Legal and governance training and consultancy
for the voluntary sector

Ch.1: Setting up an organisation
Ch.2: Unincorporated organisations
Ch.3: Incorporated organisations
Ch.4: Charitable status, charity law & regulation
Ch.5: The organisation's objects
Ch.6: The organisation's name
Ch.7: The governing document
Ch.8: Registering as a charity
Ch.9: Branches, subsidiaries & group structures
Ch.11: Collaborative working, partnerships and mergers
Ch.12: Members of the organisation
Ch.13: Members of the governing body
Ch.14: Officers, committees & sub-committees
Ch.15: Duties & powers of the governing body
Ch.16: Restrictions on payments & benefits
Ch.17: The registered office & other premises
Ch.18: Communication & paperwork
Ch.19: Meetings, resolutions & decision making
Ch.20: Assets & agency
Ch.21: Contracts & contract law
Ch.22: Risk & liability
Ch.23: Insurance
Ch.24: Financial difficulties & winding up
Ch.25: Employees & other workers
Ch.26: Rights, duties & the contract of employment
Ch.27: Model contract of employment
Ch.28: Equal opportunities in employment
Ch.29: Taking on new employees
Ch.30: Pay & pensions
Ch.31: Working time, time off & leave
Ch.32: Rights of parents & carers
Ch.33: Disciplinary matters, grievances & whistleblowing
Ch.34: Termination of employment
Ch.35: Redundancy
Ch.36: Employer-employee relations
Ch.37: Employment claims & settlement
Ch.38: Self employed & other contractors
Ch.39: Volunteers
Ch.40: Health & safety
Ch.41: Safeguarding children & vulnerable adults
Ch.42: Equal opportunities: goods, services & facilities
Ch.43: Data protection & use of information
Ch.44: Intellectual property
Ch.45: Publications, publicity & the internet
Ch.46: Campaigning & political activities
Ch.47: Public events, entertainment & licensing
Ch.48: Funding & fundraising: General rules
Ch.49: Fundraising activities
Ch.50: Tax-effective giving
Ch.51: Trading & social enterprise
Ch.52: Contracts & service agreements
Ch.53: Financial procedures & security
Ch.54: Annual accounts, reports & returns
Ch.55: Auditors & independent examiners
Ch.56: Corporation tax, income tax & capital gains tax
Ch.57: Value added tax
Ch.58: Investment & reserves
Ch.59: Borrowing
Ch.60: Land ownership & tenure
Ch.61: Acquiring & disposing of property
Ch.62: Business leases
Ch.63: Property management & the environment
Ch.64: How the law works
Ch.65: Dispute resolution & litigation

This page contains information that has appeared on Sandy Adirondack's legal update website for voluntary organisations at For current updates, including potential changes that are in the pipeline, see the legal update website.

These websites for each chapter update the 3rd edition of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook by James Sinclair Taylor and the Charity Team at Russell-Cooke Solicitors, edited by Sandy Adirondack (Directory of Social Change, 2009). The websites are not intended as a comprehensive update and should not be treated as such.

To order a copy of The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook, print out the order form at or send an email order by clicking . It costs £60 for voluntary organisations or £90 for others, plus 10% p&p.

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The information here covers the law applicable to England and Wales. It may not apply in Northern Ireland and/or Scotland. These news items are not a full or definitive statement of the law and are not intended as a substitute for professional legal advice. No responsibility for loss occasioned as a result of any person acting or refraining from acting can be taken by the author.

Chapter 10

The items below formerly appeared on the legal update website for voluntary organisations and are archived here. The content may be out of date and links may not work. For current updates to the chapter, see the legal update website for voluntary organisations at


Added 9/8/12. This information updates chapter 10 & s.11.5.4 in The Russell-Cooke Voluntary Sector Legal Handbook (VSLH3).
In his review of the Charities Acts presented to Parliament on 16 July 2012, Lord Hodgson made the following recommendations in relation to mergers and changing legal form. The government did not comment on these in its interim response on 3 November 2013. The government's full response will include consideration of the Commons public administration select committee's report on its inquiry into the Charities Act 2006 and the regulation of charities, which was published on 6 June 2013.

  • The Charities Act merger provisions should be modified to provide that all bequests shall be treated as a gift to the new, merged or incorporated charity where a will may otherwise cause a gift to fail if the original charity has ceased to exist. This should include safeguards around the relevance of the new charityís objects to ensure that the intentions of the testator are respectfully considered [Chapter 10 mergers and winding up recommendation 1].
    Sandy's comment: Bates, Wells & Braithwaite Solicitors comment, "This is not the 'quick fix' the sector was hoping for — having to apply a test comparing objects of the original and successor charity, and second-guessing the intentions of the testator will, we think, lead to uncertainty — but ultimately we think Lord Hodgson is right to recognise the importance of testators' wishes."

  • Professional advisers should work to identify a standard form of wording for a charitable bequest that can be used easily by will drafters and members of the public [Chapter 10 mergers and winding up recommendation 2].

  • The Charity Commission and HMRC should revise registration practices to allow newly incorporated organisations to continue to be registered under their original charity number where there has not been a material change to the organisationís objects [Chapter 10 mergers and winding up recommendation 3].

  • The banking industry should allow charitable organisations that have incorporated or merged to maintain and rename their existing accounts in the name of the new body [Chapter 10 mergers and winding up recommendation 4].

  • Reforms should be considered which would simplify the transfer of permanent endowment by charities considering merger, without the Commission having to make a scheme to appoint the recipient charity or its trustees as trustee of the endowment [Appendix A recommendation 16].

  • An anomaly affecting the transfer of some leaseholds and other covenants as part of a merger should be clarified [Appendix A recommendation 17].
Lord Hodgson's report and recommendations can be accessed on the Cabinet Office website via The government's interim response is on the Cabinet Office website via

Go back to list of all of Lord Hodgson's recommendations
Go back to contents

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Governance and legal training and consultancy
for the voluntary sector

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