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Charities, Ireland

Our charities group provides practical and pro-active legal and professional advice to local and national charities and religious orders. We have a strong reputation in this area with a proven track-record in advising not-for-profit organisations, health service providers, educational organisations and ecclesiastical institutions.

Our charity group is drawn from across the business and includes members of our private client, tax, employment, corporate and commercial, property, banking and finance teams. We can also provide company secretarial and trust administration services for charities.

The Setting Up and Registration of a Charity

We can offer advice throughout the start-up phase and on a variety of issues such as: 

  • The most appropriate form for your organisation;
  • Governance issues;
  • Obtaining charitable status;
  • Incorporation;
  • Registration with the Irish Revenue Commissioners;
  • Company secretarial matters; and
  • Cross-border issues in Northern Ireland and the UK.

Restructuring and Organisational Reviews

In the dynamic world of charities and religious orders, we can carry out a review on any aspect of your organisation and can suggest practical changes to deal with the demands of the current environment. We can also advise you on how to restructure your organisation and its projects to adapt to these changes by implementing one or a number of the following measures: 

  • Analysing your charitable objects and activities;
  •  Reviewing administrative provisions;
  • Outlining the interaction between religious institutions and lay organisations;
  • Advising on whether incorporation might be appropriate (for unincorporated organisations);
  •   Ensuring compliance with current Irish law, such as the Charities Act 2009;
  • Setting up of appropriate trading subsidiaries and other group structures;
  • Conducting due diligence; and
  • Preparing group agreements.

Mergers and Acquisitions

We have a particular reputation in advising on the mergers and acquisitions. We can assist you by:

  • Advising on the suitability of your potential partner and the charitable objects;
  • Establishing a new governance structure for religious orders such as a Public Juridic Person (PJP);
  • Negotiating on your behalf;
  • Drafting the required documents including transfer agreements;
  • Attending Board meetings;
  • Advising on the transfer of assets;
  • Advice on HR issues such as redundancies and TUPE.

Fundraising, Investment and Donations

As funding arrangements are central to the success of any charity, we can provide focus across a broad range of funding and financing matters and can help you with advice on:

  • Grants; 
  • Bank financing;
  • Gift aid;
  • Donations and donor incentive schemes; 
  • Third party contributions;
  • Trading activities; and
  • Annual financial accounts.

Other Practical Considerations

Finally, we can offer assistance in a number of inter-related sectors which often impact upon the day to day running of charitable organisations including:

  • Tax planning; 
  • Trusts and charitable trusts;
  • Regulatory issues;
  • E-commerce; 
  • Intellectual property;
  • Canon law; 
  • Data protections issues; and
  • HR and Employment law.

We also regularly run seminars and workshops for our clients. These provide a relaxed and informal forum for discussion allowing our clients to obtain advice from professionals within our practice. They also provide opportunities for our clients to meet colleagues in similar organisations for networking or knowledge sharing purposes.

If you are interested in participating in any of these events or if you would like more information about the Eversheds Sutherland Charities Team, please contact Sean Ryan.