable expertise in the specialised area of NHS charity regulation and has worked with charities of all shapes and sizes in improving their governance systems and developing their legal frameworks. Jonathan has also built up a significant practice advising on fundraising, direct mail solicitations and sponsorship opportunities.

Jonathan has developed particular expertise in advising charities operating internationally, in particular in helping overseas charities develop their franchise within the UK, often by a subsidiary or by a dual qualified charity.

Jonathan is a trustee of a number of charities and frequent contributor to charities media debates.

This is what we cover:

  • Historical background – the Statute of Elizabeth I.
  • Charitable categories – and how they have been updated.
  • Public benefit and what it means.
  • Trading and why it can be a problem.
  • The Charity Commission and its role as Regulator.
  • Structures: Unicorporated and Incorporated (CIOs and companies limited by guarantee).

Things mentioned in this episode include:

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