Family business giving

If you created wealth via a family business you have a range of options available to help you give to charity – we like to think of it as a spectrum. You might want to stay flexible and give directly to charities, or you might want to create a corporate foundation which will give you structure and can allow you to involve employees in an advisory capacity on a foundation board.

We are experienced in helping you navigate the particular challenges in organising family business giving and private philanthropy.

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Ranked in Band 1 for private client for the last 16 years

Recognized for non-profit/charities law, tax law and trusts and estates law in San Diego by Best Lawyers 2016 and 2017

Ranked Band 2 in Chambers 2017 for Charities

Ranked Tier 2 in Legal 500 2016 for charities and not-for-profit

Meet the team

Track record

Association of NHS Charities

The Association of NHS Charities is the voice of NHS Charities through England and Wales, and works to represent and support the interests of these organisations as well as offering a network of support. Withers acted on the Association's behalf in preparing the Department of Health's guidance for the deregulation of NHS Charities.

SSAFA, the armed forces charity

Withers has had a long and very successful relationship with the armed forces charity SSAFA and we have acted for them on many issues over the years. We are immensely proud of our continued association with this worthwhile organization. Our team was on hand to advise when the charity went through a redundancy exercise and TUPE transfer in Germany. We successfully negotiated when two senior executive roles were terminated, alongside more junior members of staff, one of whom brought a disability discrimination claim. In another notable instance, we advised an Employment Tribunal in the UK over whether the charity could be held liable for an allegedly discriminatory decision taken by the MOD. We secured a ruling in our client's favour.

Well-known UK charities

Advising several large, well-known, UK charities in relation to their pension obligations, including in the context on a transfer of former public sector employees under a business sale, and in another case, how a regional branch office might manage its risks and liabilities in relation to a final salary pension scheme in which it participated for non-associated employers in the voluntary sector.

Charity trust pension

Advised a large charity-sector master trust pension trustee on ways in which it could adapt and improve its business model in light of changes in the pensions legal and regulatory arenas, as well as changes in the requirements of, and challenges faced by, charitable employers.

Worldwide philanthropic activities

We advised a Middle Eastern family who were actively engaged in philanthropic activities around the world. We created a Jersey based charitable foundation to focus the families's activities.

Charity of international sportsman

Assisted a well-known international sportsman with the creation of an Italian charity to support philanthropic projects and fundraising events in Italy.

Philanthropy for an order of Roman Catholic nuns

Represented an order of Roman Catholic nuns wishing to use their real estate, a five acre, 100+ year old legacy garden, for philanthropic purposes and in accordance with the charism of their order. We arranged for the garden to be owned by an independent nonprofit corporation qualified under the IRC as a private operating foundation, with directors appointed from the community and a permanent supporting endowment. The garden will be used for contemplative and meditative exercise.

Non-grantor charitable lead annuity trust

Assisted an ultra high net worth individual with his charitable endeavors and continued support of research at an elite education institution.  We worked with the individual to establish a non-grantor charitable lead annuity trust, a technique that also incorporated beneficial tax planning for our client.

Charitable and non-profit entities

Creation and ongoing representation of charitable and non-profit entities, including public charities, private foundations, and charitable trusts (charitable remainder trusts and charitable lead trusts).

Advising the World Wildlife fund and other charities in a will dispute

We represented the charities who successfully argued that English law governs the validity of a will dealing with English immovable property (the first judicial approval of the rule in Dicey). The court also held that England rather than Alabama is the appropriate forum for the dispute, despite the testatrix's nephew, Mr Clark, having obtained letters of administration in Jefferson County, Alabama