Legal Issues Workshop Report

Legal Workshop for Charities


Following on from the success of the marketing workshop, we held a legal workshop for Rank-supported charities on 9th September 2008 at the Foundation's offices in Warwick Square, London. In attendance were representatives from Prospex, the Salmon Centre, SE1 United, the Essex Association of Boys' Clubs, Time and Talents, Feathers Association, Hampshire Deaf Association and the Rank Foundation itself.

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James Dingemans QC spoke about civil and criminal liabilities of charities for death, injury and employment matters, covering the development of the law in the area of civil and criminal liabilities relating to health and safety matters, culminating in the 2007 Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act.

Karon Monaghan QC gave a presentation on how anti-discrimination law affects charities, examining the key areas of race, gender, sexual orientation and disability (and their more detailed subsets) and demonstrated with clear examples how actions could be directly or indirectly discriminatory

Simon Turner covered issues relating to corporate governance, duties of trustees and directors and insurable risks, discussing the importance of objective oversight, the liabilities of trustees, and the importance (and limitations) of insurance.

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There were questions after each presentation, often covering specific issues faced by the charities present, and it was clear that the workshop had covered much relevant ground for those attending, as the feedback suggested:

"Very useful - covered a lot of ground in a short time"

"Excellent - three knowledgeable speakers.  Pacey and thought provoking"

"Excellent - very informative.  Legalistic and practical".

"I know I only speak for one organisation but the two sessions we have attended have been very useful for helping us to look critically at the way we do things and then ways in which we can hopefully  improve."

The Fellowship looks forward to continuing the workshop programme and we welcome suggestions for topics and requests from charities to be invited to future workshops.

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