Lawyers for Charities
At Carter Lemon Camerons, we have considerable experience in supporting charities and their trustees. Trustees are essentially volunteers with increasingly heavy responsibilities, and we specialise in providing practical, expert advice in the creation of charities and their subsequent management, appointment of executive teams and corporate governance issues. We can advise trustees in relation to managing risks as their charity grows, and we work with the Charity Commission to obtain orders and schemes to keep charities relevant and active for their beneficiaries as they pursue their objectives.
- We advised a YMCA on its merger with another larger YMCA via a change in its membership but which included full corporate and property due diligence
- We acted for a national umbrella organisation for specialist rape and sexual abuse support services in connection with their setting up of regionally based subsidiary organisations by way of CIOs
- We act for a group of charities which operate both a retreat and conference centre staffed by a significantly sized intentional Christian community along with small missional communities, in connection with its general legal advice needs and specifically, the purchase of a former convent
- We were instructed by a charitable trust providing an environment and facilities to assist with furthering young people’s creative aspirations, in connection with the negotiation of heads of terms and subsequent agreement for lease and lease over office premises located in the grounds of the performance venue, with particular detail relating to landlord’s works and tenant’s contributions
- Instructed by a North London Islamic charity, we drafted the documents to constitute an innovative programme whereby it could provide assistance to its beneficiary community towards house purchase by providing or arranging the provision of a security deposit to those who could not otherwise afford one
- Acting for that same charity, we advised them on making an offer and negotiating heads of terms for a phased acquisition for a North London development site in excess of £30M
- We are currently instructed by a South London Islamic charity in making an offer for a new centre of approximately £4M
- We are currently acting for an active sea cadets charity sitting on a cash lump sum having sold a property a few years back and looking at the feasibility of taking over the clubhouse of a diminishing youth club charity in the same geographical area – raising issues as to property and the best structuring of an amalgamation/merger
- Formation and registration of charities and other ‘not for profit’ organisations
- Governance and employment advice
- Mergers, amalgamation, reconstruction and dissolution of charities which have outlived their objects
- Negotiating schemes and orders with the Charity Commission
- Advising on funding
- Advising trustees on responsibilities, breaches of trustee duties and acting within their powers
- Advising on property acquisition, development, lettings and disposals
Meet the team
Andrew Firman is a partner in our corporate & commercial team. His corporate practice concentrates on buying and selling mainly owner-managed SMEs and associated advice on contractual and banking documentation work. His employment practice covers all aspects of contentious and non-contentious work for both employers and employees. His charity practice majors on compliance and amalgamation matters.
In his work, Andrew looks for proactive and pragmatic solutions derived from a proper understanding of the client’s perspective and against the background of the commercial constraints.
Career highlights include
- running a David v Goliath style battle for a former employee of a US based bank related to the late vesting of share options following that employee’s termination at a time when the US markets were in freefall
- negotiating, finalising and drawing down for an off-shore SPV borrower at £310M facility to buy a group of companies which owned, as an investment, the London HQ of a multinational corporation
- reaching settlement terms on a long running shareholders’ dispute concerning a company running a niche members’ gym in a close knit area of London
More recently, Andrew has advised upon
- the purchase of owner-managed companies across a number of different sectors by a leading SME investor, incentivising existing management via equity and loan note positions in the purchasing entity
- sale by owner managers of a London based estate agency business with multiple sites, whilst preserving the sellers’ ability to continue business activity in the sector
- sale of SPV off shore companies holding UK property assets
- multi facility refinancing of a major UK specialist facilities maintenance company with asset based receivables, property, cashflow and recovery loan scheme elements
- the negotiation and documentation of departure terms for the CEO pioneer of a cutting edge national charity
- the position of a charity trustee in connection with disqualification proceedings and interim manager appointment by the Charity Commission in respect of two charitable trusts
Andrew has over the years enjoyed advising many owner-managed SMEs on the range of their needs for commercial, employment and dispute related legal advice, something for which the firm has received increasing recognition through awards, repeat and new business which in turn goes to the depth of the relationships the firm has with its clients and its target market in terms of size of business clients.
Andrew was educated at Nailsea School and holds degrees in law from Manchester and Leicester Universities. He qualified as a solicitor in 1995. He is a co-author of a Practical Guide to Drone Law.
Away from the office Andrew, married to a local GP and of occasional use to his three children, enjoys running and cycling and being involved in various ways in his local church and the fantastic community that is SE24.
Eleri Jones is a partner in the Commercial Property department at Carter Lemon Camerons, having joined in December 2019 from another City-based law firm.
She specialises in commercial property matters relating to the charity sector in addition to acting for a full range of commercial clients.
Eleri is experienced in acting in the sale and purchase of commercial and residential property, Development Agreements, Commercial Lease renewals and Licences, as well as advising on compliance with the Charities Act, charity governance documentation, the transfer of properties to CIO and the development and disposal of school land.
Amongst her notable cases, she negotiated and drafted a development agreement for a large residential development with leaseback to the freeholder, including provision of development by the purchaser and provision for overage. Eleri also acted on a large-scale financial restructuring of a care home business.
Eleri qualified as a solicitor in 1993.