Chris Priestley


  • Education: University of Edinburgh, LL.B (Hons) Law
  • Admitted: England and Wales, 1996 • Scotland, 1994
  • Languages spoken: French
  • Year joined: 1996
  • Year became partner: 2003


Chris has a wealth of experience in advising charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit bodies on all aspects of their operations and regulation. He is particularly well known for his work with not-for-profits on their commercial and fundraising projects, whether domestic or international. He also advises businesses and individuals working with charities on their CSR or philanthropic initiatives whether advising on the establishment of a new charity or in relation to joint ventures and collaborations involving charities.

Chris is recognised as a leading expert on governance and fundraising matters for some of the country's largest charities.

'Chris Priestley is "one of the best charity lawyers out there. He doesn't hide behind the law, and is focused on outcomes",' and is "pragmatic".

Legal 500, 2014

'Sources describe him as "very switched on" and praise his ability to "drill into exactly what clients need".

'Chris Priestley is particularly popular among clients, who extol his level of "responsiveness" and his "full-time availability." He continues to lead the team on substantial matters for high-profile charity clients''

"He is very easy to deal with, he puts things into a context I can understand and he is very thorough and always follows through on his actions."

Chambers, 2014 & 2015


Chris regularly advises some of the country's leading charities (operating both nationally and internationally) including: Macmillan Cancer Support; the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery; British Red Cross; the College of Optometrists; Cancer Research UK; Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity; SSAFA – the Armed Forces charity; Alzheimer's Research UK; the Chartered Institute for Personnel & Development; the Royal Society; the Royal British Legion; the Girls' Day School Trust; the Royal Free Charity; the Novak Djokovic Foundation; and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. 

Recent work

  • Advising Cancer Research UK on the 'Stand Up to Cancer' campaign broadcast on Channel 4
  • Advising SSAFA – the Armed Forces Charity on its sponsorship agreement with BT
  • Advising on major donations to art galleries and museums including: the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Smithsonian
  • Advising British Red Cross on its charity shop loyalty card scheme
  • Advising on the establishment of the international prize: the LUI Che Woo Prize for World Civilisation
  • Advising the Board of Trustees of the Tate Gallery on its proposed merger with Tate Members

Publications and speaking engagements

Chris' publications include:

  • The ICSA Charity Trustees' Guide
  • Chapters in the ICSA Charities Handbook, and
  • The fundraising chapter of Tolley's Charities Manual
  • He writes regularly for the charities press and is responsible for the English legal notes section of ‘Whitakers’s Almanack'.       


Charity Law Association.

On a personal note

Chris enjoys a good film when he is not cycling, swimming or singing. He is a trustee of the Brooke Weston Trust and the Barrow Foundation UK and stood as a candidate for Islington Council.


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