Charity Law & Not-for-Profit

Our Charities & Not-for-Profit team advises charities, voluntary bodies, not-for-profit organisations and social enterprises on a wide range of legal matters. The lawyers in our team have an in-depth knowledge of the charities and social enterprise sectors and draw on that knowledge, experience and insight in their practical advices. We provide local community-based organisations and well-known international charities alike with bespoke, specialist legal services.

As the largest provider of legal services to clients in these sectors in Ireland, we regularly advise charities on restructuring their operations, beginning new ventures, updating their governing instruments and governance practices and day-to-day queries. We advise charities on their obligations under charity law, company law, where relevant, various voluntary codes of practice and any other legislation to which they are subject. Assistance on issues of employment law, property law and trust law are incorporated into such advices where required.  

Charity Law Services:

  • Establishment of charities
  • Advice on appropriate legal structures for incorporated and unincorporated bodies
  • Mergers of charities
  • Registering and making annual returns to the Charities Regulator
  • Re-organisation and restructuring of charities
  • Adoption of Codes of Conduct and Governance Manuals
  • Governance training
  • Advice on conflicts of interest
  • Advice on the governance of charities
  • Estates and trusts
  • Advice to Social enterprises
  • Property transactions, including
  • Sales of land and premises;
  • Leases;
  • Licence of parish property;
  • Appointment of new trustees;
  • Applications to the Charities Regulator;
  • Licence agreements with boards of management of schools
  • Tax advice, including applications for a charitable tax exemption (CHY number)
  • Advice on education law
  • Construction law advices for charities


Chambers & Partners, 2017

"they were a pleasure to deal with: collaborative, collegial and co-operative."

Chambers Europe, 2016

"thorough, thoughtful and practical advice" 

Recent Work

  • We advise long established charities including educational, healthcare, church and social care organisations on many of the legal issues that they face today and those which they may face in the future. These include updating their governing instruments to ensure that they reflect modern governance practices and incorporating bare trustee property holding companies to hold property. We also provide advice on day-to-day issues such as the appointment of new trustees, ongoing good governance and general adherence to charity law.
  • Charities often decide that their charitable purpose could be better carried out by merging with another entity with a similar charitable purpose. We advise charities on the entire merger process, from due diligence exercises and the planning stages through to the drafting of the transaction documents, notification of employees, transfer of all operations into a new structure, assistance with the EGM documentation and liaising with the Revenue Commissioners and Charities Regulator, where necessary. 
  • We advise a number of healthcare providers on an on-going basis on their adherence to the HSE Compliance Statement. We have created a Compliance Manual which healthcare providers can use to demonstrate their compliance with each of the requirements set out by the HSE, including board and corporate governance arrangements, Department of Health HR circulars and Department of Public Expenditure and Reform circulars. We also regularly advise healthcare providers on structuring and corporate governance issues relevant to them and their obligations under their Service Arrangements with the HSE. 
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Edward Gleeson


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Charity Law Brochure