Clive Cutbill


Clive is a consultant to the charities and philanthropy team.

Clive joined Withers as a partner in September 2000, having previously been a partner in another international law firm based in London. As a member of the Charities Team, Clive led Withers’ global philanthropy practice until June 2013, advising both charities and donors in relation to tax-efficient giving and funding and providing advice on charity governance and operational issues. He then became the firm’s International Risk and Compliance Director, and a full-time member of its global senior management team, but continued to provide consultancy on charity and philanthropy matters to the Charities Team and its clients. Following his retirement from that role at the end of June 2018, he re-joined the Charities Team as a consultant.

Clive founded, and was the initial chair of, the STEP Philanthropy Advisors Special Interest Group and was also a member of the working party set up by HM Revenue & Customs to review the Substantial Donor Rules which led to their replacement with the Tainted Charity Donations Rules. He has been a trustee or committee member of a variety of different types of charity during his career.

Clive was the firm’s nominated officer for money-laundering reporting purposes from 2002 to 2018 and, as chair of the STEP Anti-money Laundering Task Force, was involved in discussions with HM Treasury, MEPs, the European Commission and the Financial Action Task Force of the OECD regarding the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. In the latter role, he was a recipient of an outstanding achievement award at the STEP 2007 Private Client Awards for his role in securing key amendments to the Money Laundering Regulations 2007 at draft stage.

Even before he moved to a management role, Clive’s combination of knowledge and experience in the fields of trust and charity law, on the one hand, and money laundering and terrorist financing issues, on the other, was described as ‘unique’. He has regularly been ranked in publications such as Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500, Chambers and Partners 2015 describing him as ‘heavily involved in the establishment of US/UK dual-qualified charitable structures, as well as advising on tax-efficient and funding issues for an array of charities and donors. He is recognised for his expertise in the area of money-laundering prevention.’ His spell as International Risk and Compliance Director has since further broadened his experience, so that he now also advises clients with no other connection to the Charities Team on risk and compliance-related issues.

Track record





Advised a number of foreign charitable bodies, including US and other foreign universities, in relation to English charity and related tax law issues, including obtaining recognition for a non-UK entity as a charity for UK tax purposes.

Establishment of US/UK dual-qualified charity structures both for institutions and for donors exposed to both UK and US tax and other issues relating to cross-border charitable giving.

Provided practical and authoritative advice in relation to issues where charity and philanthropy, on the one hand, and compliance issues, including money laundering and terrorist financing issues on the other, inter-relate.

England and Wales, 1985

‘Handbuch des Internationalen Stiftungsrechts’ (Zerb Verlag, 2007), English chapter, co-collaborator with German lawyers

‘International Charitable Giving’, (Oxford University Press, 2012), Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing issues chapter, author; co-editor with Alison Paines and Murray Hallam

‘Practical Trust Precedents’, and ‘Practical Will Precedents’, Sweet & Maxwell, editor

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners

City of London Law Society

Charity Law Association

‘Compliance: What Happens When Things Go Wrong?’, 26th Oxford Offshore Symposium, Oxford – September 2016

‘Philanthropy’, 26th Oxford Offshore Symposium, Oxford – September 2016

‘Charities and Anti-Money Laundering’, STEP Global Congress, Amsterdam – July 2016

En resumen sobre mí

When I retired as Risk Director, my former colleagues and clients asked me to return to my professional roots as a consultant and I look forward to being able to continue to add value to the services which the firm provides to its clients.

I started my professional life as a private client (or ‘trusts and estates’) lawyer in the 1980s, when advising charities and philanthropists was an integral part of what we all did. Over time, we all became more specialised and, having moved to Withers, I became part of the charities team, advising both charities and their donors. As charities and their donors increased their cross-border activity and Withers’ international practice grew, my work started to become more international and new horizons opened up. At about the same time, I was asked to become the firm’s Money Laundering Reporting Officer, which exposed me to another area of law and a different way of thinking altogether.

When I was asked to take over as the firm’s International Risk and Compliance Director in 2013, I had mixed emotions. It was difficult to leave a team I had worked with for many years and hand over the leadership of a cross-border practice area I had spent some time building. At the same time, having spent over ten years working closely with the risk and compliance team as the firm’s MLRO, the opportunity to take on a management role which built on that part of my experience was exciting.

Happily, while I was Risk Director I was still allowed to continue providing consultancy to my former colleagues and clients. In addition, part of my role as a member of the firm’s global senior management team was to visit our various offices and get to know the partners and staff in them. This enabled me both to deepen my relationship with those colleagues with whom I had already worked on cross-border charity and philanthropy issues and to build many new relationships with people with whom I had not previously interacted to the same degree. That, and the opportunity to learn a lot about a number of things which the average practising lawyer rarely encounters, hopefully enhanced my usefulness.

I was therefore delighted that, when I retired as Risk Director, not only my former colleagues but a number of clients asked me to return to my professional roots as a consultant and I look forward to being able to continue to add value to the services which the firm provides to its clients.



  • English





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