PWW Charity Team Ranked in 2024 Legal 500 & Chambers Directories.

The charities team at PWW is proud to be ranked in the Legal 500 and Chambers again this year.

We would therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all our clients that contributed to the process for their fantastic feedback and continued support. The excellent testimonies received from both new and established clients has ensured our listing in these prestigious legal directories, which recognises the best law firms across the country.

Our rankings on Legal 500 and Chambers are a testament to the charity team’s professionalism and commitment, which continues to assist clients with identifying the right advisors for each organisation or individual’s needs and offers cost-effective legal advice on a broad spectrum of governance and property issues.

Small Charity Week

Small charities are the lifeblood of local communities. Every year small charities work tirelessly for the public benefit with little recognition or appreciation. That’s why PWW is proud to support Small Charity Week 2023 #SmallCharityWeek #SmallCharitiesTogether

At PWW we specialise in providing legal advice and assistance to small charities, from incorporation, through the highs and lows of running a charity to a charity’s closure. Each June we help to raise awareness of small charities in the UK so that they get the recognition and appreciation they deserve.

With the ongoing cost of living crisis it has never been a more important time to support small charities and that’s why we support Small Charity Week 2023 #SmallCharityWeek.

Visit to find out more about the free events designed with small charities in mind #SmallCharityWeek.

For legal assistance during small charities week and beyond please contact us or call on 0207 821 8211 for an initial consultation with one of our small charity experts.

Charities Act 2022 Update – Phase 2 Implementation

The key provisions of this new phase came into force on 14 June 2023 and are intended to simplify property transactions for charities.

Under the Charities Act 2011, when disposing of charity property, trustees were required to obtain and consider a report by a RICS qualified surveyor that the terms of the transaction are the best that can be reasonably obtained for the charity. This overall process has not changed under the Charities Act 2022, but there are some new provisions aimed at simplifying it:

  • Whereas under the Charities Act 2011 trustees had to get advice from a RICS qualified surveyor they now have the option of obtaining a pre-disposal report from a “designated adviser”. This means that suitably experienced charity trustees, officers and employees will also be able to provide a report or advice on the proposed disposition, in addition to RICS qualified surveyors and estate agents.
  • The old regulations governing what information a pre-disposal report must contain have been revoked. A new set of regulations, the Charities (Dispositions of Land: Designated Advisers and Reports) Regulations 2023 are now in force instead. The new regulations simplify the information that should be included in a pre-disposal report, which should help ease the decision-making process for trustees.
  • Trustees will no longer have to advertise a proposed disposal of land in such manner as their surveyor advises. This gives trustees some more flexibility over how they choose to dispose of their property. For example, when selling, they could put the property into auction, or sell to a third party without having to advertise it for sale on the open market.

These are welcome changes. Charities now have more choice over who they take their advice from, and the likelihood is that the new regulations will cut down on the administrative costs charities face when disposing of land. In addition the new regulations governing pre-disposal reports replace a set of regulations that are now thirty years old and no longer fit for purpose.

If you are a charity and require further legal advice on land disposal in England and Wales, please get in touch for expert advice and guidance on land disposal transactions.

The Legal Ombudsman’s Rules for Making a Complaint have Changed

The Legal Ombudsman’s rules for making a complaint about legal services changed on 1 April 2023.

There are four areas that are effected, which are as follows:

  • A change to time limits.
  • Discretion to decline to issue a formal Ombudsman decision after an investigator case decision if neither party raises any substantive objection to the findings.
  • Changes to the Ombudsman discretion to dismiss or discontinue a complaint in certain circumstances.
  • Minor drafting changes to update Scheme Rules including new dates and correcting previous typographical drafting errors.

The most significant change for clients is the change to the time limits for referring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman. The previous six year limit has been reduced and is now no later than one year from the date of the act or omission being complained about or one year from the date a client becomes aware that there is cause for complaint.

The Legal Ombudsman will retain the ability to exercise discretion to extend the one year time limit for specific clients if, on the evidence, it is fair and reasonable to do so.

More detailed information about the changes can be found in The Legal Ombudsman’s Consumer guidance on Scheme Rules changes publication.

Charities Act 2022 – Implemented

On Monday 31 October 2022, the Government announced the implementation of the following provisions of the Charities Act 2022:

The key changes which came into force on 31 October 2022 include:

  • Statutory power for trustees to be paid for the provision of goods to their charity. These changes will mirror provisions already included in the Charities Act 2011 enabling trustees to be paid for services and goods provided in connection with a service to their charity.
  • Simplification of the process for handling donations which can no longer be spent on their intended fundraising campaign. Under the new Charities Act 2022, charities will no longer have to wait 6 months for a donor to request a refund and will be entitled to apply any donations below £1,000 towards a different campaign without the Charity Commission’s prior approval. The Charities Act 2022 also simplifies the process by which the Charity Commission may authorise any reallocation of donated funds.
  • New powers for charities to amend their Royal Charters. Automatically conferring trust corporation status onto charitable companies. This will apply to existing and future charitable companies.
  • Updates to the Charity Commission’s powers to make schemes for charitable companies, public notice requirements and the application of negative parliamentary procedure for any charity updating its governing document under s.73 Charities Act 2011.

Dates for the implementation of the next round of Charities Act 2022 provisions to be introduced have yet to be announced but are expected in Spring and Autumn 2023.

If you have any queries about how these changes might affect your charity please feel free to contact our Church and Charities team at PWW who would be happy to answer any queries you might have.

Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) cuts – Mini Budget Response 2022

On 23 September 2022, the Mini Budget included changes to residential SDLT rates. Unlike the SDLT holiday of 2020-2021, which was only temporary, these stamp duty cuts have been confirmed by the government as permanent.

The SDLT changes came into effect immediately on the 23 September 2022.

What is the change?

For anyone purchasing a residential property in England and Northern Ireland, the government will permanently increase the nil-rate threshold from £125,000 to £250,000.

Buyers will pay stamp duty at a rate of 5% on the value of a property above £250,000 up to £925,000, 10% on the value between £925,000 and £1.5million, and then a top rate of 12% above £1.5 million.

This change is similarly reflected for first time buyers, where the threshold to start paying stamp duty land tax has been increased from £300,000 to £425,000. The maximum value of a property on which first-time buyers’ relief can be claimed will be £625,000 instead of the £500,000. This measure implies that all individuals purchasing residential property on or after 23 September will pay less or no SDLT at all.

For first time buyers looking to purchase in more expensive locations, such as London and the Southeast, they will be able to benefit from thousands of pounds in tax savings as a result of these changes.

Who does this apply to?

Everyone purchasing a property in England or Northern Ireland that had not completed by 23 September 2022.

Our thoughts

The cuts to stamp duty land tax will undoubtedly be most beneficial to first time buyers, who will embrace this as a welcome relief.

However, what is uncertain is whether these changes will provide a much-needed boost for the residential property market post pandemic.

There are further concerns about what is being done to ease the burden on those buying homes in the middle and upper price bands, especially with higher mortgage rates and increased interest rates probably lying ahead?

As residential property lawyers, this is something we are very aware of. We can offer advice and guidance to clients on how the recent announcement of SDLT cuts will impact property transactions going forward.

Would you like to Remember a Charity in Your Will?

We were delighted to join the Remember a Charity Campaign Supporter Scheme, and take part in their annual Remember a Charity in your Will Week in September.

Gifts left to UK charities in Wills are tax-free, effectively increasing the Inheritance Tax threshold on donors’ estates, and for people that choose to donate 10% of their estate or more, this reduces the rate of Inheritance Tax from 40% to 36%, which can amount to a considerable reduction on larger estates.

Find out more about the Remember a Charity Campaign here.

Get in touch with our Private Client Team if you would like to discuss leaving a gift in your Will to charity.

Pothecary Witham Weld joins forces with Haslam & Payne Solicitors

It is with great pleasure that the partners of Pothecary Witham Weld and Haslam & Payne announce that, from 1st October 2021, Richard Payne, Mark Lewis and Jason Manley will be joining the property team at Pothecary Witham Weld as consultants.

Gerald Kidd, Managing Partner of Pothecary Witham Weld Solicitors said:

This affiliation will bring together two firms with long and trusted histories of conveyancing practice within Pimlico, the surrounding areas and wider afield. At the heart of this collaboration is the desire to provide clients new and old with an enhanced portfolio of residential and commercial legal expertise and services which are cost effective, reliable and sustainable for the future.

Richard Payne, Partner at Haslam & Payne agreed and added:

We are very much looking forward to our new relationship with Pothecary Witham Weld going forwards and the benefits that this will provide to our established clients in the future.”