Our Faith-Based Organisations group pools the expertise of Employment, Charity, Real Estate, Immigration and Dispute Resolution lawyers and Advisory and Impact to meet the needs of this sector most effectively.
Our faith-based clients reflect the diversity of the different faiths in the UK today. We advise many churches and Christian charities, together with a wide spectrum of different faiths, including Hindu, Muslim and Jewish charities and places of worship. We also act for inter-faith and umbrella organisations. Many of our lawyers have personal links with one of the faith communities we advise, enabling us to provide practical and insightful advice.
Faith-based organisations face some unique challenges within charity law, including the need to demonstrate public benefit, and the complexity of religious or spiritual leaders who may be charity trustees, but also need to be paid for full-time ministry. As the leading UK charity law firm, we are highly experienced in negotiating such issues with the Charity Commission for our faith-based clients.
We have advised a number of charities that wish to restrict employment to those of the same faith, and have succeeded in a landmark ‘occupational requirement’ tribunal case to this effect.
Many faith-based charities rely on volunteers to run activities such as youth and children’s work and some require full-time workers to raise their own financial support. We have specific expertise in the Employment issues that face charities and are leading lawyers in the field of volunteer law.
We advise on the specific Immigration requirements for faith-based organisations, including sponsoring visas for religious workers and finding the best immigration option for those joining religious communities, coming to the UK for training, or joining their UK spouse when families return from services overseas.
In addition to legal advice, our Advisory and Impact divisions provide a unique combination of services in the areas of impact measurement, outcomes-based planning (including Social Impact Bonds), corporate finance and strategic advice. Our Advisory team can help faith-based clients create and realise value through mergers, acquisitions, disposals and restructuring. Our Impact team can also assist faith-based clients in planning and achieving impact.
We also advise our faith-based clients on:
- Establishing and registering faith-based charities
- Regulatory compliance cases initiated by the Charity Commission
- Governance and constitutional matters
- Internal disputes
- Fundraising and financing
- Mergers and reorganisations
- Safeguarding vulnerable beneficiaries
- Tax planning and VAT
We regularly run popular seminars specifically for faith-based charities, which have covered issues such as the Equality Act, social media and governance.