BWB Briefing for Charities and Social Enterprise

BWB Highlights

Want a refresher on key charity law issues? Come to the BWB/DSC Annual Charity Law Conference on 14 May.

Whether you are a newcomer to charity law, a trustee or chair, or an in-house charity lawyer, these sessions will guide you through all the key areas, from employment, to regulatory requirements, and tax and VAT. Click here to view the full list of workshops.

A 15% discount is now available for BWB clients. Book here quoting the code “bwb15”.

At a glance

The Charity Tribunal has ruled on the time limit for filing an appeal in a case where the commission had carried out a formal decision review.

The government has begun recruitment for a new Regulator of Community Interest Companies.

NAVCA has published the findings of the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Survey.

ICSA has published a guidance note “Good practice for Annual Reports”.

The Big Issue Invest Corporate Social Venturing 2015 programme is now open to applications from early stage social businesses.

Charity Tribunal

When does the time limit for filing an appeal run from if the commission has carried out a decision review? In a recent case, the tribunal held that time for bringing an appeal against an order of the Charity Commission appointing a new trustee ran from the original decision – even though the charity applied for, and the commission carried out, a formal decision review. The tribunal held that the decision made on the decision review was not a “fresh” decision. Rev. Geoffrey Muhoro (former Chair of the unincorporated charity, The Old Barn Youth and Community Association (East Finchley) –v- the Charity Commission.

Tax and VAT

Aimed mainly at non-charities, ICSA has published a guidance note “Good practice for annual reports”.

Social impact

See this blog from Big Society Capital on “What is corporate social impact investing and how are companies approaching it?”

Social investment

See this press release from Social Enterprise UK about an Early Intervention Fund established by CAN, the London-based social enterprise, and UBS, the international financial services firm. Big Issue Invest are calling upon early stage social businesses throughout England to apply for the Corporate Social Venturing 2015 programme which officially launched last week.

Social enterprise

The government has begun recruitment for a new Regulator of Community Interest Companies. (The current regulator, Sara Burgess, finishes in the role on 13th September 2015.) The role has been combined with a senior policy job based at Companies House but can be applied for as a part time job, flexible working or job share.


NAVCA has published the findings of the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Survey, the largest charity survey of 2014. The survey was conducted by NAVCA and the Health and Care Voluntary Sector Strategic Partnership, involving more than 50 charities. One key finding is that local health bodies need to do more to engage with charities.


Schools – A faith school, the London Oratory, has been partly successful in a judicial review of findings made by the School's Adjudicator in relation to the school’s admissions criteria, particularly its over-subscriptions criteria. The High Court held that the school was required to show a clear and proper reason for departing from guidance issued by the diocese, which will be more difficult when its over-subscription criteria undermine or conflict with the guidance. The judgment contains a useful examination of the law on setting faith-based over-subscription criteria for schools. R (The Governing Body of the London Oratory School v The Schools Adjudicator [2015] EWHC 1012 (Admin) (17 April 2015).)

Higher education – see item under Volunteering below.


New guidance published by Charities Aid Foundation, with the support of UCAS, the Association of Colleges, the Higher Education Liaison Officers Association, the National Union of Students, Step Up To Serve and the National Citizen Service, shows how students can develop valuable life skills and personal qualities whilst helping others, by getting involved in volunteering or social action before they apply to universities and colleges. UCAS’ own information for students completing personal statements will now include reference to ‘social action’ (for example through fundraising, volunteering or campaigning) as one of the things students can use when preparing their university and college applications and something that may help catch the eye of admissions tutors.

Faith-based organisations

See item under Education above.

Posted on 28/04/2015 in Legal Updates

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